England vs West Indies: Youthful England to showcase talent
England may have a largely youthful and relatively unknown squad at their disposal for the two Twenty20 games with the West Indies at Lord’s, but this should not stop the winning mentality that has been the feature of their game all summer.
Defeat was avoided in all cricket formats against India and England’s cricket odds are 4/11 to triumph again in their first T20 clash with West Indies.
England may have six players aged 22 or less with little experience in their ranks, but with the T20 World Cup on the horizon next year, the challenge begins now to try to secure a place on the plane for Sri Lanka.
Jonny Bairstow has already highlighted his credentials with a quick-fire 41 on his one-day debut against India, while Jos Buttler made a dogged 86 in Somerset’s recent losing effort in the Clydesdale Bank 40 final against Surrey.
The one question mark over England is that their batting line-up may be short of an experienced and calm head, with Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan all absent.
Graeme Swann will certainly have to show some composure in the dressing room in his first game as England captain.
The West Indies have also brought a youthful team to England as they have one eye on bringing through some young talent ahead of the next T20 World Cup.
It is 9/4 in the cricket betting that the West Indies beat England and if they are to achieve this result, old heads Darren Sammy and Marlon Samuels may have to shine.
One of the more interesting markets will be who will end the showdown as England’s top runscorer.
Craig Kieswetter is the favourite at 7/2, but he has a tendency to go for too many big shots at the start of an innings which can get him out cheaply.
Ravi Bopara is a much more reserved player and was perhaps England’s star batsmen in the one-day series with India, which shows the strength of his current form.
He looks the better option in this market at 9/2.