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3rd ODI: West Indies look to save pride


Navneet Mundhra,Cricketnext.com
Jun 22, 2012 at 02:34pm IST

Having won the first two ODIs of the three-match series, England have sealed the series and they eye a clean sweep over West Indies in the final match at Headingley. West Indies, on the other hand, have not won a win a single international match on tour.

West Indies' players have done well individually in spurts but the team has failed to perform consistently in tandem. In the Test series, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels and Denesh Ramdin did well in patches but barring Chanderpaul no one was consistent. Their batting was heavily dependent on Chanderpaul while their bowling looked toothless.

West Indies were bolstered by the arrival of Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Sunil Narine for the ODI series and a compelling contest was anticipated. However, England outclassed the visitors in both games with effortless ease. Dwayne Smith, Gayle and Bravo sparkled fleetingly with but their contributions weren't enough to win a match for their team. Narine, who bamboozled the best of batsmen in IPL 5, has not lived up to his billing and looked ordinary in both the ODIs. The England batsmen, who aren't the most accomplished against spinners, didn't have much trouble working him out and Ian Bell and Alastair Cook, in particular, encountered him with élan and flourish.

3rd ODI: West Indies look to salvage pride

After losing the first two ODIs of three-match series, West Indies are looking to win the last ODI and save pride.

Gayle, who made a comeback into the national team after a hiatus of 15 months, sizzled during his half-century in the second ODI but once he departed, West Indies' middle order was exposed. Smith and Bravo are the only batsmen apart from Gayle who could shore up their batting but both are erratic rather than dependable and consistent.

Their bowling is even more substandard. Narine has failed to make any impact and though Ravi Rampaul has chipped in with a few good overs, he hasn't looked like picking wickets. Andre Russell, Darren Sammy and Bravo can peg away but have appeared far from being wicket-taking bowlers.

England are riding high on the crest of a string of victories and their morale is sky-high. Bell, having been recalled after Kevin Pietersen's surprise retirement, has stamped his authority in the ODI format by cracking a century and half-century respectively. Cook has been in superb form in ODIs since he became the captain last year.

England have decided to rest their three premier bowlers – Graeme Swann, Tim Bresnan and Stuart Broad for the third ODI with Stuart Meaker, Chris Woakes and James Tredwell drafted into the team. James Anderson will spearhead the bowling attack. Jonny Bairstow might get a place in the final XI.

Headingley has become a belter of a pitch for ODIs in the last five years and even a score of above 275 cannot be deemed as safe. West Indies' best chance to win the final ODI is to win the toss, bat first and pile up a mammoth total to try and put England under the cosh.

Probable XIs:

England: 1 Alastair Cook (capt), 2 Ian Bell, 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Ravi Bopara, 5 Jonny Bairstow, 6 Eoin Morgan, 7 Craig Kieswetter (wk), 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Stuart Meaker, 10 James Anderson, 11 Steven Finn.

West Indies: 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Dwayne Smith, 3 Marlon Samuels, 4 Dwayne Bravo, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 7 Andre Russell, 8 Darren Sammy (capt), 9 Sunil Narine, 10 Ravi Rampaul, 11 Tino Best.

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