Chris Gayle and Carlos Brathwaite among Windies stars back for limited-overs series
By Sam Drury
Last Updated: 16/09/17 6:33pm
After England saw off a young and relatively inexperienced Windies side to win the Test series, the visitors will be bolstered by the return of a number of more familiar names for the white ball leg of the tour.
The Windies showed at Headingley that the next generation are not without talent, Shai Hope in particularly giving a real statement of intent with back-to-back hundreds, but the reintroduction of more established international performers should certainly provide a timely boost.
So who are the Windies stars returning for the stand alone T20I and five ODIs?
The self-proclaimed 'Universe Boss' is back and even as he approaches his 38th birthday, Gayle's inclusion will make the England bowlers a little more wary than they might have been. Not only has the left-hander shown himself to be one of the most destructive white-ball batsmen of the past 20 years, he has also taken a liking to facing England.
He blasted the Windies to victory during the group stages of the World T20 in 2016 with an unbeaten 48-ball century and also has two T20I fifties against England in 10 innings with a fearsome strike-rate of 156.50.
In ODIs his record against England is even better, 999 runs at 43.43 with two hundreds and five fifties. On his day, Gayle is capable of winning a game almost single-handedly and while those days may be fewer and further between as the years go by, he remains an opponent to be feared.
"Carlos Brathwaite, remember the name!" Those the immortal words of Ian Bishop after the Windies all-rounder had clubbed his fourth six in succession off Ben Stokes to win the World T20 last year. England fans are certainly unlike to forget any time soon but 18 months on Brathwaite, now captain of the Windies T20 side will be keen to provide the home fans with gentle reminder of what he can do.
There will be no reunion with Stokes, who has been rested for the one-off T20I, but a number of the England XI from that final at Eden Gardens remain and will be out to ensure there is no repeat of Brathwaite's heroics.
It has been a difficult year or so for Brathwaite since the World T20 and he has struggled to replicate the form that shot him to stardom, to the extent that he was restricted to just two games in the IPL this year and has not been included in the Windies ODI squad. At 29, now is the time for Brathwaite to prove himself as a consistent performer at the highest level.
When Marlon Samuels comes up against England it is certainly never dull. The Jamaican just seems to have a knack for winding up the England players. During the 2012 Test series between the sides, Samuels was engaged in a running verbal battle with James Anderson, the Lancastrian not shy of a word or two himself, throughout the summer.
Then, three years later in the Caribbean, Samuels found himself in a similar duel with Stokes. The image of the Windies batsman saluting Stokes as the England all-rounder trudged off the pitch after being dismissed in Grenada is another that will live long in the memory.
The pair will renew hostilities during the ODI series but while Stokes rests up during the T20I, Samuels will attempting to continue his fine record against England in the shortest format. The 36-year-old has a T20I average of 46.50, including three fifties, against England. Perhaps his most telling contribution came in the World T20 final when, with the Windies struggling at 14-3, Samuels made an unbeaten 85 to keep them in the game ahead of Brathwaite's final over fireworks.
Like Brathwaite, the big-hitting all-rounder is only in England for one match, the T20I in Durham. And, while he has played 101 ODIs, it is T20 where Pollard has really excelled, certainly in more recent years.
Pollard is a regular on the T20 circuit, appearing in the Big Bash and the Caribbean Premier League although it is perhaps his exploits in the IPL for the Mumbai Indians that have most caught the eye. Saturday's game will see him come up against one of his IPL team-mates, Jos Buttler, who he has played alongside for the past two years.
Pollard has continued to represent the Windies in T20 cricket throughout the disputes with the board, although injury ruled him out of the World T20 success, and remains an integral part of the side with both bat and ball.
Narine is another who has travelled to the UK solely for the T20I after asking not to be considered for the five 50-over games. The spinner has "confirmed his desire to play 50-over cricket again but has asked to play in our Regional Super50 before he is considered", according to chairman of selectors, Courtney Browne.
However, for the one game he is available to the Windies, he could play a big part. While he is less of wicket threat since returning to the international fold with a remodeled action - his mystery deliveries rather less mysterious with a more conventional action - he remains difficult to get away.
If he can dry up the runs in the middle of the England innings and chip in with a wicket or two, his side will be delighted but Narine showed during the most recent IPL that he can be very effective with the bat, too. It seems unlikely that he will open the batting as he did for Kolkata Knight Riders but he remains a threat down the order.
Since bursting onto the international scene as a teenager, Taylor has shown himself to be a highly talented fast bowler. The problem for the 33-year-old has been staying fit.
At his best he has proven to be a near unstoppable force, taking 5-11 to help bowl England out for 51 in 2009 and claiming 6-47 against Australia just two years ago. Those two performances both came in Kingston and in Test cricket and although his ODI record is a good one, Taylor has not enjoyed much success in white-ball cricket against England.
He has just six wickets at 36.16 in ODIs and has gone at more than 10-an-over in his two T20Is against England without taking a wicket. He will undoubtedly be looking to improve those statistics and, if he finds his rhythm, then he more than capable of doing so.