A second title beckons

Having tasted success in 2010 and 2012 respectively, both England and the West Indies know what it takes to win the ICC World Twenty20 title. An intriguing backdrop is in place, time for the rivals to dish out a riveting fare.

England captain Eoin Morgan (right) along with teammate Jason Roy (left) during a practice session on the eve of the World Twenty20 final.   -  K. R. Deepak

If the ability to evoke unconditional love in the cricketing globe could determine the winner of the ICC World Twenty20 final at the Eden Gardens here on Sunday night, make no mistake, the West Indies would walk away with the title. Such is the affection that the men from the Caribbean Islands draw from fans. The West Indies is the second favourite team of most cricket lovers.

Emotions don’t affect ground realities and before Darren Sammy and company can wear their dancing shoes and drink their rums, there is some serious work to be done. The climax pits Sammy’s men against a squad that has displayed chutzpah as it neared the tournament’s business end. ( >West Indies' road to final)

WATCH: > England v West Indies preview

England, till recently plagued by a traditional indifference to the instant joys of ODIs and Twenty20s, has been a revelation. It wasn’t easy though as its skipper Eoin Morgan is yet to fire with the bat and if starts are indicators of future success, then England commenced its campaign on the wrong note and that too against the West Indies with Chris Gayle living upto his self-proclaimed ‘Universe Boss’ nickname. His bruising hundred at Mumbai was a reflection of his power and timing but it is credit to England that such an innings did not deter its approach in its subsequent contests. ( >England's road to final)

South Africa was humbled and New Zealand was curtailed in the semifinal. Opener Jason Roy, the hero against New Zealand, along with Jos Buttler and Joe Root, are part of a critical batting-troika – between them they have scored 533 runs – while seamer Chris Jordan and the rest, have managed to apply the brakes.

READ: >Morgan: We will embrace the final

READ: >Sammy: Final hurdle for us, we believe in ourselves

It may not be that easy against the West Indies, packed as it is with men, who love scraping the skies with sixes. And it no longer seems to be a one-man team as made evident in the semifinal triumph against India as Gayle’ s failure did not affect the likes of Lendl Simmons.

Yet, there is no denying the ballistic effect Gayle bequeaths when he is in a blistering mood. England will be wary of him as his hunger has been stoked due to a barren run following that hundred in Mumbai.

The West Indies is intrinsically clued into the rapid rhythms of the game’s shortest version. That could help at a venue where England would step in with another added motive to do well. In the 1987 50-over World Cup final here, the team was in striking distance of its maiden title before captain Mike Gatting fatally reverse swept his Australian counterpart Allan Border. England now gets a chance to make amends.

READ: >Gautam Gambhir's column on India's defeat

Having tasted success in 2010 and 2012 respectively, both England and the West Indies know what it takes to win the ICC World Twenty20 title. An intriguing backdrop is in place, time for the rivals to dish out a riveting fare.

Teams (from):

West Indies: Darren Sammy (capt.), Chris Gayle, Johnson Charles, Carlos Brathwaite, Dwayne Bravo, Jason Holder, Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Samuel Badree, Sulieman Benn and Jerome Taylor.

England: Eoin Morgan (capt.), Jason Roy, Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, James Vince and David Willey.