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Cricket news - England eye 3-0 finish to tough tour of West Indies

England have a chance to redeem a tough tour with a T20I series whitewash.

The T20I series thus far has come as the calm after the storm for England. As one of the title contenders for the home World Cup later this year, it was quite an eye-opener for them to be held 2-2 in the five-match series by the ninth-placed side on the ICC rankings - even if it happened at Windies' home. That after they were outclassed in the three-Test series.

With Windies' T20I reputation, England ran the risk of returning home without anything tangible to show for from a 46-day away sojourn. But a Sam Billings-Joe Root-Chris Jordan inspired England will now head into the final T20I after already having pocketed the series, and with the chance of sweeping it 3-0.

Losing a series is one thing, but losing face in a format they're so comfortable in is quite another. Windies - the two time T20 WC champions - were abject in the second T20I to the point that they came very close to taking away the ignominous record of the lowest T20I total from Netherlands. They avoided that somehow, even with nine players falling for single-digit scores, but a 45 all-out is a massive blot on their glowing T20I CV.

Jason Holder termed it his team's worst batting performance, but was quick to point out that his side has 'had more good days than England in this series'. Yet, the hosts will carry an itch to scratch - an urge to erase the scars of Friday, and write over it with the memory of pulling one back, even if it is inconsequential as far as the series is concerned.

When: Windies vs England, 3rd T20I, Monday, March 11 at 4:00 PM Local Time

Where: Warner Park, Basseterre, St. Kitts

What to expect: England's 182/6 in the second T20I was the first score in excess of 150 at the Warner Park in 13 games played at the venue since August 2009. Last year's CPL though paints a different picture, with five 150-plus totals being achieved - including a 199 and 206. Windies will hope to brush aside 45 all-out as an aberration and add to the growing list of big scores at the venue.

Team News

Windies

Amidst all the carnage that Windies suffered with the bat, it could be easily forgotten that the young and extremely promising fast bowler Obed McCoy got his debut in the second game. He too, though, might prefer it that way after being absolutely pulverised by Joe Root and Sam Billings to finish with bowling figures of 3-0-44-1. It is likely Windies will bring back in Oshane Thomas for the 22-year-old, if anything to protect McCoy from more woes at the hands of a devastating batting line-up.

Probable XI: Shai Hope(w), Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Darren Bravo, Nicholas Pooran, Carlos Brathwaite, Fabian Allen, Jason Holder(c), Devendra Bishoo, Oshane Thomas, Sheldon Cottrell

England

The overarching narrative from the ODI series was that one of the 2019 World Cup favourites were suddenly looking vulnerable with the ball in hand. Days are being counted down to March 17, when the Bajan-born Jofra Archer will be available to put on an England jersey and stake a late claim in the World Cup squad - even if David Willey isn't sure of this plan.

Chris Jordan, who hasn't played an ODI since September 2016, is understandably way down in the pecking order but is still an option the England team management can consider based on his exploits in the first two T20Is (3-0-16-2 and 2-0-6-4). Jordan will hope he can cap off the series with a third notable performance in a row to send another signal of his readiness.

Probable XI: Alex Hales, Jonny Bairstow(w), Joe Root, Eoin Morgan(c), Joe Denly, Sam Billings, David Willey, Tom Curran, Liam Plunkett, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid

What they said:

It was our worst batting performance. We have had more good days than England in this series. The energy in the field was excellent. We gave away too many runs in the death overs. We didn't get any partnership at all. We have played some decent cricket in this series: Jason Holder

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