Sammy expects to stifle England progress

Updated: 

Darren Sammy is well aware of the talent England possess, but expects West Indies to come out on top if they play to their potential when the two sides start their World Twenty20 campaigns in Mumbai on Wednesday.

England have been resurgent in limited-overs cricket since Trevor Bayliss replaced Peter Moores as head coach following a woeful showing at the World Cup last year.

The Windies will be without Lendl Simmons, Kieron Pollard, Darren Bravo and Sunil Narine as they attempt to win the tournament for a second time, but still have match-winners such as Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo and captain Sammy.

England will also go in search of a second World T20 crown, but Sammy is backing his side to deliver in the Group 1 opener at Wankhede Stadium.

He said: "They have some guys who have evolved over the last 12 months - [Jos] Buttler, Ben Stokes, all these guys... in the middle with their captain Eoin Morgan - they have good players.

"So we won't take them for granted. But we normally focus on what we do and we, if we know we could do then we are going to be victorious."

 

ENGLAND MUST COUNTER GAYLE FORCE

West Indies opener Gayle has the ability to take the game away from any side, clearing the ropes at ease with incredible power and timing. England will need to get rid of the left-hander early on given he is ninth on the list of all-time T20 international run-scorers with an average of 35.15.

 

CAN ENGLAND RISE TO THE OCCASION?

England have made great strides since a shambolic World Cup last year and there is no doubt they can be a match for most sides on their day. But they do not have the experience many of their rivals can call upon and it remains to be seen if they can consistently perform on the big stage.

 

WIND IN THEIR SAILS OR GONE WITH THE WIND?

While England lack experience, West Indies are not short in that department. But while the Windies have the armoury to produce fireworks and go all the way, it never comes as a huge surprise when they implode in spectacular fashion, so England will be aiming to blow them away. 

 

OPTA STATS

- West Indies have won eight of their 12 T20 matches against England - including all three encounters in the World Twenty20.

- Gayle has hit 87 sixes in T20 internationals; just four short of the record set by Brendon McCullum.

- Chris Jordan is the leading T20I wicket taker in the England squad going into this tournament with 12 scalps to his name so far, but he has failed to take a wicket in three of this last four innings.