England’s World Cup preparations hit a bump yesterday as rain forced their third ODI against the West Indies to be abandoned.
Head coach Trevor Bayliss and captain Eoin Morgan had planned to rotate their squad to play in Grenada but intermittent rains meant it was a show of peek-a-boo, with the ground staff setting and retracting the covers frequently over a five-hour period.
With the five-match ODI series currently stood at 1-1, selectors were set to forgo a hardline pursuit of a series victory by handing appearances to all of their party touring the Caribbean.
England, who have won their last nine ODI series heading into this summer’s Cricket World Cup, were set to replace the injured Ben Stokes (ankle) with Alex Hales and hand a recall to Chris Woakes in place of Tom Curran.
Bayliss explained how all efforts were gearing towards the World Cup, which sees hosts England open the tournament by taking on South Africa at the Oval on May 30.
“One of the things we wanted to do on this tour is not only win but, if we could, give everyone a run,” Bayliss said.
“The team that wins the World Cup will probably have the strongest squad. I don’t think you’ll get through close to a dozen games to win a World Cup with the same team. Your back-up strength will have to be up to speed.
“Not playing today’s game is probably the only thing that’s hampered that a little bit.”
There was enough of a dry spell to allow for a toss to be held, which England won and saw Eoin Morgan elect to bowl first.
His side will return to the Grenada National Stadium on Thursday for the fourth ODI, before the series closes in St Lucia on Saturday.
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