Cricket World Cup 2011
Preview: Eng vs Windies
Resurgent Windies. (AFP)
Chennai - It's do or die time for an England team that is struggling for consistency, as they face a resurgent West Indies team.Venue guideChennai
, MA Chidambaram Stadium
England's route through the World Cup has been dogged by poor performances by its key players, with captain Andrew Strauss and top order batsman Jonathan Trott the only exceptions.
Whispers of fatigue are dominating the camp, and it's not difficult to imagine the impact of over four months on the road, but Strauss has vowed to set these issues aside as his team faces a resurgent West Indies outfit led by Darren Sammy.
Confident after excellent wins over Bangladesh, the Netherlands and Ireland, with their only loss against South Africa, the Windies will feel that they have the upper hand as they face long-time rivals England in Chennai.
West Indies WWWLL
England LWLTW Watch out for...
Against South Africa last week, Chennai provided a surface that Graeme Swann would wish to roll up and lug with him around the subcontinent. With sharp turn and vicious bounce, it was Swann's spell that sowed the first seeds of doubt in South Africa's hitherto serene progress, and though he picked up the solitary wicket of Graeme Smith, his efforts emboldened every other member of the attack. The scenario was markedly different against Bangladesh in Chittagong, however, when the dew-sodden surface denied him what he felt were his just rewards, and led to a 10% fine for an audible outburst. With more floodlights in prospect, he might hope to get through his stint in the first innings.
Kieron Pollard has a career average of 21.87 in 36 ODIs, figures which scarcely do justice to the hype he has attracted in his short career, particularly in the Twenty20 format. But in a nip-and-tuck contest against Ireland last week, he unfurled his full repertoire in a savage and game-changing onslaught. His 94 from 55 balls included a ballistic tempo-change in the Batting Powerplay, a facet of the game that England have consistently failed to exploit. If England's bowlers fail to nail their lengths - and who knows what length works for a man with such a keen eye? - he is capable of ending their campaign in a matter of overs.Team news
England (likely): Andrew Strauss (capt), Matt Prior (wk), Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Eoin Morgan, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Paul Collingwood, Graeme Swann, Ajmal Shahzad/James Anderson, Chris Tremlett.
West Indies (likely): Chris Gayle, Devon Smith, Darren Bravo, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy (capt), Devon Thomas (wk), Nikita Miller, Sulieman Benn, Kemar Roach.Pitch and conditions
Strauss anticipates another low turner, which may yet influence the selection of an extra spinner, although neither Michael Yardy nor James Tredwell are treated with much confidence at present.Stats and trivia
England and West Indies have faced each other on five previous occasions in World Cup history, although West Indies' only victory came in their first encounter, in the 1979 final at Lord's.
The teams have faced each other on three previous occasions in India - in the 1987 World Cup, in the 1989 Nehru Cup, and in the 2006 Champions Trophy. England have won two of those three encounters. cricinfo.com