SOUTHAMPTON: England captain Eoin Morgan opted to bowl first in their World Cup match against the West Indies on Friday, unleashing Barbados-born Jofra Archer under heavy cloud cover in Southampton.
The tournament hosts were unchanged from the team that beat Bangladesh in their last outing but West Indies made three changes.
Evin Lewis and Andre Russell return from injury for the Caribbean side while fast bowler Shannon Gabriel makes his first appearance of the World Cup.
Darren Bravo, Ashley Nurse and Kemar Roach miss out.
“The wicket has been under covers for the last 24 hours and we predict there might be a bit of moisture in early on, so hopefully we can take advantage of that,” said Morgan.”
West Indies captain Jason Holder said he would also have chosen to bowl first had he won the toss.
“It’s an opportunity for our guys to get some runs,” he said. “I would’ve liked to bowl first on a fresh wicket.
“We’re up for the occasion, we know what is at stake. We’ve planned well and everyone is up for it.
“It’s a matter of adapting to the individuals we’re playing against. It’s all about the surface as well.”
Three of the past four matches at the World Cup in England and Wales have been wrecked by rain, with teams forced to share a point apiece.
Organisers will be desperate for the tournament to regain momentum with some big matches coming up, including India v Pakistan at Old Trafford on Sunday.
England have two wins and one defeat while the West Indies have a win, a defeat and a no result so far.
All 10 teams play each other in the round-robin phase to determine the four semi-finalists.
England: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (capt), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wkt), Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood
West Indies: Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope (wkt), Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder (capt), Andrew Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, Shannon Gabriel