ODI series preview: West Indies v England

England

Far away from the Antipodes and even further from Bangladesh, which will host next month's World Twenty20, the wounds of the past and the pressures of the future must be faced.

Recently beaten by New Zealand and Australia respectively, the West Indies and England have plenty of wrongs to right across this three-match series in the Caribbean.

Far away from the Antipodes and even further from Bangladesh, which will host next month's World Twenty20, the wounds of the past and the pressures of the future must be faced.

The Windies are without Chris Gayle and England are minus Kevin Pietersen – both absentees are arguably blessings in disguise. Gayle's temporary exit due to injury will force the incumbents to shape up or ship out, while Pietersen's permanent ousting will allow the team a meddlesome-free year.

Defeat Down Under, across all three formats, genuinely damaged the English. Pietersen, spinner Graeme Swann and Test coach Andy Flower were final victims of the disastrous tour, and captain Alastair Cook will sit this one out. His sidelining, then, will allow T20I skipper Stuart Broad the necessary time to gel with his posse before heading to Bangladesh.

Big Bash sign-offs and Indian Premier Leagues Luke Wright, Jos Buttler, Alex Hales and Michael Lumb will have to concentrate on the tasks at hand – rather than what would have been imminent riches – which is certainly good for team unity. Indeed, Pietersen's preference for club over country was often contentious.

The Windies will soon have a WT20 crown to defend, but have slipped against Ireland recently. This doesn't bode well, but in front of adoring crowds and in familiar conditions, they should prevail – despite going without ODI success over England since March 2009.

The International Cricket Council rankings currently split fifth-placed England and eighth-position West Indies by 19 points. The margin is quite large, but will be slender – perhaps not in the tourists' favour – come the end of the series.

<b>Key Men</b><br>Gayle and all-rounder Kieron Pollard's injury absences has left plenty resting on the shoulders of replacement <b>Dwayne Smith</b>, both with bat and ball.

The visitors sport three new caps in Harry Gurney, Moeen Ali and <b>Stephen Parry</b>. The latter's role, after Swann jumped ship, is of particular importance – ahead of a couple of big months for English cricket.

<b>Last Five Head-To-Head Results</b><br>2012: Third ODI: Match abandoned in Leeds<br>2012: Second ODI: England won by eight wickets in London<br>2012: First ODI: England won by 114 runs in Southampton<br>2011: World Cup, Group B: England won by 18 runs in Chennai<br>2009: Third ODI: England won by 58 runs in Birmingham

<b>Squads</b><br><i>West Indies:</i> Dwayne Bravo, Darren Bravo, Miguel Cummins, Kirk Edwards, Jason Holder, Nikita Miller, Sunil Narine, Kieran Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Darren Sammy, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith.

<i>England:</i> Stuart Broad, Eoin Morgan, Moeen Ali, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Jos Buttler, Jade Dernbach, Harry Gurney, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Michael Lumb, Stephen Parry, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, James Tredwell, Luke Wright.

<b>Fixtures</b><br>First ODI: 28 February, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua<br>Second ODI: 2 March, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua<br>Third ODI: 5 March, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua

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