New Delhi: England has been a rather unexpected finalist of 2016 World T20, while West Indies strengthened their reputation as a strong T20 team by entering the title clash with a stunning win over favourites India. (World T20: England Gun For Lost Glory in Eden Gardens)
The Eoin Morgan-led England are the 2010 champions of the showpiece event, while Dareen Sammy led West Indies to title triumph in 2012. With explosive performers in abundance in both the teams, the final is expected to be a cracker of a contest.
Here’s a look at the five key individual clashes that might decide the fate of the 2016 World T20 final.
1. Joe Root vs Samuel Badree
The consistency of Joe Root has surprised one and all. He is only second to Virat Kohli (273) in terms of the highest run-scorer (super 10 stage) with 195 runs. One of the most promising youngsters in world cricket, Root’s consistent performance at No. 3 in England’s batting line-up has given the Eoin Morgan-led side a much needed stability. (World T20: Six Appeal as England Face West Indies in Marquee Clash)
Samuel Badree on the other hand, has been in a stellar form for West Indies. With a tally of seven wickets and economy of 5.68, he has exploited the Indian conditions to the benefit of the 2012 champions. The sluggish conditions at the Eden Gardens should provide the leg-spinner an ideal opportunity.
2. Jason Roy vs Andre Russell
England opener Jason Roy almost singlehandedly took England into the final with a 44-ball 78 against New Zealand in the last four clash. But apart from that match, the 25-year-old Roy has been very consistent and is next to Root in the highest scorers’ list, scoring 183 in five matches. (World T20: Eoin Morgan Eyes Match-Winning Knock in Final)
West Indies need to contain this explosive batsman and Andre Russell, who is West Indies’ highest wicket-taker (8), knows how to do that. He has already got Roy out once, in their once, and need to repeat the feat in the most important match of the tournament.
3. Jos Buttler vs Dwayne Bravo
With a strike-rate of 158.16, Jos Buttler has been successful to provide England the much-needed fireworks in the middle overs. Along with Root and Roy, the 25-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman has also been one of the most consistent batsmen among all teams in the tournament.
For someone who has scored 155 in five matches, Dwayne Bravo, with six wickets, can act as the perfect antidote. He has done that before also, in the two team’s first match. Bravo with his medium pace has the panache to strike at crucial moments and the Windies would need his to do that again.
4. Chris Gayle vs David Willey
The last time England and West Indies faced each other, Chris Gayle became the first player to score two tons in World T20s, courtesy a 48-ball 100*. The innings included 11 sixes and five fours!
The big Jamaican has been quiet since and England knows very well that this might be the calm before storm. And to stop him, Gayle must be taken out early. And here comes David Willey, who with a tally of seven wickets has been England’s best bowler so far.
He has also been successful in providing England early breaks and all England fans would expect him to clip the wings of West Indies’ most dangerous.
5. Lendl Simmons vs Ben Stokes
After his 82* against India in the semifinal, Lendl Simmons is definitely not the one to be ignored. He came in place of Andre Fletcher, against the hosts and ended up being the player of the match.
Though he was lucky on a couple of occasions, Simmons showed that he can be destructive and can singlehandedly take his team over the line.
Ben Stokes, arguably the best death bowler in this tournament, will have to ensure that no such thing happens so that his team wins its second World T20 title.