England v WI, World T20 2012, Super Eights, Pallekele September 26, 2012

Unpredictable teams hard to second guess


Match Facts

September 27, 2012
Start time 19.30 local (1400GMT/1500BST)

The Big Picture

You never really know what you will get from either of these two teams. West Indies can take apart any bowling line-up but can also let it slip in the field. England can live with the best teams on their day but also lose in embarrassing style. It makes for a fascinating contest.

West Indies have yet to play a full game in this tournament after losing on D/L against Australia and then rain arrived before they could bat against Ireland. It means, like England in 2010, they have progressed without winning a game yet remain a challenger for the title. This time England have managed a victory, but it is their crushing defeat against India which is the game most are talking about.

Darren Sammy could barely contain his smile as he spoke about the potential of Sunil Narine bowling against England in the Super Eights. His confidence is not misplaced. And that is before West Indies' batting power is considered. England's bowling attack is their strength; it will be sorely tested by Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Kieron Pollard and the rest.

The most recent Twenty20 meeting between these two teams ended with England completing their highest T20 chase at Trent Bridge but that was at the tail-end of a tough tour for West Indies. Perhaps a more relevant match to consider is the second of the back-to-back encounters at The Oval last year when a young England side - featuring a number of players in the current squad - were dismantled for 88 on a pitch offering some turn.

Still, for all the familiar questions posed by the defeat against India it does not have to be terminal to England's hopes. The side have responded to adversity in the past and fortunes can change very quickly. A charge for the title looks unlikely, but that was also so in 2010.

Form guide

(Most recent first, completed matches)

England LWWLW
West Indies LWWLW

Watch out for...

It is often said that a players' standing grows in his absence and that was certainly the case for Samit Patel when he was left out against India. His left-arm spin would have been very useful and he is one of the more competent batsmen in the squad against spin - although on recent evidence that judgement is starting at a low base. He at least has the wrist work to place the ball into the gaps and the confidence to use his feet. But he is only one player.

When Sunil Narine was unleashed on England earlier this year it did not go very well for him. In a Test, two ODIs and a Twenty20 he managed a solitary wicket. The expectation won't have helped and he was also battling the damp conditions of an English summer. The challenge for England in Pallekele will be very different. Not that it is likely to spin square, but it does not have to to dumfound England's batsmen. He just needs to be careful about his front foot. There are no excuses for overstepping.

Team news

Patel is likely to return in place of Tim Bresnan to give the side a more balanced look. A complete rethink of tactics is unlikely, although Danny Briggs would be an interesting option if he could be slotted in. Michael Lumb and Ravi Bopara are the other batting choices, but the current top six will probably be given another chance.

England (probable) 1 Craig Kieswetter (wk), 2 Alex Hales, 3 Luke Wright, 4 Eoin Morgan, 5 Jonny Bairstow, 6 Jos Buttler, 7 Samit Patel, 8 Stuart Broad (capt), 9 Graeme Swann, 10 Steven Finn, 11 Jade Dernbach

Dwayne Bravo missed the Ireland game with a groin strain and will slot back in, probably for Andre Russell, if fit again which is looking likely after he came through a net session. There will be a temptation to play the legspinner Samuel Badree although that would mean leaving out either Ravi Rampaul or Fidel Edwards who both bowled well against Ireland.

West Indies (probable) 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Johnson Charles, 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Dwayne Bravo, 7 Darren Sammy, 8 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 9 Sunil Narine, 10 Ravi Rampaul, 11 Fidel Edwards

Pitch and conditions

There was some pace and bounce in the match between Pakistan and Bangladesh - enough for Bangladesh to get carried away with the short ball - which encouraged stroke-making and that bodes well for the Super Eights. What does not bode so well is the continuing threat of rain and as far as that goes it is just a case of fingers crossed.

Stats and trivia

  • In a neat coincidence, West Indies qualified for the Super Eights by scoring 191 in a rain-affected defeat then having a no result against Ireland, which is exactly what happened to England in 2010.

