The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is already been dominated by one factor: Rain. Looking at the number of games that have been washed out, the rain is currently leading the points table with the rest of the teams playing catch-up. Heading into the match in Southampton, England will not only be praying that the rain stays away but they will also be hoping to get rid of the Gayle-storm. In the previous series between the two sides, Gayle blasted 39 sixes against England and his big scores posed plenty of problems to an England side in the series which ended 2-2.
For England, they are sitting pretty after bouncing back from defeat against Pakistan to win comfortably against Bangladesh. For the West Indies, they will be frustrated with a narrow loss to Australia and the wash-out against South Africa in Southampton. The weather forecast is again not looking good for Southampton. If it is overcast, then it is advantage England. The bowling attack has plenty of options with seam, pace and spin while the batting has plenty of power thanks to Jos Buttler, Jason Roy, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan and Jonny Bairstow. With Bairstow and Roy coming back to form, the opening partnership looks steady.
For West Indies, Gayle holds the key. His big-hitting had helped West Indies immensely in the ODIs against England and also in the game against Pakistan. The fast bowling department is in good hands with Sheldon Cottrell and Oshane Thomas showing their mettle. West Indies need to play smart cricket and play calmly according to the situations if they are to get over the line.
Moeen Ali was left out to include an extra pacer against Bangladesh. However, Eoin Morgan might not want to change the winning combination. For West Indies, they will be hoping that Andre Russell is fit and should he overcome his injury woes, Russell is an automatic slot.
England (Playing XI): Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan(c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler(w), Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood
West Indies (Playing XI): Chris Gayle, Shai Hope(w), Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder(c), Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Ashley Nurse, Kemar Roach, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas
Who will win?
India has a much-better bowling and batting line-up than New Zealand. However, if the pitch offers seam movement and if the weather remains overcast, then New Zealand hold the edge.
Weather and pitch
This is the most dominant question of all. The weather in Southampton is not all that great. There are chances of rain and it could end up being another spoiler.
West Indies are the two-time champions but surprisingly, they have a poor record against England. Their only victory against them came in 1979 when they won the title. Apart from that, they have tasted defeat in every game.
Stadium and timings
The match will be played at Rose Bowl, Southampton and the match will begin at 3:00 PM IST.