England put Windies in to bat in opening T20


Gros Islet (Saint Lucia) (AFP)

England captain Eoin Morgan won the toss and has predictably put the West Indies in to bat in the first day/night fixture of a three-match T20 International series at the Darren Sammy Stadium in St Lucia on Tuesday.

With a focus on the 50 overs-per-side World Cup in England which is now less than three months away, the West Indies, the World T20 title-holders, have taken the unprecedented step of retaining the entire ODI squad which drew the preceding five-match series 2-2 (one match in Grenada was rained off) with the visitors.

Due to this shift in policy, Jason Holder is playing his first T20I in almost two years and leads the home side instead of regular T20 captain Carlos Brathwaite.

England have rested tearaway fast bowler Mark Wood for this game while Dawid Malan, who has not played in any international format since the first Test against India last August in Birmingham, remains on the sidelines with Joe Denly and Sam Billings preferred in the middle-order.

Teams: West Indies ? Jason Holder (captain), Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Shai Hope (wicketkeeper), Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Carlos Brathwaite, Ashley Nurse, Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas.

England: Eoin Morgan (captain), Alex Hales, Jonny Bairstow (wicketkeeper), Joe Root, Sam Billings, Joe Denly, David Willey, Tom Curran, Liam Plunkett, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid.

Umpires: Gregory Brathwaite (WIS), Nigel Duguid (WIS)

Match Referee: Andy Pycroft (ZIM)