World Cup 2019, England vs West Indies: 5 players to watch out for
England have won two of their three matches at the World Cup 2019 so far. They dominated their previous match against Bangladesh, posting 386-6 before restricting their opponents to 280 runs.
The West Indies’ campaign has been one of mixed fortunes. They won by seven wickets against Pakistan in their first game, bowling out the opposition for 107 before romping home in only 13.4 overs. They then lost against Australia by 15 runs in their second match. Their most recent clash against South Africa was abandoned due to rain.
Both teams boast strong batting line-ups. It will probably be a high-scoring match with a lot of runs. Let us look at five players who have the potential to stand out in Friday’s match.
#5 Sheldon Cottrell
Cottrell is one of the most flamboyant players in the tournament. He has become well-known for his wicket-celebrations; the bowler faces the dressing-room each time after taking a wicket and salutes.
The reason for the salute is his profession. Cottrell is a soldier for the Jamaican Defence Force and by saluting he shows respect for them.
Cottrell throws back his head after saluting and roars in undisguised delight. The celebration shows how passionate the 29-year-old is about his cricket.
Cottrell has had a good World Cup so far. He took 1-18 versus Pakistan in the West Indies’ first game and followed it up with 2-56 against Australia.
He opened the bowling in Sunday’s rained-out match against South Africa. Cottrell took both wickets to reduce the opposition to 29-2 before rain intervened. He troubled the Proteas batsmen with his left-arm bowling.
The West Indian will be more than a handful against England if he keeps up his rhythm.
Also read - World cup winners captains list
#4 Jofra Archer
Jofra Archer has constantly had the spotlight on him in the World Cup 2019. Commentators have marveled at his ability to bowl 150kmph with apparently little effort.
Archer also has extra bounce to go with his pace. He can bowl nasty bouncers, as Hashim Amla found out in the tournament’s first match.
Amla was hit on the helmet by a bouncer and had to go off for a concussion test. The batsman was so ruffled that he had to sit out of South Africa’s next match versus India.
Archer picked up figures of 3-27 from the match.
The 24-year-old also picked up three wickets against Bangladesh (England’s third match). Archer bowled a 153kmph ball during the match.
The bowler will look to use this express pace to knock over the West Indies top-order on Friday. But Archer does not rely only on pace. He will aim to get wickets in the middle overs too with his array of slower balls and yorkers.
#3 Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes is one of the most talented all-rounders in the world. He can bat well, bowl well and can take some mind-blowing catches.
The 28-year-old has been superb in all three facets at the World Cup 2019. He scored 89 to help England post a winning total against South Africa in the first match of the tournament. He then took one of the best-ever catches while fielding.
Andile Phehlukwayo struck the ball firmly to the mid-wicket boundary. Stokes came in from the rope but he misjudged the ball’s trajectory. It was going over his head. No problem; he leaped into the air and the ball miraculously stuck in his outstretched hand.
The crowd was dead silent as Stokes tumbled to the ground. Everybody was in disbelief.
The all-rounder took 2-12 in the same match. He picked up 3-23 against Bangladesh in his team’s third match.
Stokes can be a standout player in Friday’s match versus the West Indies.
#2 Shai Hope
Shai Hope has been the West Indies’ best batsman in the past year. He averages 50. 56 from his 57 matches.
He had a slow start to his career; after reaching his maiden century in November 2016 (his second match), his second one came two years and 34 innings later: he hit 123 versus India in October 2018.
That match started a prolific run-scoring streak which has not stopped. Hope has scored five centuries in his last 18 innings.
He will be confident against England in Friday’s match. But the 25-year-old will face a lot of short balls. Hope is still vulnerable against this delivery despite having improved considerably against fast bowling.
He will bat against England’s fast bowling pair of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood. Hope has the ability to notch up a tall score for his side if he rides out the early storm.
#1 Jason Roy
Jason Roy is one of the most destructive opening batsmen in the world. He scores his runs very quickly; each and every one of his eight centuries has come at a rapid rate.
The 28-year-old has scored three so far in 2019.
The first one was an innings of 123 against the West Indies in February. He then hit four successive 50-plus scores in May: 87, 76 and 114 against Pakistan and 54 in the first World Cup match versus South Africa.
Roy managed only eight against Pakistan in his second match of the tournament but he stormed back with 153 against Bangladesh.
This run of form proves why he is highly rated in England.
The batsman will aim to get his team off to a flying start against the West Indies. Roy can afford to take chances because England has arguably the longest batting line-up in the world.