Openers key for T20 success


It’s all change after the recent Test series as the West Indies now take on England in a lone Twenty20 international at Chester-le-Street.

The tourists can call on a number of experienced stars who are not in the Test set-up and they will pose a huge test, as they showed by beating England in the most recent ICC World T20 final.

The Windies’ batting line-up is strongest at the top, where the majestic hitting of Chris Gayle may have to play second fiddle to fellow left-hander Evin Lewis.

Lewis recently outshone Gayle for the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the CPL and he already has two T20 international centuries to his name, both made against India.

At 7/2 to be leading team batsman, he may be a better pick than the 3/1 on offer for Gayle.

On the bowling front, off-spinner Sunil Narine, 13/5 to be top team bowler, is most likely to impress – with a career economy rate of a little over six runs an over in 47 matches showing his sparkle in the shortest format.

England, 10/19 to win the game, have to plan without rested all-rounder Ben Stokes, but they still have a large amount of firepower available with both bat and ball.

Again the opening partnership is likely to be crucial, with Alex Hales and Jason Roy every bit as explosive as Gayle and Lewis.

Roy passed fifty in three of his last four T20 innings for Surrey and is in the sort of form which makes him a sensible option to be top England batsman at 33/10.

With the ball there are plenty of options available to skipper Joe Root, with another Surrey man Tom Curran one to watch after taking five wickets across his first two T20 internationals against South Africa earlier this summer.

At 7/2 to be top team bowler he offers a little more value than some of his much more experienced colleagues.

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