West Indies vs England First T20 Preview and Prediction: Who Will Make Winning Start?

Jason Roy in T20 action for England.
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If it feels as though the Ashes only just finished, that’s because they more or less did. But England are back in action all the same, hoping to put that humiliation behind them. The West Indies have their own demons to lay to rest after a hugely disappointing series loss to Ireland earlier this month. But who will come out on top here? Read on for our full West Indies vs England first T20 preview and prediction:

West Indies vs England First T20 Preview and Prediction

Recent Form

England may have been thrashed by Australia in red-ball cricket, but their white-ball teams are still in rude health. They did disappoint at the T20 World Cup where they looked like the favourites at the start of the tournament but ultimately lost out in the semifinals, but they almost certainly would have beaten New Zealand in that match had the toss gone their way. They also probably would have liked their chances of beating Australia in the final. They haven’t played a T20 since, however.

The West Indies too have not played much T20 cricket since the World Cup. They did tour Pakistan in December, but will probably want to put that out of their minds. Coming hot on the heels of their disappointing campaign at the World Cup, they were beaten 3-0 by Pakistan, although their performances did arguably improve as the series went on. Still, wins have been few and far between for the men in maroon of late. They will be desperate for that to change here.

Expected Teams

The West Indies white-ball set-up is arguably in need of a refresh. That may come in the form of a new opening combination of Brandon King and Kyle Mayers, with Nicholas Pooran – still short of runs – in at three. Roston Chase will bat at four, though he too has been in poor touch, with Kieron Pollard filling a power-hitting role at six. Jason Holder should get the nod at seven, with Fabian Allen at eight, Romario Shepherd at nine, Akeal Hossain or Hayden Walsh Jr at 11 and Sheldon Cottrell at 11 the bowling contingent.

For England, Jason Roy will provide impetus at the top with Tom Banton his likeliest partner. James Vince will be the next man in with Moeen Ali at four and Eoin Morgan at five. Phil Salt, an opener by trade, may be shuffled down the order to bat at six to cover for the absence of Liam Livingstone. Sam Billings will also likely be rested. Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, George Garton, Saqib Mahmood and Tymal Mills look to be the frontrunners to comprise the bowling attack.

Prediction

It has become almost par for the course to write off England’s Test match failures as the result of the ECB’s focus on the white-ball game and there is certainly an element of truth to it. But it also shouldn’t be ignored just how good England are in T20s and ODIs when they are on song. They boast perhaps the most destructive top order in the world and they bat deep. The West Indies are still licking their wounds after a disappointing spell, but may need to be prepared to suffer some more here.

Prediction: England win.

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