West Indies vs England 2019: 5 key takeaways from the ODI series
After an uplifting victory over England in the Test series, West Indies managed to score another major point by drawing the ODI series against a rampaging English team. Considered favourites for the World Cup, the visitors were expected to perform better in the ODIs.
But they failed to win this series as well. England have been on a streak of series victories but their juggernaut was halted by the Windies. The timing is bad for the hosts of the World Cup. Everything has been going right for them until now but this setback suggests that there are some areas which require fine-tuning.
West Indies, on the other hand, have again suggested that there is something akin to a resurgence in their cricket. Whether they can keep the momentum going remains to be seen. But they have shown that they are no pushovers and will be competing hard in the World Cup.
What the series would be remembered for is the unprecedented level of big hitting. The number of sixes hit was mind-boggling and the brutal assault by the batsmen was awe-inspiring even in this modern era of T20 cricket.
So, with this exciting and enthralling series coming to an end, let us recount the main takeaways. The things we learned are important in forming an estimate of these two teams' prospects for the big event later in the year.
Gayle is Back and How!
For the past few years, Chris Gayle has performed poorly for West Indies in ODIs and Tests. He seemed to lose his motivation when playing for them in these formats. It wouldn’t have been an exaggeration to describe him as mainly a free-agent plying his trade in T20 leagues.
But having declared his intention to retire from ODIs after the World Cup, Gayle was ready to dive headlong into ODI cricket with full intent to make an impact. And he did that in some style. The first ODI itself saw a hundred – his first against a strong team in many years – but it was a strange innings. He took his time to get settled and then went berserk in the latter stages.
But he showed that it is not the only way he can do business. His second hundred of the series in the fourth ODI was a spectacular knock while his blitzkrieg in the final game confirmed his status as one of the most dangerous batsmen in the international circuit.
Gayle’s power and ability were never in doubt. He can still hit the biggest sixes and accelerate the scoring rate as fast as anyone. But what this series established was his commitment and dedication to go out with a bang in ODI cricket. With him returning to form in such a magnificent manner, West Indies have gained a major boost before the World Cup.