Chris Gayle's return and other talking points as England face West Indies at Old Trafford

Sport360 staff 23:35 18/09/2017
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England take on a West Indies side buoyed by their success in the one-off Twenty20 when the one-day international series gets under way at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of the talking points.

Back on the horse for England

England’s Champions Trophy semi-final exit at the hands of shock tournament winners Pakistan was their last ODI performance, more than three months ago back in mid-June.

Their only white-ball venture since was Saturday’s Twenty20 defeat against West Indies at Chester-le-Street.

Eoin Morgan’s men need to get back on track therefore in this five-match series as they seek to prove to themselves and others that they will be major contenders at their own World Cup in 2019.

England

No ground big enough

Chris Gayle is the world’s first batsman to 100 Twenty20 sixes, after his latest exploits at Chester-le-Street on Saturday night.

The veteran big-hitter, 38 on Thursday, will doubtless be out to add to his 238 maximums to date in ODI cricket on his return to the format for the first time in two and a half years after his stand-off with the West Indies board.

However he fares, though, there are at least five players on each team with the power game to dwarf any venue.

Chris Gayle

Chris Gayle

Monster totals then?

Not necessarily. The weather will play a big part, of course – and in modern ODI cricket, there is always potential for a one-off flake-out as teams target huge totals batting first and occasionally fall in a heap doing so.

If the skies are blue, there should be some decent pitches, but Morgan has already warned there may be some “tired” ones too at this late stage of the summer. A variety of up-and-down totals is therefore likely.

Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes

Jonny, not Jason

Jason Roy’s first-ball duck in Durham, and another handy innings from Jonny Bairstow in the middle order there too, has tipped the balance in favour of the Yorkshireman opening in the first ODI at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

Roy ceded his position to Bairstow for the latter stages of the Champions Trophy after a miserable sequence of scores which dated back to another golden duck at the start of the summer against Ireland in Bristol.

His last half-century came against the Windies in Antigua in March, and Bairstow’s consistency has persuaded Morgan to go slightly safety-first here.

Jonny Bairstow

Jonny Bairstow

Who wins?

All recent form in the longer white-ball format, unlike in Twenty20, points to England – despite the return of West Indies’ cavalry.

Gayle and Marlon Samuels are back in the fray, the latter a notable presence with another opportunity to square up to one of his favourite England players, match-winning all-rounder Ben Stokes.

Gayle, Samuels and Jerome Taylor will bolster the team dismissed 3-0 by England back in the Caribbean in March.

England prevailed by some hefty margins there, and follow-up success by anything other than a degree of comfort back on home soil will be a surprise.

Eoin Morgan (r) and Jason Holder.

Eoin Morgan (r) and Jason Holder.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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Chris Gayle's top three ODI innings as he makes comeback for West Indies

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It has been almost 30 months since Chris Gayle last featured for West Indies in an ODI match. On Tuesday though, the 37-year-old will take the field at Old Trafford in Manchester in the first of the five-match ODI series against England.

Recalled to the 50-over setup for the first time since the ICC World Cup 2015, Gayle has already demonstrated to the hosts just about how dangerous he can still be with bat.

The Jamaican became the first man in the history of T20I cricket to hit a century of sixes in the format after he smacked four towering sixes in his rapid innings of 41 against England in the sole T20I between the two sides at Chester-le-street on Saturday.

As the Kingston-born man gets ready to make his ODI comeback, we take a look at three of his greatest 50-over innings in a career spanning 269 matches.

215 vs Zimbabwe – Manuka Oval, Canberra

February 24, 2015 – ICC World Cup

Gayle celebrates becoming the first man to hit a World Cup double hundred.

Gayle celebrates becoming the first man to hit a World Cup double-hundred.

Gayle had struggled for form heading into the 2015 ICC World Cup with no century to his name in the 20 months prior to the tournament.

The Jamaican put on a batting display for the ages as minnows Zimbabwe bore the brunt of his ferocious hitting. Gayle became the first man to hit a double-century in the history of the World Cup as he bettered Gary Kirsten’s 188 against the UAE in 1996.

The left-hander put on a 372-run partnership for the second wicket with Marlon Samuels, a world-record stand for any wicket.

In total Gayle hit 16 sixes in his innings for his 215 in just 147 deliveries before being dismissed in the last-ball of the West Indies innings.

They would go on to win the match by 73 runs in the end while Gayle entered the record books.

133* vs South Africa  – SMS stadium, Jaipur

November 2, 2006 – ICC Champions Trophy (Semi-final)

Gayle remained unbeaten to take West Indies to the finals.

Gayle remained unbeaten to take West Indies to the finals.

The defending champions of 2004, West Indies were looking to book their spot in their second consecutive Champions Trophy final, but before doing that they had to face the Proteas in the penultimate hurdle.

