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West Indies vs England, 1st T20I Preview: England welcome change in format with renewed spirit and fresh personnel

West Indies' Nicholas Pooran and Fabian Allen Action
West Indies' Nicholas Pooran and Fabian Allen Action

None of the members part of England's Ashes touring party have been included in the T20I squad for the West Indies tour.

LIVE SCORES - West Indies vs England, 1st T20I

A welcome change for England

With the volume and the manner of the beatings that England have copped in recent times, not least the 4-0 Ashes bashing, the England fans would welcome a change in pattern albeit in a different format.

The captaincy armband will now be on the hands of Eoin Morgan and not Joe Root and with fresh personnel coming in - with the Ashes contingent getting a much-required rest - England will look to make a statement, particularly in white ball cricket to set up the year which has another T20 World Cup in store.

England a formidable T20 outfit

England were knocked out of the 2021 T20 World Cup after a defeat to New Zealand in the semifinals. It was essentially half an hour of brilliant cricket from Jimmy Neesham and Daryl Mitchell which crushed England's hopes of another white ball trophy.

However, they will not fret too much, knowing the nature of the beast. Morgan would know that he still has the team to dazzle opponents in the upcoming T20 World Cup.

Opportunities for reserve players

The team has a great opportunity to try out a few fringe players like Tom Banton, George Garton, Reece Topley and Phil Salt.

In the absence of Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes, Liam Livingstone and Moeen Ali will be major members of the England middle order. The visitors are expected to open the batting with Jason Roy and Tom Banton. Roy recently showed his classic touch with an explosive century in the warm-up match.

In the absence of Mark Wood, Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes, the likes of Saqib Mahmood, Tymal Mills and Reece Topley will expect to make inroads with the ball.

As always, the team has Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid and now the added advantage of Liam Livingstone in their spin department.

Collingwood in charge

With Chris Silverwood and Graham Thorpe given a break, Paul Collingwood and Marcus Trescothick have been assigned coaching duties for the West Indies tour. While announcing the white-ball squad, this is what Collingwood had to say.

"We have selected a strong squad with some serious batting power and a balanced attack as we begin preparations ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia," said Collingwood. "The World Cup is less than a year away and there will be increased opportunities for the squad in the absence of those players who are with the Ashes squad. I have good memories of winning a World Cup in Barbados and I’m really looking forward to going back there with this squad to face a very good West Indies who will test all aspects of our skills."

Windies' form poor

West Indies are coming off a drubbing against Pakistan after a poor showing in the T20 World Cup. 

There is a clear generational change in the team with the likes of Dwayne Bravo and Chris Gayle moving on.

Onus on captain Pollard

Brandon King showed some form against Pakistan and the team would expect him to continue on his merry way . The return of captain Kieron Pollard will be a huge boost for the West Indies.

So will be the comeback of Jason Holder and Fabian Allen. The team will expect big things of the two all-rounders. Odean Smith, Dominic Drakes and Romario Shepherd are also more or less in the same category.

Predicted playing XIs

- Jason Roy, Tom Banton, Phil Salt, Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone, Eoin Morgan, Sam Billings, Saqib Mahmood, Tymal Mills, Adil Rashid, Reece Topley

West Indies - Shai Hope, Brandon King, Devon Thomas, Nicholas Pooran, Kieron Pollard, Jason Holder, Fabian Allen, Odean Smith, Dominic Drakes, Romario Shepherd, Akeal Hosein

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