Windies aim to get better of England
London, England – A new-look West Indies will contest the first of two Twenty20 Internationals when they come up against England on Friday at The Kia Oval. After an intense training session on a bright afternoon on Thursday West Indies captain Darren Sammy outlined that the two matches are a chance to give some valuable exposure to some talented players.
“We will look to give everyone an opportunity to play as we build toward the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka next year, but this weekend is also geared toward winning,” he said. “We don’t have a lot of T20 matches at the international level before next year’s tournament, so we have to look to make the most of every opportunity we get to identify the right players for the job to get the combinations right and to create that winning environment.”
He added: “The team might be full of young players, but they can cope. We are in a no-fear environment. The guys have enjoyed the training since arriving in England and they look like they belong here. We are missing guys who would normally be in the T20 set-up, but we have a young side and these guys look very confident and eager to step out at the Oval. Just like England, we now have a young team and players eager to express themselves with bat and ball, so it’s going to be interesting.”
West Indies have won two of the three Twenty20 matches they’ve played against England at The Oval. Sammy acknowledged that the English were enjoying a highly successful summer during which they claimed the World No.1 Test side status – but they too are missing a number of key players through injury and are also taking the time to blood a few new faces.
“There is great excitement,” he said. “It’s the start of a new series and that brings with it new expectations. It’s a big occasion for all of us and a special occasion for the new players, who will be playing for the first time, so everyone in the camp is tuned in and ready for the occasion.”
He added: “We are coming up against an England team which is playing very well at the moment, but we are up for it.
“We are looking for the guys who are coming in to make a contribution toward the team’s success. We want to start well on Friday and continue on Sunday. We are looking for two exciting T20 games.”
West Indies have a number of uncapped players including openers Johnson Charles and Miles Bascombe. Marlon Samuels is expected to lead the middle-order batting and Danza Hyatt will be looking to take his explosive batting to the next level with the rest of the frontline batting likely to comprise a plethora of all-rounders like Sammy, Andre Russell, comeback-kid Dwayne Smith, Christopher Barnwell, the uncapped pair leg-spin all-rounder Nkrumah Bonner, as well as uncapped wicketkeeper/batsman Derwin Christian.
The bowling has strength with Fidel Edwards is likely to spearhead the attack, with the uncapped pair of left-arm fast-medium bowler Krishmar Santokie and left-arm spinner Garey Mathurin waiting in the wings, and ICC Emerging Player-of-the-Year Devendra Bishoo to add some spice.
England, the reigning World Twenty20 champions, are being led for the first time by Swann, their champion off-spinner, but they will be without the services of regular T20 captain Stuart Broad and left-handed innovative hitter Eoin Morgan.
Craig Kieswetter, Jos Butler, Ravi Bopara, Ben Stokes, and Jonny Bairstow have all proven themselves on the domestic stage and will look to take apart the West Indies attack.
The home team’s bowling is well served with the likes of Swann, James Anderson, Tim Bresnan, Steve Finn, and Jade Dernbach at the heart of the attack.
West Indies: Darren Sammy (captain), Christopher Barnwell, Miles Bascombe, Devendra Bishoo, Nkrumah Bonner, Johnson Charles, Derwin Christian, Fidel Edwards, Danza Hyatt, Garey Mathurin, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Krishmar Santokie, Dwayne Smith
England: Graeme Swann (captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Ravi Bopara, Scott Borthwick, Tim Bresnan, Danny Briggs, Jos Buttler, Jade Dernbach, Steve Finn, Alex Hales, Craig Kieswetter, Samit Patel, Ben Stokes
Umpires: Nigel Llong, Rob Bailey
Third official: Richard Illingworth
Television umpire: Tim Robinson
ICC Match referee: Jeff Crowe