West Indies One-day International (ODI) skipper Dwayne Bravo says the regional team will be using the ODI series against England, bowling off today at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua at 9.30 a.m., as a “test” to see his team’s progress in the format, rather than preparation for their ICC Twenty20 World Cup title defence next month.
With the T20 World Cup bowling off on March 16, the West Indies find themselves in a three-match One-Day International series followed by a three-game T20 series against England with both teams seeking consistency more than anything else.
In their previous nine matches, three against India, five against New Zealand and one against Ireland, the West Indies have won four and lost four with one being abandoned, while their opponents have lost four of their last five matches.
Bravo, speaking to the media yesterday, said the series is an important one.
“We will be playing against a higher-ranked team and as a young one-day team looking to move forward and build some momentum, I think this is really going to test us.
“We had a decent tour in New Zealand. We drew the series 2-2 there in very tough conditions and with a very inexperienced team missing some of our senior players. We won the one-off game against Ireland, and there were some good signs with some batsmen getting 50s, but it is important we play to our true potential.
“We know that England’s standard of cricket is going to be different. It gives us an opportunity to play competitive cricket against a very good team and gives us the chance to see where we are at,” the West Indies skipper explained.
Bravo said that though West Indies were still missing key players due to injury (Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard), “it is not going to be a one-sided contest”.
“I think the (England) squad is very good,” he continued. “We do not expect it will be an easy game. They are a very good team and we expect a very good, competitive contest.”
West Indies: Dwayne Bravo (captain), Darren Bravo, Kirk Edwards, Jason Holder, Nikita Miller, Sunil Narine, Kieran Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Marlon Samuels, Darren Sammy, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith
England: Stuart Broad (captain), Eoin Morgan, Moeen Ali, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Jos Buttler, Jade Dernbach, Harry Gurney, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Michael Lumb, Stephen Parry, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, James Tredwell, Luke Wright