England v West Indies, World T20 2016 final, Kolkata April 2, 2016

T20 superstars take on its newest converts

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Play 03:41
Match Day - England resourceful, but West Indies still favourites

Match facts

Sunday, April 3, 2016
Start time 1900 local (1330 GMT)

Big picture

Test cricket originated in England, West Indies became its biggest stars. Fifty-over cricket originated in England, West Indies became its biggest stars. T20 cricket originated in England, West Indies are again its biggest stars.

A little over two weeks ago, both teams were in Mumbai for their first match of this World T20. The England players stood at Marine Drive, unrecognised, and succeeded in hailing a cab after only 15 minutes, just like any average person. West Indies, though, could not move around without being mobbed. Kolkata provided another example. Tragedy had struck the city on the day of India's semi-final when a flyover that had been under construction collapsed, killing 23 people. People huddled around TV sets at paan shops seeking information, and not watching cricket. But when the West Indies team arrived yesterday, they had hundreds greeting them at the airport, at the hotel, at the ground.

With good reason. Though it is a bit of a caricature of "calypso cricket", and it doesn't quite do justice to how smart they have been, West Indies' batsmen have been attractive. They play T20 cricket in its basest style and have taken power-hitting to a whole new level. They've got the nuances right too: they field acrobatically, and when under pressure they back themselves so much that it hardly seems like they are under pressure.

Take away a bit of power-hitting, add some quicker sets of legs, and you have England. Quietly, they have revolutionised their limited-overs cricket. Among teams that entered the tournament in the second round, England are second only to West Indies in six-hitting, and only by a count of two. England make up for it with a lower dot-ball percentage - 33.85 to West Indies' 45.44, but West Indies have conceded runs at only 7.25 an over compared to England's 8.53. West Indies have edged England with their boundary percentage, but not by a lot.

Clearly England's one-day revival is not to be scoffed at. It was here, at Eden Gardens in 1987, that Mike Gatting was burnt for playing a "risky" shot that is considered commonplace now.

A final can often come down to what you are not at your absolute best at. If the pitch is flat, England will try to go well past the 182 they set against West Indies and lost in the league stage. West Indies, too, will have to match the quicker English fielders. If there was any danger of there being less attention on the final because India were knocked out, Kolkata put it to rest. When Darren Sammy stepped into the press-conference room, he was taken aback by the number of journalists waiting. It will be the same with the Eden Gardens crowd on Sunday; the final has come to its spiritual home in India, after having missed out in 2011.

Neither Darren Sammy nor Eoin Morgan have had much time in the middle with the bat, but they have been inspirational captains © Getty Images/ICC

Form guide

England WWWWL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
West Indies WLWWW

In the spotlight

Sammy has faced 11 and bowled 12 balls in the tournament. It shows how good West Indies have been because he is the man to call when one of the five bowlers goes for plenty or when the batting fails. Sammy, though, will be disappointed that when things did go wrong he didn't set them right. Against South Africa, he fell to an Imran Tahir wrong'un first up, but West Indies managed to close a tight chase. Against Afghanistan, though, West Indies went on to lose. Sammy has been a superb captain on and off the field, but in perhaps his last match for West Indies, Sammy will want to make a big personal contribution. The only thing better would be if Sammy weren't even called upon.

Ditto for Eoin Morgan, who has two golden ducks to his name. "It'd be nice to get past the dot ball," he joked.

Chris Jordan was 14 when he moved to England from Barbados. At one point he ran the risk of ending up as another Jade Dernbach, a big-hearted trier who couldn't make it as England's slog-overs specialist. England kept the faith in Jordan though, and his yorkers have carried the team into their second World T20 final. Unlike Dernbach, Jordan kept it mostly simple: bowl yorker after yorker after yorker. Against New Zealand in the semi-final, Ben Stokes benefitted from the pressure Jordan created. England won't mind if the same happens in Kolkata. Sammy acknowledged the criticism that his team does not rotate strike enough, but also said the opposition has to stop them from hitting boundaries first. Jordan will be key for England.

Team news

Neither team should have any reason to change the XIs that won them the semi-finals. If the pitch turns, they have two spinners each. If it helps the quicks, they have the bowlers to exploit that too. England had a couple of players down with illness in the lead-up, but they were fit and ready to train.

England (probable) 1 Jason Roy, 2 Alex Hales, 3 Joe Root, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Jos Buttler (wk), 6 Ben Stokes, 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Chris Jordan, 9 Adil Rashid, 10 David Willey, 11 Liam Plunkett

West Indies (probable) 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Johnson Charles, 3 Lendl Simmons, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 6 Dwayne Bravo, 7 Andre Russell, 8 Darren Sammy (capt), 9 Carlos Brathwaite, 10 Sulieman Benn, 11 Samuel Badree

Pitch and conditions

"There is a nice covering of grass," Morgan said. "Looks like a really good cricket wicket, which is good news." Kolkata remains a good chasing ground with dew likely to play some part in the evening. There is a chance of a thunderstorm on Sunday, but not serious enough to disrupt the cricket.

