England v West Indies, 3rd ODI, Headingley June 21, 2012

Last chance for tourists to impress


Match facts

Friday June 22, Headingley
Start time 1045 (0945 GMT)

Big Picture

Rotation has been on everybody's mind since England took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI series and rested Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad and the local favourite, Tim Bresnan, for the final tie at Headingley.

Some supporters are complaining that they are being short-changed and former England internationals, Michael Atherton foremost among them, have talked of how resting players devalues the cap, whatever the reason, but England's director of cricket, Andy Flower, will not be deflected from his task of winning as many important cricket matches as possible. If that means resting leading England players ahead of a five-match series against Australia, so far little discussed but bound to pick up momentum, and a Test series against South Africa then so be it. And better rested, it might be argued, than injured. That is even before you consider the benefits of discovering more about players on the fringe of the side.

England's policy of maintaining county cricket by the proceeds of a non-stop international summer cannot exist without tensions. The ailing domestic Twenty20 tournament, weakened by dismal weather and the late withdrawals of overseas players whose contracts are now barely worth the paper they are written on and the absence of England players, is suffocated by the very England programme that is meant to support it. What English cricket needs is reliance upon more players, not the same elite squad playing interminably to prop up the first-class structure.

As for West Indies, as their coach Ottis Gibson has remarked, losing sides do not have the luxury of resting players. Darren Bravo has already returned home because of injury and Chris Gayle and Andre Russell are carrying injuries. This is not a dead rubber for West Indies - it is a chance to impress upon their long-suffering supporters that they have been better than also-rans.

Form guide

England: WWWWW
West Indies: LLLWT

Players to watch

Getting his chance again as Graeme Swann is rested, Samit Patel has to prove that he is worthy of a place in English conditions. He performed admirably in India and against Pakistan in the UAE but a second spinner in England is regarded as surplus to requirements. This is Patel's chance to show is he more of an option than backup to Swann, particularly with James Tredwell also in the squad.

Another player with something very much to prove is Lendl Simmons. He had a terrible time at The Oval and his highest score since joining the tour is 23. Johnson Charles was preferred to him for the Australia series and the selectors may be looking back to Charles is Simmons doesn't produce something of note at Headingley.

Stats and Trivia

  • The last time West Indies were in Leeds, in 2009, the match was abandoned without a ball being bowled after torrential overnight rain. Blame was attached on Headingley's new outfield, supposedly fast-draining, but laid too close to the match to be effective.
  • West Indies have made the lowest ODI score at Headingley in recent years, making only 159 eight years ago. The match saw Andrew Flintoff play as a specialist batsman because of a foot injury and England knocked off the runs at more than seven an over.
  • Yorkshire only use their media centre for England matches because it doubles up as a lecture theatre for Leeds Metropolitan University and, even when it is free, they cannot afford the rental fee for county games.

    Team news

    England (probable) 1 Alastair Cook (capt), 2 Ian Bell, 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Ravi Bopara, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Craig Kieswetter, 7 Samit Patel, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 James Anderson, 10 Jade Dernbach, 11 Steve Finn

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

    Pitch and conditions

    At Headingley, you don't look down, you look up. Looking skywards on match preview day could not have been more displeasing as heavy rain fell throughout the day. Only showers are forecast for Friday, but it could be one of Yorkshire's more forbidding, stop-start contests with the bowlers in the game throughout and more than a little dissatisfaction in the air.


    "Everyone wants to play for England but realistically the amount of cricket that those chaps play; playing every single game of cricket for England is going to be hard work especially with the schedule the way it is over the next 18 months."
    Steve Finn, an England fast bowler who was frustrated to be kicking his heels only a few weeks ago, defends a rotation policy to combat England's arduous schedule.

    "We don't have the luxury of resting players. You don't rest people when you are losing. England have got it right there - they are winning so they can afford to rest people. We're trying to avoid losing 3-0 so everybody will be available."
    Ottis Gibson, West Indies' coach, on the realities of defeat.

