Update April 3, 2016

Dhaka 8-22 am, 29-October, 2020

Mouth watering contest expected at cricket’s collegium

Sumel Sarker

Cricket t20

Mouth watering contest expected at cricket’s collegium

03 April 2016, Nirapad News: Cricket artists vs workmen. Craftsmen vs professionals. Mouth watering contest is expected at Eden Gardens this evening. It will be flair against tradition, it will be power cricket against professional classic cricket when the glamour guys from Caribbean Islands appear in T20 World Cup final against the die heart professionals of England at Eden Gardens this evening . All form of cricket whether test cricket, 50 Overs ODI or T20 international originated in England.

In all formats West Indies dominated at some stage or other. In the contest of cricketers of such rich traditions cricket admirers can expect mouthwatering contest. Eden Gardens is the place of pilgrimage for cricket lovers .If weather holds cricket colosseum would witness an epic contest even if tournament favorites and host India is out of the contest.

Redoubtable Chris Gayle blew out England challenge when these two teams met in the group stage. On the flat wicket of Eden another Gayle show is very much expected. But English bowlers also have professional skills not making similar mistakes a second time. But Gayle is a player who punishes not only bad balls he can blast good deliveries when in mood. The outcome of the contest will to a great extent depend how Morgan’s men manages master blaster.

West Indies was among pre-tournament favorites along with home team India and favorite in any tournament Australia. West Indies lived upto the billing winning all but one match in the group on their way to the semi final. England was blown away in the first match. Sri Lanka and South Africa proved no match for them. Then in a non-consequential contest Caribbean pride was rubbed by emerging Afghanistan. West Indies shocked the hot favorite India in the tight semi final.

England was not expected to drive deep into the tournament. Either South Africa or Sri Lanka was tipped above England to qualify from the group .But after losing to West Indies in the first match England surprised all chasing successfully a very steep target of 230 against South Africa and pipping Sri Lanka to the post .Afghanistan’s challenge was also subdued . England played cool and calculative against tweeting Kiwis in the semifinal in reaching the final.

West Indies play their cricket in a much different manner. Their power hitting specials muscles their way out under pressure unlike most of the other teams. The can either bowl to precision or look ordinary. They field acrobatically looking like cheetahs chasing their prey. West Indies can always be expected to challenge any team any day in the limited over version of the game anywhere in the world.

Gayle apart West Indies have power hitters like Charles, Samuels, Simmons, Bravo, Russel and Sammy. Any one of the above can win match on their own with the bat. In the semifinal India managed to send back Gayle and Samuels early .But Charles, Simmons and Russel chased the steep target India set like racing motorcade on the course .Power hitters like Bravo and Sammy were even not required. This West Indies team has players who have entertained Indian crowd at almost every venue in IPL. They are crowd pullers and great entertainers.

England on the other hand does not possess so many impact cricketers like West Indies . England is rationalist .All formats of cricket were born in England. But they took time in getting used to ODI and T20 .Quiely they changed from ordinary team to real contestants. England are second only to West Indies in six-hitting, and only by a count of two. England make up for it with a lower dot-ball percentage – 33.85 to West Indies’ 45.44, but West Indies have conceded runs at only 7.25 an over compared to England’s 8.53. West Indies have edged England with their boundary percentage, but not by a lot.

England appeared in the final of the World Cup at Eden Gardens in 1987. They must be still ruining the soft dismissal of Mike Gatting letting the match going out the English grip. We are sure if similar situation is created again England has weapons to outsmart West Indies this time. Roy, Hales, Root, Morgan, Buttler, Strokes, Moeen Ali are better equipped batsmen and are horses for the course on flat wicket. England has to post at least 200 if the bat first to stretch West Indies.

In the business as usual teams should remain unchanged. But if wicket has some turn teams may appear with two spinners. The possibility of dew coming has to the taken into account.

England (probable): 1 Jason Roy, 2 Alex Hales, 3 Joe Root, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Jos Buttler (wk), 6 Ben Stokes, 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Chris Jordan, 9 Adil Rashid, 10 David Willey, 11 Liam Plunkett.

West Indies (probable): 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Johnson Charles, 3 Lendl Simmons, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 6 Dwayne Bravo, 7 Andre Russell, 8 Darren Sammy (capt), 9 Carlos Brathwaite, 10 Sulieman Benn, 11 Samuel Badree.

Eden Garden wicket may have something for both batsmen and the bowlers. The media has reported the existence of grass cover. But there may be dew coming .So team chasing may have added advantage. Toss may be a deciding factor .Weather forecast talks about thunder storm. But there is no great concern of match disrupting that much.

As for the record West Indies in the past met England twice in the final of world tournament. West Indies beat England at Lords in 1979 World Cup final and in the Champions Trophy final in 2004.

It may come down to English bowlers against the West Indian Power hitters for deciding the fate of the match. West Indians never hold back their natural stint. It will be patience of English professionals against big hitting West Indians that will be tested.

Team holding nerves at crucial moments will win the day. England also possess some power hitters in their team although may not be of the same class which can win match for them. Let the better team on the day win.

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