Chris Gayle raring to settle scores against England in ODI showdown

first_imgReuse this content Share on Twitter England cricket team Cricket Since you’re here… Most of those at Bristol on Sunday, no matter who they are supporting, would welcome an hour of Gayle at the crease. He is now 38 and unlikely to grace our fields for much longer. But do not include David Willey among that number – he received some harsh treatment from Gayle at Old Trafford.Willey has the dubious privilege of propelling the new ball when he is on strike. He is forewarned. “We’ve seen what Gayle can do and he’s done it time and time again,” said Willey. “If it’s his day and he gets hold of it, the way he hits the ball [means it] is going to clear the ropes. So you want to get him early. We’ve looked at the footage and we’ve got a rough idea where we want to bowl to him.”But for a bowler of Willey’s pace some movement is essential and for him that usually comes from swing. This can be a fickle asset, as he explains: “A couple of hits on the square or the boundary boards and it just seems to stop swinging. It’s a precious time at the start and if you can get a couple wickets [especially if one of them is Gayle] it can make life a lot easier.”England are firm favourites to prevail and are in good heart after the win at Old Trafford, though those contemplating the more demanding challenges ahead in Australia will be hugely disappointed by the news of Toby Roland-Jones’s stress fracture. He had rapidly become an extremely popular – and effective – member of the Test team. This setback may have prompted Trevor Bayliss and Joe Root to pay special attention to Mark Wood, who bowled in the nets at Bristol on Saturday. Wood has played one match in the past two months as he attempts to recover from a heel injury. It is possible that he may play in Durham’s final Championship match of the season at Worcester on Monday. In which case the scrutiny of his bowling – and his reaction to that process – will be even more intense.England (possible): EJG Morgan (capt), AD Hales, JM Bairstow, JE Root, BA Stokes, JC Buttler (wkt), Moeen Ali, CR Woakes, Adil Rashid, LE PLunkett, DJ Willey.West Indies (possible): J Holder (capt), C Gayle, E Lewis, S Hope (wkt), M Samuels, J Mohamed, A Nurse, R Powell, J Taylor, K Williams, M Cummins.Umpires: S Fry (Aus) and M Gough (Eng). Read more Share on Pinterest Support The Guardian Share on WhatsApp Toby Roland-Jones out of England’s Ashes squad after back injury diagnosis features The Observercenter_img Read more Share via Email West Indies cricket team Chris Gayle Topics Share on LinkedIn The ODI circus has descended upon Bristol in the hope of reigniting the series against West Indies. The first match at Old Trafford was a cakewalk for England, the second at Nottingham was ruined by rain. The series needs a lift and the man most likely to provide it, Chris Gayle, is expected to be fit to play after tweaking his hamstring in Manchester. “He seems to be raring to go,” said his captain, Jason Holder. It is sometimes hard to tell with Gayle.His presence in this series is to be welcomed. Gayle does look faintly ridiculous wrapped up in his sweaters, shambling the odd single between the sixes when batting and neatly plonking his foot on the ball in the field when he has been removed from his favoured position at first slip.This must have been how WG Grace finished his career at Bristol. Yet Gayle still adds lustre to the event. He is a one-off, who surely clears the boundary more regularly than any other player in history. At the last count in T20 internationals he had hit 103, which averages out at more than two sixes per innings. It is a figure that mushrooms to 772 sixes in all T20 cricket. Stay alert in the stands especially if situated at wide long-on or deep square-leg.Gayle can mesmerise. Moreover, his return to the West Indies team at least hints at the possibility of an end to what has amounted to a civil war between the players and the board. It is essential that progress continues and that the current situation becomes more than a temporary amnesty. England v West Indies 2017 Share on Facebook Haseeb Hameed’s Ashes hopes dashed after injury to right hand … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. 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