West Indies v England, 3rd ODI, Antigua March 4, 2014

Another spin battle to decide series


Match Facts

March 5, Antigua
Start time 9.30am (13.30GMT)

The Big Picture

The first two one-day internationals have been a combination of some very good cricket and some very ordinary cricket - both teams have provided both aspects. In the second match, England played just enough of the better stuff than West Indies, but it was a close-run contest as they found themselves in a heap of trouble chasing a small total.

Stuart Broad's reaction on hitting the winning runs showed how much it meant to him to register a victory. The team desperately needed a positive result after twice letting strong positions fritter away in the opening match. Going 2-0 down, in the face of chasing just 160, would have left the danger of painful memories from Australia being revived.

The result of this series will not mean a huge amount in terms of the challenges ahead but a number of players are taking their chance to impress for England, notably Michael Lumb, Moeen Ali and Stephen Parry who claimed three wickets on his debut. For West Indies, Lendl Simmons has twice held the innings together while Sunil Narine has been the handful expected of him.

However, the hosts need much more from their top order - which is missing Chris Gayle's power - and need to find a way of either putting more pressure on England's spinners or, at least, not losing early wickets which sets the innings back and leaves the likes of Simmons needing to stage a recovery.

Form guide

(completed matches, most recent first)
West IndiesLWWWL
England WLLWL

Watch out for...

Nikita Miller can fly under the radar when all the attention is on the wiles of Sunil Narine, but he has had a significant impact for West Indies in recent ODIs. His last three matches - against New Zealand, Ireland and England - have brought him eight wickets and it was his dismissal of Michael Lumb which sparked England's collapse the other day. He and Narine make an ideal pair; if a team aims to largely survive against Narine, especially on turning pitches, Miller can take advantage of the pressure created.

Jos Buttler has not been able to show his finishing skills so far in his brief series. He fell trying to clear in the in-field as the asking rate climbed in the first match and was surprised by a short ball on a slow pitch in the second. Neither dismissal need raise major alarms, but England put a lot of onus on Buttler to be able to close out an innings. Behind the stumps, the amount of spin bowling has tested his glovework which, at times, remains fallible as shown by the controversial stumping of Dwayne Bravo.

Team news

West Indies' top four have struggled and Marlon Samuels appears to have overcome his injury so would be a logical swap for one of them, perhaps the rather leaden-footed Kirk Edwards. Samuels would also provide another bowling option, although he is not allowed to use his quicker ball after ICC testing ruled it illegal last year.

West Indies 1 Dwayne Smith, 2 Kieron Powell, 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Lendl Simmons, 6 Dwayne Bravo (capt), 7 Darren Sammy, 8 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 8 Sunil Narine, 9 Ravi Rampaul, 10 Nikita Miller

Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales trained on Tuesday, but with T20s around the corner neither may be risked even though it is a deciding one-dayer. That would mean a reprieve for the struggling Luke Wright.

England 1 Michael Lumb, 2 Moeen Ali, 3 Luke Wright, 4 Joe Root, 5 Ben Stokes, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Ravi Bopara, 8 Tim Bresnan, 9 Stuart Broad (capt), 10 James Tredwell, 11 Stephen Parry

Pitch and conditions

For the third game in a row the same pitch will used: it was tired during the second match, it could well be comatose this time. Expect more spin, albeit slow, and even less bounce - 150 may not be far off defendable again.

Stats and trivia

  • England have bowled 314 deliveries of spin in two matches. Their most in a series of three matches is 384 during the 1977-78 series against Pakistan which was played over 35 eight-ball overs

  • Luke Wright has gone seven innings across both limited-overs formats without reaching double figures

  • For both teams a series win here will be their first in one-day cricket since February last year: West Indies beat Zimbabwe and England beat New Zealand


"If I was asked to go up the order, I'd snap off the hand of whoever makes the decision."
Ravi Bopara on wanting to bat higher

"It caught us by surprise ... and we were not able to counteract it, or come up with a gameplan against it."
Dwayne Bravo on being out-foxed by England's spin tactics

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on March 7, 2014, 19:50 GMT

    After watching this West Indies Fourth Rate Bowling attack against not the best England batting line up in the last Ten Years,compared to the great bowling attacks from the mid seventies to the early nineties it was an abject performance,it appears that the coaching system is completely on the wrong tack,unless of coarse there is no talent to coach to a greater standard than the present inept bowling attack.

  • Ali on March 5, 2014, 13:21 GMT

    Miller and Narine bowling, in the same game?

    WOW hell hath frozen over, the WI selectors, have finally done something that is sensible. ...

    Now if only we can see this for TESTS ...

    in ODI, Narine is the lead bowler.. But in TEST's , Sunil is still finding his way, so Miller can lead in Tests. Miller is a MUCH better longer version bowler than Narine ..

    & Miller has been the best bowler (not best 'spinner') in the region in 4-day competition for 5 years in a row.

  • John on March 5, 2014, 13:08 GMT

    If this pitch favors slow bowling, it really plays into England's hands. They can use Root and Ali as their fifth bowler and play an extra batsman. The problem is that they don't have everyone fit. If Hales and Morgan still aren't able to play, then who replaces Wright?

    @CodandChips: apart from your personal prejudice against him, I can't see any reason for dropping Bopara. He's made 60 runs in the two games and been not out both times and in the second game took England to a win. He's also useful cover in case an extra bowler is needed and is a pretty good fielder. Stokes, promising as he is, has done nothing in either game except score brownie points with some people for giving himself out. At this stage, there's no doubt who is the more valuable cricketer in this format.

  • Barry on March 5, 2014, 12:18 GMT

    When everyone endures matches like this on dodo bird dead pitches I hark for the new English season. Sure, we might get unlucky with showers too often but boy, when the sun is out and the Duke's seaming we are in player (and spectator) paradise!!!! Come on Ravi, fulfil your talent.

  • Ron on March 5, 2014, 12:10 GMT

    I'm not convinced that any team changes will make any difference to what has been a turgid, totally pointless series f games amongst the poorest quality teams in world cricket at the moment. England and West Indies have totally failed to inspire even the mildest support. I laugh because it is so bad. Just how much are these players getting paid again?????

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2014, 12:06 GMT

    eng will win the match.............

  • dappa on March 5, 2014, 11:42 GMT

    @ Karuna Prakash i agree wholeheartedly with bravo should not be in any of the west indian limited overs teams he soaks up a lot of dot balls and never seems to be accelerate like a lendyl simmonds who soaks up dot balls but accelerates down the stretch with power hitting. west indies have simply got to stop picking him based soley on the fact that he reminds us of lara

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2014, 10:44 GMT

    darren should be replaced with Marlon Samuels instead kirk edwards..since kirk edwards scored ton against newzealand and dwayne bravo should be playing in top 4!!!

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2014, 8:08 GMT

    I thought they were using a different pitch today?

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2014, 7:53 GMT

    I thought they were using a different pitch for this match?

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