England unfazed by Windies pace attack of Thomas, Cottrell, Russell

Oshane Thomas in his followthrough AFP
Oshane Thomas (AFP)

SOUTHAMPTON, England (CMC)Hosts England are not having any sleepless nights over West Indies’ pace attack.

In fact, head coach Trevor Bayliss said yesterday the tournament favourites were quite capable of handling the hostility from the likes of Oshane Thomas and Sheldon Cottrell, when the two teams clashed at the Rose Bowl tomorrow.

“We can handle anything that is thrown at us,” he said.

“I have not seen too many with express pace here just yet, but we have a couple of good ones too, so I expect it to be tit for tat.”

Thomas, Cottrell and all-rounder Andre Russell have all bowled aggressively in the World Cup with good effect, and have given West Indies excellent starts in their three games so far.

Sheldon Cottrell

In their opener, they blasted out Pakistan for 105, reduced Australia to 38 for four in their second game and had South Africa on the run at 29 for two in their third outing before rain forced an abandonment of the fixture.

However, England also boast the likes of Mark Wood and Barbadian Jofra Archer, both of whom have consistently topped speeds of 95 miles per hour.

Bayliss said he expected a heated contest, especially after the 2-2 draw in the five-match series in the Caribbean earlier this year.

“We will have to play at our best to come away with a win. In the Caribbean, we were a little bit up and down. They bowled fast, but then Mark Wood made a few of their guys jump up and down,” he pointed out.

“The wicket here is reasonably flat and it has been in the past. There have been a few more wickets in the World Cup them there has been in the last few years, so I expect the fast bowlers are rubbing their hands together.”

West Indies lie sixth in the 10-team standings on three points following a win, a defeat and a no-result in their three matches.

England, meanwhile, are second on four points after pulling off two wins and tasting defeat to Pakistan in three outings.