Stats and trivia

  • Dwayne Bravo is four wickets from joining the two-member club of players with 50 T20I wickets and 1000 runs. Shahid Afridi and Shakib Al Hasan are already there.

  • West Indies have met England in two major finals, and beaten them on both occasions, in the 1979 World Cup and the 2004 Champions Trophy. In three other finals, they have beaten England twice, and lost once, in Sharjah in 1997.

  • Going into the final, Joe Root is the fourth highest run-getter of the tournament. With 195, he is exactly a hundred behind the leader, Tamim Iqbal. Among those who didn't play in the first round of the tournament, Virat Kohli leads with 273 runs.

  • West Indies played eight completed matches (and one no-result) between the last World T20 and this one, England played nine.

Quotes

"We are quite real about this. We know it is not going to be a normal game. Even in the semi-final there was quite a lot of hype of expectation playing the final. I want all of our players to embrace it. Tomorrow everything will feel rushed to start with, but we want to be in a really good frame of mind to slow things down when needed. Most importantly execute our skills."
England captain Eoin Morgan stays away from the cliché. Almost

"We have studied England. We look at the players. They have a lot of match-winners. We don't take that for granted. But after we have done that we shift the focus back on us… One of the senior players made a comment in a team meeting, I think it was Dwayne Bravo, the only team that can beat us is ourselves. We believe that. Only we can defeat ourselves. Once we do what we know we do well, we will win. That's the mentality we take into the final. "
West Indies captain Darren Sammy knows how good his team is

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Hulusian on April 3, 2016, 17:16 GMT

    ...The only way to stop Windies.. What a sensational final...final breath.

  • crrkiran on April 3, 2016, 13:25 GMT

    i want england to win. the inventor of the game should get some rights

  • ADAS-IND on April 3, 2016, 13:09 GMT

    This is a very uncertain game of cricket and it is a 50:50 game. WI team can defeat Eng, SA, SL, Ind and can lose against Afg . They can score 250 or can be out bellow 100. Otherwise Eng team is established side. But in final two under-rated teams are in the final where many mighty line ups could not make it but it is the beauty of the game. Like to see good cricket and support the better team of the day - from an Indian cricket lover.

  • Harmony111 on April 3, 2016, 12:25 GMT

    5Wombats, you and certain other Eng fans have all of a sudden become active on these T20 matches although you used to dislike this format earlier. What happened? Oh, Eng have won a few T20 matches, that's why. Never mind, welcome to the T20 club. This format is a bit too fast and complicated for simpletons who are Test Snobs but I hope you & other blokes would soon be able to gain a good insight here.

  • arunsilv on April 3, 2016, 12:25 GMT

    Wanna see more Caribbean dance tonight. Started loving it..

  • Vaishak13 on April 3, 2016, 11:25 GMT

    @JMCILHINNEY.Lol no he wud never predict India anywhere.It was Aus,Pak,SL and SA/WI.Anyway,lookin forward to a good match here.Jason Roy looks so compact when he plays his shots.If he sets in,England can do this.Though shud be careful against Badree.I guess the crowd wil back Gayle,so England wil have to overcome two adversaries.

  • Herath-UK on April 3, 2016, 11:09 GMT

    @Riddymon, I doubt Sammy will be sacked if he wins the Cup! IPL was India's root cause for the loss as the very players the franchises roped in won the game for the WI. The familiarity of the pitch & the environs will be a big key factor for the WI. But my bet is with England, they have in Bayliss & Farbrace (& Mahela) , a good think tank behind.

  • FawadAlam4Lyfe on April 3, 2016, 11:04 GMT

    @ANURAGPATIL ,depends on your definition of a good team. If you are referring to odi alone, then you are right. However, in tests, England just beat Saffas in their backgarden and NZ drew a test series against Pak in UAE, something Australia were unable to. Pakistan is consistently bossing people in tests, and even beat SL in their backgarden. So in tests, the teams on the decline would be Saffas, Windies and SL. In t20i, Windies is one the best teams. When they toured saffas recently, They beat them. Also, two out of your 3 "best teams" did not make it to semis, and the team that did (india) was beaten comprehensively by a team that you called average.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on April 3, 2016, 10:54 GMT

    "Unlike Dernbach, Jordan kept it mostly simple: bowl yorker after yorker after yorker. Against New Zealand in the semi-final, Ben Stokes benefitted from the pressure Jordan created." So true! Early on, I was impressed with Dernbach and his clever variations, and he was doing well. Then, he either got found out or he was simply trying too much too hard and had one of the worst economy rates of international bowlers. I am so happy and relieved that the likes of Broad aren't playing in this tournament either; one of the first names down in tests now, but guys that don't know what a yorker is let alone refuse to try them should not be in the T20 team. It's a shame that Finn-knee was injured otherwise he could have been useful in this tournament, and it seems Tredwell is out of favour for some reason. England have definitely thought better of their bowling this tournament and the guys have done well. It's not all about the batting. Now keep it up in the final!

  • LeeJA on April 3, 2016, 10:24 GMT

    Never has a toss been so massive...both teams will feel more comfortable chasing and it may ultimately decide who wins. Both teams looking to make history...come on England

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