5 talking points ahead of England’s clash with the West Indies

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England continue their World Cup campaign against the West Indies on Friday at the Hampshire Bowl.

Here, Press Association Sport assesses the key issues ahead of the match.

Watching the skies

Nobody expects to bathe in endless sun at any time in England but even the gloomiest of predictions has been outstripped in recent days. With a tricky run-in featuring Australia, India and New Zealand in their last three group games, Eoin Morgan’s side will be desperate to get points in the bank ahead of time, and washouts, or rain-shortened contests, are unlikely to work in their favour.

Selection questions

All-rounder Moeen Ali (left) is expected to return as a second spinner.
All-rounder Moeen Ali (left) is expected to return as a second spinner (Mark Kerton/PA)

Will the real Adil please stand up

Adil Rashid has been England’s leading wicket-taker in the four-year period since the last World Cup, breaking partnerships and sweeping up tails for fun. Things have been different in the tournament so far, with just two wickets at an average of 71 and the second highest economy rate in the team. A shoulder injury from the start of the summer has been a problem and head coach Trevor Bayliss has suggested he needs overs to rediscover his best form.

Keep it short

Jofra Archer is one of several bowlers boasting extreme pace.
Jofra Archer is one of several bowlers boasting extreme pace (Nigel French/PA)

Gayle force

While many of his contemporaries are enjoying the cricket from the comfort of the media box or the commentary booth, the 39-year-old Jamaican is still teeing off for his country. He has yet to make a definitive statement in what promises to be his lap of honour in 50-over cricket, but England have often brought out the best in him. In the last one-day series between the teams earlier this year he clattered a world record 39 sixes, smashed two centuries and scored at a strike-rate of 134.17. Bowlers beware.

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