T20 series preview: West Indies v England

England

One venue, three matches, five days. England's preparations for the World Twenty20 continue as they look to find a winning formula, while the West Indies will want to find form as they head into a title defence.

One venue, three matches, five days. England's preparations for the World Twenty20 continue as they look to find a winning formula, while the West Indies will want to find form as they head into a title defence.

The one-day series in Antigua saw wildly inconsistent performances from both sides, with England emerging victors with a two-one margin. The Windies' batting line up, normally so deadly, failed to fire with any regularity.

But now they have Chris Gayle back in the mix, after he missed the ODIs with a hip injury. He'd been out for months thanks a hamstring injury he picked up late last year, and his absence has proven detrimental in more ways than one.

His return, even if he doesn't score big runs, will be a confidence booster for the hosts in Barbados, while players like Marlon Samuels and Dwayne Bravo will be glad for some pressure being taken off their shoulders.

The Windies bowling sees a potential new cap in fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell, who has just the one Test under his belt. Dwayne Bravo was the Windies' most effective bowler in the ODIs, while England's batsmen did not enjoy facing Sunil Narine.

England were dealt a big blow ahead of the series, which will likely carry to the World Twenty20, after Joe Root was ruled out with a broken thumb. He picked up the injury in the third ODI, and Ian Bell was called up to replace him.

Bell has not played a T20 for England since 2012, but his experience in an otherwise new-look line up will be important. Eoin Morgan's knee injury has cleared though, while Alex Hales should also be good to go.

Local eyes will be on England paceman Chris Jordan, who is from Barbados and moved to England as a teenager after being scouted. He does not have a T20 cap as yet, and went for 67 runs and took no wickets in the one ODI he played in Antigua.

The spin department has been depleted with the absence of Root, who has become an all-rounder since Graeme Swann's retirement. The pressure will thus be on James Tredwell to provide the containment and attacking duties, as is the T20 habit these days.

<b>Key Men</b><br>For the hosts, <b>Dwayne Bravo</b> will be the man to watch, despite the return of Gayle. Bravo's T20 record is impressive, especially as a bowler, and has a habit of demolishing a lower order and topping wicket-taking lists.

England will look to opener <b>Michael Lumb</b> to get the knock off to a rollicking start. He scored a ton in the first ODI, and with Root's absence he will need to keep the top order together and build a solid foundation for his side.

<b>Last Five Head-To-Head Results</b><br>2012 WT20: West Indies won by 15 runs in Pallekele<br>2012: England won by seven wickets in Nottingham<br>2011: West Indies won by 25 runs at The Oval<br>2011: England won by 10 wickets at The Oval<br>2010: West Indies won by eight wickets in Providence

<b>Squads</b><br><i>West Indies:</i> Darren Sammy, Samuel Badree, Dwayne Bravo, Johnson Charles, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell Marlon Samuels, Krishmar Santokie, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith

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

<b>Fixtures</b><br>First T20: 9 March in Bridgetown<br>Second T20: 11 March in Bridgetown<br>Third T20: 13 March in Bridgetown

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