  • England and West Indies have played eight times in T20Is with West Indies 5-3 up on the head-to-head.


"Winning World Cups is about winning the important games. There is no point playing like a dream all the way through to the semi-final and losing that one, so it is about developing momentum."
Stuart Broad again makes the point that England picked a good game to have a shocker against India

"I think everyone who comes on to bowl has a big part to play, but Sunil is our trump card. He has done well for us, and we hope he'll have a big impact on the English batting line-up."
Darren Sammy looks forward the prospect of unleashing West Indies' mystery spinner

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • David on September 27, 2012, 11:31 GMT

    "Winning World Cups is about winning the important games. There is no point playing like a dream all the way through to the semi-final and losing that one, so it is about developing momentum." Nice quote from Chris Broad to try and explain away the debacle against India.Yes you are right, that certainly was not playing like a dream. Fortunately there are no carry through points to the next round Chris so it might not have been an" important game". However I'm not sure how that loss developed any momentum unless you mean backwards!

  • Karthik on September 27, 2012, 8:41 GMT

    Russel is too valuable to be left out man!

  • Manjunath on September 27, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    WI needs to keep Russel in the XI. Either they can make him to open the innings or Ask Bravo to keep and Russel comes in place of Ramdin. Russel is very talented and a given good chance , he can be a complete package.

  • John on September 27, 2012, 7:30 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (September 27 2012, 01:03 AM GMT) Dernbach is always talked about for the chop- even when he's doing well. Although when they showed his economy in T20 pre the India game it was 6.79 which really surprised me. I agree that Finn is better in tests and ODIs where he is shown more respect but I worry about all our bowlers being able to bowl the Yorker these days. If this pitch is more of a spinning/slow pitch then I'd definitely bring in both Patel and Briggs and possibly open with Briggs although Gayle may be the one batsman who will do better against spin than bounce/pace. Having said that all our bowlers would be mares to face if they used a Yorker outside the off stump as their stock ball and either the bouncer or slower ball as their surprise ball. They just either seem unwilling or unable to do this at present.

  • Dummy4 on September 27, 2012, 7:25 GMT

    Come on Dewayne smith is good but Charles has been scoring more runs. Experience is good but form is even better. Dewayne Smith needs to work on his game.

  • Dummy4 on September 27, 2012, 5:19 GMT


  • Satish on September 27, 2012, 4:46 GMT

    Gayle open with Dwayne/Charles. Get Russel to play at 3. He is too good batsman to be left in sideline in race with tan all rounder. At current form, he is a better hitter than even Dwayne or a Pollard. Please WI, don't waste such a talent. Get Russel no matter where the slot is open. Drop even Darren Bravo. Having him in top order is indirectly robbing the big hitters balls to get in. My 11 would be, Gayle, Charles/D Smith, Russel, Marlon, Dwayne Bravo, Pollard, Sammy, Ramdin, Narine, Badree, Rampaul. I bank on them to do the job against England.

  • Kunal on September 27, 2012, 4:44 GMT

    This group is so easy. Sri Lanka and West Indies will go through. Sri Lanka will top the group by CRUSHING minnows New Zealand, GAYle dependent WI and Lucky England. We are Lankan LIONS and WE ROAR!!!!! MEEEOOOW!

  • Satish on September 27, 2012, 4:41 GMT

    WI is a unpredictable team but England surely is a very much predictable team. Get them to lose their tow 3 soon and they don't have the backup to handle the early loss.

  • Basil on September 27, 2012, 4:27 GMT

    Charles seems to be a token selection because he is a "batsman". Russel as an all-rounder is a better bat, bowl, and fielder and should be infront of him. Charles should only play if he plays wk ahead of Ramdin. I would actually put Russel ahead of Bravo snr but what would I know? Bravo jnr also doesn't look suited to T20. A big "Hello" to the Bravo family fom VivGilchrist...

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