Its action time at the Rose Bowl as England lock horns with West Indies in the first of the 3 ODI Series. England were the winners of the Test Series by pounding West Indies 2-0 and they would like to carry on the momentum in the ODI Series as well. England will be facing a resurgent West Indies side who will be coming at them more fiercely than they did in the Test matches. Skipper Alastair Cook will be the trump card as far as England are concerned because he has found his touch in the limited overs format after he was included in the ODI team and given the captaincy. He is like a rock at the top of the order and England will want him to bat as long as possible. The middle order will be filled by the likes of Bell and Bopara and both are making a comeback in the England side. So, both will have a point to prove to the selectors as well. Kevin Pietersen will definitely be missed by England because he played Sunil Narine pretty well in the Tests. The trio of Anderson, Broad and Swann will be the ones doing the damage with the ball and try to restrict the big fellows Gayle, Bravo, Pollard and Russell.
West Indies now have a match winner at the top of the order, whom they dearly missed in the last 15 months. Chris Gayle is the talking point before today's game and he will certainly be playing in the minds of the England think tank. He is in devastating form with the bat and West Indies will count upon him to provide them a quick start. West Indies have also got four quality all rounders in their ranks in the form of Dwayne Bravo, Pollard, Sammy and Russell. All of them are potential match winners and can turn the tide in their team's favour at any stage of the match. Sunil Narine is going to be the trump card with the ball because batsmen found it difficult to get after him in the IPL. So, West Indies will be starting the ODI Series on equal terms with England, which was not the case when the Test Series started.
Be ready to witness a thrilling encounter today at 9.45 GMT at the Rose Bowl, Southampton.
- ENGLAND-Cook, Bell, Swann, Anderson, Broad.
- WEST INDIES-Gayle, Pollard, Narine, Sammy, Russell.