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Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Consistent Root set to deepen Windies’ woe

England value for whitewash

Joe Root looked in good nick during two warm-up innings
1 of 1

One-day series & first ODI
Sky Sports 2, 1.30pm Friday

England's three-match one-day series in the West Indies starts in Antigua and Eoin Morgan's men will be keen to hone their 50-over game before this summer's Champions Trophy.

England are 7-2 joint-favourites with Australia to lift the trophy at The Oval in June but the West Indies won't be featuring at the tournament having slipped to ninth - below Bangladesh - in the ICC rankings. 

That is a sad reflection of the disarray in Caribbean cricket and the Windies' most experienced and talented players now earn their keep in overseas domestic competitions.

England are 4-11 to win the opening game and the 3-0 away series win is an appealing bet at 11-8 given the hosts' troubles.

Complacency could be the main danger to England, who almost made a mess of Monday's warm-up game against a Cricket Board President's 11. Chasing 234 for victory, the tourists slumped from 128-1 to 177-7 before Chris Woakes steered them home with an unbeaten 47.

England's batting strength means Jonny Bairstow, who top-scored on Monday as a makeshift opener, may well lose his place to Jason Roy and Morgan, Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali form a mouthwatering middle-order unit.

The bowling department is less well-stocked, particularly as Jake Ball has joined David Willey on the injured list. Surrey's Tom Curran has been called up as cover for Ball.

England's attack conceded 356-7 and 381-6 in defeats to India in January before narrowly defending a target of 322 to win the dead rubber in Kolkata.

However, they are unlikely to come up against the kind of batting brilliance exhibited by India's Virat Kohli, Kedar Jadhav, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni when they take on a depleted Windies side.

Evin Lewis, Kieran Powell and Kraigg Brathwaite, who dominate the top-runscorer betting, have just 40 ODI caps between them and that lack of one-day nous could prove a decisive factor.

England’s new Test captain Root is a general 3-1 chance to top-score at a venue where he made 37, 23 and 107 in 2014.

Root's consistency is outstanding - he has reached 50 in seven of his last nine one-day innings and made 71 and 46 in two warm-up games in St Kitts.

The Yorkshireman is clearly frustrated about his failure to convert those starts into big, match-defining scores but he has an ideal opportunity to put things right in Antigua.

Recommendations
England to win series 3-0
3pts 11-8 Hills, Sky Bet
J Root top England runscorer in first ODI
2pts 3-1 general

Root’s consistency is outstanding - he has reached 50 in seven of his last nine one-day innings and made 71 and 46 in two warm-up games in St Kitts
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