England - West Indies World T20 Preview: Can England get off to a winning start against Gayle?

The first matchup of Group 1 sees England take on the West Indies in Mumbai for what should be a hotly contested affair, but which team will get their campaign off to a winning start?

England - West Indies World T20 Preview: Can England get off to a winning start against Gayle?
Could Chris Gayle be the difference between the two sides? | Photo: icc

England will face the West Indies tomorrow in the World T20 Super 10 Stage. It will be the third match of the competition and the opening match for Group 1. The game is set to begin at 2:00 pm GMT at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai and both sides will be keen to get off to a winning start. 

England will be looking to recover from their poor series in South Africa where they lost the series 2-0 and recover the form which revived the fortunes of this England side as they went on a run of 6 T20 matches unbeaten. England did taste victory in both of their warm-up matches beating both New Zealand and the local side Mumbai XI.

The West Indies, however, will be hoping to put their recent off the field issues, which resulted in a number of key players refusing selection, behind them and take the West Indies back to the forefront of limited overs cricket. The West Indies have had a number of pre-tournament setbacks. Spinner Sunil Narine remains to be banned from bowling with an illegal action, all-rounder Andre Russell could face a ban after missing three doping tests in a year whilst Kieron Pollard and Darren Bravo both pulled out of the squad following their selection.

Previous Meetings

England haven't faced the West Indies in a T20 match since back in March 2014 when England toured the West Indies. The West Indies were the victors then, as they won that series 2-1. 

Since then England have gone under a major regeneration in their team and are now optimistic about the future, whereas West Indies' side hasn't changed majorly and age is now becoming an issue for Darren Sammy's side.

Key Players

For England Jos Buttler's form could be crucial to England's chances in this competition. The explosive wicket-keeper/batsman is likely to bat around the number 4 position for England and having been signed for Mumbai Indians in the IPL he is one of few internationally recognised T20 stars in this England side. If he receives the support he deserves from the other recognised batsmen such as Joe Root and Alex Hales then England should be onto a winner.

Jos Buttler's incredible hitting could make him England's star man for this tournament | Photo: icc
Jos Buttler's incredible hitting could make him England's star man for this tournament | Photo: icc

Chris Gayle is obviously the key component of this West Indies team. The devastating T20 specialist can tear any opposition's bowling attack to shreds and could be extremely effective against England's very inexperienced bowling attack. If he gets the kind of back-up he needs the West Indies will go a long way in this competition.

Probable Team Line-Ups

England: Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Jos Buttler (wk), Eoin Morgan (c), Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Chris Jordan, David Willey, Reece Topley

West Indies: Chris Gayle, Johnson Charles, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Andre Russell, Carlos Braithwaite, Darren Sammy (c), Jason Holder, Sulieman Benn, Jerome Taylor