Windies face English test in World T20 (Preview)

Mumbai, March 15 (IANS) The West Indies and England, two strong contenders for the World Twenty20, will aim for the first win of the competition when they face off in the Group 1 clash at the Wankhede Stadium here on Wednesday.

The 2010 World T20 winners England come into the competition after some quality limited-overs performances and with a good number of T20 specialists in the squad. Expect the Englishmen to give tough competition to the opposition.

In their warm-up match on March 12, a good batting display followed by some disciplined bowling saw England outclass New Zealand by six wickets.

Openers Jason Roy and Alex Hales, who looked in fine fettle against the Black Caps and also against local side Mumbai in their final warm-up game on Monday, will be a keen to give their side a good start against the West Indies.

The middle-order comprising skipper Eoin Morgan, Joe Root, hard-hitting wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler and all-rounder Ben Stokes build up a strong batting line-up.

As the pitches will favour the slower bowlers, preferably the tweakers, off-spinner Moeen Ali and leg-spinner Adil Rashid will be handy in these conditions. The duo troubled batsmen with variations and spin in both the warm-up fixtures here.

For seamers, Liam Plunkett, Reece Topley and David Willey make a good trio.

With a balanced squad, captain Morgan will hope his boys deliver to give themselves a winning start to the tournament.

On the other hand, 2012 winners West Indies will as always rely on swashbuckling batsman Chris Gayle to fire for them at the top. But the hard-hitter failed to impress in the warm-up game against India, scoring just 18.

Besides Gayle, opener Johnson Charles, middle-order batsmen Andre Fletcher, Marlon Samuels followed by some world class all-rounders in Darren Sammy, Dwayne Bravo, Andre Russell make them an explosive unit.

Experienced Jason Holder, Jerome Taylor will make a good pace bowling pair, besides spinners Samuel Badree, Sulieman Benn who can be handy with their variations.

With most of the players in the West Indies squad featuring in domestic T20 competitions around the globe, be it Indian Premier League (IPL), Caribbean Premier League (CPL), Big Bash League (BBL) to name a few, the experience they have gathered in the shortest format of the game will surely come into play and will keep them a step ahead.

The squads:

West Indies: Darren Sammy (captain), Chris Gayle, Johnson Charles, Marlon Samuels, Andre Fletcher, Dwayne Bravo, Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell, Jason Holder, Carlos Brathwaite, Ashley Nurse, Jerome Taylor, Sulieman Benn, Samuel Badree.

England: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Liam Dawson, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, James Vince, David Willey.

(Aritra Chowdhury can be contacted at

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