West Indies begin a long T20I series on the back of a humiliating defeat at the hands of Ireland at home, albeit in an ODI series. This being a 20-over assignment would suit them better but still, the embarrassment of being beaten on their own turf by a side considered much smaller must still be stinging.
Their reputation in T20 is also fast vanishing, with the attrition exacerbated by their disappointing display in the World Cup last year when they lost four of their five games and crashed out.
Their head coach Phil Simmons says the entire system has a batting problem. “Everything comes from lower down: if you’re coming into our squad and you’re averaging 30s when you come to the top level, you’re not going to average 40 or 50,” he was quoted as saying by ESPN this week.
In the midst of it all, they face an England side that was itself humiliated during the Ashes and would now be keen to demolish someone to feel better.
God help the Windies!
England came to the Caribbean without a number of their regular stars such as Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Chris Woakes, and Mark Wood.
In their absence, captain Eoin Morgan has been handed six new players who may be new to this stage but are very experienced in T20 leagues and pack a ton of quality. They still have 11 players from the side that made the World T20 semis last year.
Left-arm pacers David Payne and George Garton are complete newbies for this level with zero caps for England.
England made their intentions unknown in the recent warmup game against Barbados Cricket Association President’s XI where Jason Roy, back from a calf injury, hit a 36-ball ton as the visitors won by 93 runs.