England ready to match Gayle-led explosive Windies` firepower in

England ready to match Gayle-led explosive Windies' firepower in ODIs: Cook

Last Updated: Sat, Jun 16, 2012 06:40 hrs

England skipper Alastair Cook has said that his team had the firepower to match the heavy hitting West Indies' batsmen in the upcoming ODIs.

Windies batters have heavily outgunned England in terms of clearing the ropes by an aggregate of 381- 91 in sixes.

England is likely to start without Ian Bell against Windies in the first ODI today, as Kevin Pietersen's replacement became the first casualty of the NatWest Series.

Practising in the indoor school to dodge the rain, Bell suffered a deep cut, requiring several stitches and a precautionary X-ray, after top-edging a throw down from fielding coach Richard Halsall beneath the visor of his helmet on to his jaw, The Daily Mirror reports.

Cook said: "Ian is a concern because he didn't look in a good way when he walked off. There was quite a lot of blood and he has had stitches.

"Emergencies can come up in any game, and that's why you have a squad. I remember Matt Prior getting hurt on the morning of the Test at Headingley in 2009. We're just waiting to see what we'll do if Belly is ruled out."

The return of Windies' dasher Chris Gayle, whose strike rate for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2012 IPL Twenty20 season was 160.74, means the contest is really going to be an exciting one.

"We've got a powerful middle order ourselves. Eoin Morgan, Craig Kieswetter and Tim Bresnan can all hit the ball a long way. It's about winning games of cricket and we've won the last five one-day series at home. We're a very tough team to beat in our own conditions," Cook said.

For the first time in England, there will be a different ball used from each end in a one-day clash. (ANI)

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