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Gayle fit as West Indies look for late-tour lift

Ben Stokes took a blow on the foot during nets Getty Images

Big Picture

It's as you were following the rain at Trent Bridge, England are still 1-0 up and with a chance of taking an unbeatable lead in the series at Bristol.

The brief period of play in Nottingham was not particularly encouraging for West Indies as Jason Holder and Jerome Taylor started poorly with the ball. The late-season English conditions are not to their liking, but to be fair doesn't make cricket much fun for anyone.

It is worth asking, however, whether there is a little bit too much caution being taken by officials: there was the two-hour delay in Manchester due to a damp outfield and the call-off at Trent Bridge came shortly before the rain cleared and late-evening sunshine appeared.

West Indies need a victory to give them a lift going into the final week of the tour and offer Stuart Law some belief that he has a group of players to work with ahead of the World Cup qualifiers next year. They have at least been boosted by Chris Gayle's availability after he pulled out of Trent Bridge at the 11th hour.

Eoin Morgan has said there is no intention of rotation for the sake of it and mentioned one of areas he wanted improvement on post the Champions Trophy was taking early wickets.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)

England WLWWW
West Indies LLWLL

In the spotlight

It is unlikely that one white-ball innings will sway the selectors when it comes to the Ashes squad, but with it being named on Wednesday morning Alex Hales has one knock left before the names are pencilled in. A month ago momentum was building for him, but since his double century against Derbyshire on August 7 he hasn't made a half-century in any format. He has struck the ball sweetly in the T20 and briefly at Old Trafford in the first match of the series, but it appears more likely he'll be taking up his T20 deal in South Africa than getting on a plane to Australia.

Marlon Samuels certainly adds experience to West Indies' middle order but needs to prove he is worth persisting with into the World Cup qualifiers next year. Stuart Law stopped short of rubberstamping any places in future squads, saying there were still decisions to be made ahead of the New Zealand tour later this year. Samuels remains West Indies' second-highest ODI run-scorer since the 2015 World Cup, despite not being in the side for the best part of a year, but now's the time to show he is really up for it.

Teams news

In their last two ODIs on this ground, against Ireland earlier this season and the washed out match against Sri Lanka last year, England have left out Moeen Ali due to the short, straight boundaries. If they follow a similar pattern, that could mean a spot for either Jake Ball or a debut for Tom Curran. However, in those two matches Ben Stokes wasn't available to provide an extra pace-bowling option. Adil Rashid, however, took 5 for 27 in the Ireland game in May.

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

Gayle has been passed fit after scans did not reveal any damage following the hamstring tweak he suffered moments before the toss at Trent Bridge. That means he should be reunited at the top of the order with Evin Lewis. Keswick Williams is a doubt having suffered a back spasm at Trent Bridge after the match had started.

West Indies (probable) 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Evin Lewis, 3 Shai Hope (wk), 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Jason Mohammed, 6 Rovman Powell, 7 Jason Holder (capt), 8 Ashley Nurse, 9 Jerome Taylor, 10 Miguel Cummins, 11 Kesrick Williams/Alzarri Joseph

Pitch and conditions

Seven Ireland wickets fell to spin back in May as they struggled to pick Rashid's variations. There was also good pace and carry in the pitch. At the tail-end of the season, though, the surface could be tired. The forecast is dry for the first part of the day - this is the one day game of the series - but rain is lurking later on which could mean DLS comes into play.

Stats and trivia

  • The last ODI against a Full Member to get a result in Bristol was back in 2010 when Bangladesh beat England by five runs. Since then, the India match in 2014 and Sri Lanka's visit in 2016 were ruined by rain before Ireland stumbled to defeat in May.

  • With Gayle fit there will be three survivors from the sides that played in the 2009 ODI on this ground. Jerome Taylor and Eoin Morgan the others. It was Morgan's first ODI for England.

Quotes

"It's been a tricky summer for me. I've not played a great deal of cricket, so to get the nod for the first couple of games has been brilliant. Hopefully I come out and bowl well and get a couple of wickets early on, which is what they want from me."
David Willey on taking his chance

"It's good to have him back, and we hope we can have him for the duration of the series. He definitely brings a lot to the team, a wealth of experience, and his record speaks for itself."
Jason Holder on Chris Gayle