    David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

  • Comments have now been closed for this article

    • Dummy4 on June 22, 2012, 17:04 GMT

      Johnson Charles was not preferred to Simmons against Ausrtralia. Simmons was injured

    • charlie on June 22, 2012, 12:24 GMT

      Some people keep calling for their favourite players in WI team every posting and excluding other players ,but the selectors can only play eleven at once . This present WI team is under pressure to win like the great WI team of yester year ,but few in the present team can compare to those greats . I never thought I see the short ball used as such an effective weapon against a WI team as was used by England in this ODI series . BOUNCERS ,OR SHORT OF LENGTH OUTSIDE OFF -- was a problem ,except for Gayle / Smith . Going back to the great stroke players for WI , Hunte ,Sir Garry ,Greenidge ,Haynes ,Fedricks ,Sir Everton , Richards ,Richardson C.Smith : etc ,Broad and company would have to find some place else to bowl that ball . All great batsman in my book , must be able to cut and hook effectively ,or those pacers will seak you out and limit your scoring chances .

    • david on June 22, 2012, 10:59 GMT

      landl47 the reason tredwell was selected is because he wii be in the squad in SL for the WC T20 competition, plain and simple. whatever the reason u dont like him. flowers does not do anything on a whim. thats why he the best coach in world cricket plain and simple.

    • Roland on June 22, 2012, 9:56 GMT

      Johnson Charles was NOT preferred to Simmons in the australian tour as indicated in the article. Simmons was out due to a broken finger sustained in a match against Barbados. Additionally, Simmons has been WI best ODI batsman over the past couple years with 7 half centuries in his last dozen innings.

    • Tom on June 22, 2012, 9:18 GMT

      @Colin Cox - the Oval wicket was nothing like a green top, it was true and easy to bat on - and Gayle wasn't dismissed by DRS, the umpire gave him out, he couldn't believe it and referred it, which confirmed the umpires decision.

    • Dummy4 on June 22, 2012, 8:19 GMT

      Why everyone wants to bring Chanderpaul back..He can't bat for WI forever..Let him play only in Tests and serve windies cricket for another 4-5 years..What selectors can do is bring back Sarwan into the folds..Sarwan, Darren Bravo and Samuels makes a decent middle order which can hold the innings together and then Dwayne Bravo and Keiron pollard should come in the lower middle order to encash 35-50 over play.. What they need to do right now is find a good batsman who can pair with Chris Gayle in the opening may be Powell..Also they need to grrom another Wicket Keeper batsman and get rid of Ramdin as we have invested enough time and money in this wasted talent.. Also, with ODI rules going to be tweaked and with two new balls and two bouncers per over WI should play decent fast bowlers and I wish they say bye-bye to Sammy and bring in the likes of Roach, Taylor, Edwards, Johnson, Gabriel, Rampaul, Tonge,Mclean, Holder - boy they have enough talent in this dept.

    • John on June 22, 2012, 8:11 GMT

      @Colin Cox on (June 21 2012, 23:43 PM GMT) So who are the WI adults you are on about ? Also (by and large) it wasn't the England fans who were giving the bold predictions of thrashings/whitewashes and it isn't England fans (by and large) who are trying to make out that this is anything other than a confidence building win over a low ranked side , even if it is a relief. PS I noticed you posted this word for word on another thread to which I responded with similar. If you are going to keep posting exactly the same grievances then please be so kind as to respond. By the way - surely luck would even itself out over time. The fact that WI are bottom or near bottom of all sets of rankings would suggest it's not luck

    • Hildreth on June 22, 2012, 8:10 GMT

      The ODI series is already LOST for West Indies. So now is the time to bring in some of the bench players like EDWARDS in place of Best and CHARLES for Simmons. Best did not bowl well and Simmons have struggled in both games so far. I was surprised that Windies batted first in ODI # 2 having been bundled out for 180 in the first match. They are much better at chasing than setting targets so why place unnecessary pressure on your fragile batting. However it was nice to see the BIG 3 (Gayle, Bravo and Pollard) getting among the runs. Hope they can do even better in final ODI along with the other players in the team. Finally the West Indies SELECTORS must continue searching for NEW TALENT to compliment the present squad and provide a wider pool of TESTED players like England and Australia. Playing the SAME SQUAD in all matches in a series regardless of format doesn't make any sense unless you are winning consistently. THIS IS PRECISELY THE REASON OUR CRICKET IS IN THIS MESS TODAY.

    • Shari on June 22, 2012, 2:13 GMT

      I think they might play johnson charles tomorrow in place of simmons, and rightly so.

    • Deccan on June 22, 2012, 0:46 GMT

      Chanderpaul injured?? LOL has he been injured ever since the World Cup in 2011? 'Cause that's when he last played in an ODI. He has been DROPPED from the ODI team as he doesn't fit into the side as a batsman. After the WC, he himself had said he would be concentrating more on Tests. That tells you he won't be playing ODIs anymore. So move on from Chanderpaul..

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