West Indies vs England, 2nd T20I Preview: England mull altering T20 formula to succeed on tough pitches
For all their disappointment at the World Cup, West Indies have been brilliant at home in white-ball cricket of late.
England experience tough Caribbean pitches first hand
Even top teams have found it difficult to get past the Kieron Pollard led side on their home turf. Australia recently got a taste of that medicine when they lost by 1-4.
England, who have been performing exceptionally well in white ball cricket over the last few years, got to see it first hand in the first T20 International as they were bowled out for just 103.
The pitches in West Indies have not been great for batting with uneven bounce on offer. However, the England batters have themselves to blame as well as they played some irresponsible shots and were skittled out.
Even that included a recovery. Had it not been for a 23-ball 28 from Chris Jordan and an 18-ball 22 from Adil Rashid, the team would have folded for well under 100.
Captain Eoin Morgan despite chewing a lot of deliveries had his own part to play as he made 17 off 29 deliveries and ensured that England were able to stretch the innings.
The wrecker-in-chief for West Indies was former captain Jason Holder who knew exactly the lengths to bowl. The tall pacer extracted steepling bounce from the surface and made life difficult for the England batters.
At the same time, Akeal Hosein was able to extract sharp spin from the surface which was inconsistent to say the least. At times, the ball shot up from a length and at other times, it gripped and stayed low.
Not ideal preparation for T20 WC
England got to play a warm up match on quite a flat surface which saw Jason Roy come back to his old devastating form. However, the pitch - as they would have anticipated - they got in the series opener was a completely different surface and England could not use the conditions to their advantage.
To be honest, this might not be the perfect preparation for the upcoming T20 World Cup, with it set to be played on the flat and bouncy surfaces of Australia.
While West Indies have Rovman Powell, Roston Chase, Kyle Mayers, Hayden Walsh and Dominic Drakes on the bench, England have Liam Livingstone, Harry Brook, David Payne, Philip Salt, George Garton and Reece Topley as the other squad members.
Reece Topley to get a go?
West Indies are unlikely to tinker with their winning combination. England, on the other hand, would try to give a few opportunities to their young players as mentioned by Eoin Morgan before the beginning of the first T20 International.
One could not help but wonder how effective Reece Topley could have been on this surface. The second T20I will be played on a different strip in Bridgetown, Barbados but the conditions are expected to be similar and it is a very tempting prospect to give Topley a go.
He will not only be able to extract a lot of bounce similar to Jason Holder but his change of pace variations will also be a handful for the West Indies batters.
Not fully fit, Liam Livingstone is unlikely to play and Liam Dawson will get another opportunity.
Morgan's explosive brand vs tough conditions
Eoin Morgan said that England will come up with fresh strategies for the second T20 International. It would be interesting to see how much they can improvise with a turnaround of less than 24 hours for the next match.
The brand which England like to play in white ball cricket won't be the most feasible on the kind of surfaces on offer in the Caribbean and that should make for an enthralling spectacle.
Predicted playing XIs
West Indies - Brandon King, Shai Hope (wk), Darren Bravo, Nicholas Pooran, Kieron Pollard (c), Jason Holder, Fabian Allen, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Akeal Hosein, Sheldon Cottrell
England - Jason Roy, Tom Banton, James Vince, Moeen Ali, Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings (wk), Chris Jordan, Liam Dawson, Adil Rashid, Reece Topley, Saqib Mahmood/Tymal Mills
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