The South Africans won the toss and decided to bat first, putting up a score of 258 in their 50 overs.

The pressure of a huge semi-final notwithstanding, Gayle was in the zone from the very first delivery as he wrested the initiative for West Indies.

Gayle was unperturbed as his side suffered a mini collapse towards the end of the chase as the left-hander remained unbeaten to guide his team through to the final courtesy a six-wicket victory.

In the end, the Jamaican hit three sixes and 17 boundaries in his 135-ball 133 which saw him named the Man of the Match.

132* vs England – Lord’s, London

July 6, 2004 – Natwest Tri-series

Gayle showed a completely different approach to his batting.

Gayle showed a completely different approach to his batting.

The left-hander has fond memories of England where he produced one of the most mature displays of his long and distinguished career at the Lord’s cricket ground.

With New Zealand having already confirmed its spot in the finals, the pressure was on West Indies and the hosts in the final group-game in the 2004 Natwest Tri-series in a winner-takes-all scenario.

Centuries from Andrew Strauss and Andrew Flintoff helped England set a stiff target of 286 for the men from the Caribbean.

After losing Dwayne Smith early, Gayle put on a 187-run stand with Ramnaresh Sarwan to put the Windies in the ascendancy.

Even though Sarwan and Brian Lara departed in quick succession, Gayle turned in an uncustomary display as he bid his time at the crease in watchful fashion to take his side home.

The Kingston man faced 165 deliveries for his unbeaten 132 as West Indies chased down England’s total with seven wickets to spare in the final over of their innings.

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Chris Gayle's ODI return a huge boost for West Indies, says Jason Holder

Sport360 staff 21:11 18/09/2017
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Chris Gayle

West Indies captain Jason Holder has backed the returning Chris Gayle to make a big impact in the one-day international series against England starting this week.

Tuesday’s fixture at Old Trafford, the first of a five-match ODI series, is set to be powerhouse opening batsman Gayle’s first at this level since the 2015 World Cup – where he made the first double century in the competition’s history, smashing a blistering 215 against Zimbabwe in Canberra.

A protracted dispute with cricket West Indies chiefs kept the 37-year-old Jamaica left-hander on the sidelines of the international game for more than two years.

But he returned to Twenty20 international action on his home ground of Sabina Park, Kingston, in July.

And he showed he had lost none of his ability to score rapidly with a blazing 40 off 21 balls as World Twenty20 champions West Indies beat England by 21 runs in the lone Twenty20 of their tour at Chester-le-Street on Saturday.

Gayle has scored more than 9,000 runs, including 22 hundreds, in 269 ODIs at a strike rate of 85.11.

Holder welcomed his impending return to the ODI format by telling reporters at Old Trafford on Monday: “It’s obviously a huge boost. The calibre of player Chris is, you can expect really good things from him.”

“He showed some form in the T20 game and had some good form in our CPL (Caribbean Premier League) competition recently concluded,” the all-rounder added.

“I’m really looking forward to having him back. He seems up for the challenge, he seems upbeat and really happy to be back. I’m looking forward to good things from Chris.”

TWENTY20WIN

Eoin Morgan (r) and Jason Holder.

Eoin Morgan (r) and Jason Holder.

Holder, not in the Twenty20 squad after leading West Indies in a 2-1 Test series loss to England earlier in the tour, said his side could take some confidence from a win at Chester-le-Street, where they overcame cold and wet conditions to record a convincing victory over England in a repeat of last year’s World Twenty20 final in Kolkata.

“That (Saturday’s) result should give is a bit of momentum, albeit a T20 game,” said Holder.

“We are professional athletes, we know what to expect here in English conditions. A few of the guys have played here before, a few played the T20 game coming into this one.”

The Barbados all-rounder added: “From all reports it was difficult in Durham with the wet outfield but it’s something we’ve grown to expect and you’ve just got to adapt and adjust to it.”

West Indies will need to win the upcoming series either 5-0 or 4-0 with a tie or a no-result if they are to gain direct entry into the 2019 World Cup in England.

A failure to do so would mean West Indies, the 1975 and 1979 World Cup winners, cannot overtake Sri Lanka, currently eighth in the ODI rankings.

Only the top seven sides, apart from hosts England, currently fourth, as of September 30 will qualify directly for the 50-over showpiece event in 2019.

Teams that do not gain direct entry will get another shot through a qualifying tournament.

“The guys are up for the challenge. We’ve obviously got some new faces coming back into the side and it’s exciting times for our cricket,” said Holder.

“We are still at a stage where we are looking to rebuild and hopefully these guys coming back can bring a lot of experience and expertise to what we are doing.”

Provided by AFP Sport

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