5 talking points ahead of England’s third ODI against West Indies

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England face West Indies in the third one-day international at Bristol on Sunday with the hosts looking to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

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

England out to sign off in style

Eoin Morgan
(Mike Egerton/PA)

Eoin Morgan’s team have had a mixed summer. They banked early one-day international series wins over Ireland and South Africa and won two Twenty20s out of four. But they were disappointed with the ‘missed opportunity’ – as acknowledged by the captain and England and Wales Cricket Board director Andrew Strauss – when they went out of the Champions Trophy at the semi-final stage to shock tournament winners Pakistan. They have the chance to go 2-0 up with two to play after the third Royal London ODI against West Indies in Bristol, and could do with a morale-boosting series success to upgrade their end-of-term report.

Gayle returns

Chris Gayle
(Martin Rickett/PA)

Morgan and David Willey, in their turn, insisted they were easy either way whether Chris Gayle was passed fit for this match after the hamstring problem which ruled the West Indies opener out of the near washout at Trent Bridge on Thursday. There may have been a degree of tactical bluster in those responses from England – but in any case, they must plan to face the big-hitting batsman for the second time in the series after scans on his right leg indicated no serious problems. Willey has even suggested England have a plan to stop Gayle. Good luck!

Stokes v Samuels, episode 2

Ben Stokes
(Martin Rickett/PA)

This one was postponed at Trent Bridge, while it was Ben Stokes who decisively got the better of his old adversary Marlon Samuels as the hosts went one up at Old Trafford. There was no comedy salute as Samuels trudged off after a laboured 17 from 46 balls, but it perhaps would not have been out of place for Stokes to revisit the Jamaican’s own gambit from the 2015 Grenada Test after his fine spell helped to induce the mid-innings stall which left West Indies short of a defendable total. The saga is to be continued, and could easily deliver again at some point this week.

Willey needs to find a way

David Willey
(Nigel French/PA)

Morgan has made no bones about the fact Willey is in his team to swing the ball – and he needs to do it. Willey knows the message too, but has precious little time to make a breakthrough before the white ball stops helping him. If the Windies happen to latch on to him, and scuff the ball on the boundary boards, Willey’s chances of defeating them with late movement in the air recede dramatically. If he is going to repay England’s faith, he will need to strike early – or dig in and try to keep it tight.

Last Ashes call for Hales-Buttler

Alex Hales
(Martin Rickett/PA)

White-ball runs are perhaps not the best currency for a late dash into England’s Ashes squad – in fact, a timely Specsavers County Championship score early in the final round of matches on Monday may even tip the balance. But if Alex Hales and Jos Buttler are to keep themselves in the reckoning as back-up batsmen – and/or wicketkeeper in the latter’s case – then they have one more opportunity to press their claims here.

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