The first test match of ENG vs WI series will be played at Barbados on 23rd January. It will be the first match of a lengthy series comprising 3 test matches, 5 ODIs, and 3 T20Is. The 2 tour matches ended in a draw played previously ended in a draw.
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England is currently #3 in the ICC test team rankings and has won 8 of their last 9 test matches. Still, there wasn’t any space for English players in the ICC Test Team of the Year. Though England’s skipper is not concerned about it.
He takes it as a compliment and says that this shows England is not relying on one player. Especially in the series against Sri Lanka, everyone from England contributed and the final results also vindicated it.
This mentality of ‘Playing as a Team’ will also be required in their upcoming test against West Indies. With Carribean conditions in mind, England skipper Joe Root and team management have to do some hard work and a lot of thinking before picking final XI for the Barbados Test, especially considering their previous record in West Indies.
Dukes balls will be used in this series which remains hard, and assists seamers with swing and pace. Dukes is not used anywhere else in the world.
Before the series, there were talks about going with 4 seamers and Moeen Ali as the only spinner. But seems like there will be a change in mind after pitch reading. The pitch has been described as tacky by England and they might consider playing 2 spinners.
Playing 2 spinners would mean England will have to leave out either Stuart Broad, who offers vast experience and more pace or Sam Curran, who offers variation with the ball and explosive ability with the bat. They will also have to decide which spinners to leave out.
Despite having results and issues with their board over the past decade, West Indies have remained competitive against England. They last lost to England on their soil was in 2004.
Since then they have enjoyed success on home soil against England, losing only one of the seven completed Tests. Their captain Jason Holder seems confident about their bowling but he needs consistency from his batsmen.
Several West Indians top order batsmen lack experience. Shane Dowrich, Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer are all averaging under 30. To support their batting lineup, West Indies have recalled Darren Bravo after the board and the player settled their disputes.
“We’ve done a hell of a job of trying to take 20 wickets more often than not but our batting has probably let us down at times.
“We need to start the series well by putting some runs on the board and making an early statement. We definitely know we can perform against their attack. It’s just a case of sticking to our game plans for long periods.”
Let’s have a look at the playing XI for both the teams:
- Rory Burns
- Keaton Jennings
- Jonny Bairstow
- Joe Root
- Ben Stokes
- Jos Buttler
- Ben Foakes
- Moeen Ali
- Sam Curran
- Adil Rashid
- James Anderson
- Kraigg Brathwaite
- John Campbell
- Darren Bravo
- Shai Hope
- Shimron Hetmeyer
- Roston Chase
- Shane Dowrich
- Jason Holder
- Kemar Roach
- Alzarri Joseph
- Shannon Gabriel.
Complete Test Squads
The complete Test Squads by the Cricket Boards of both the teams are:
1. Joe Root, 2. Moeen Ali, 3. James Anderson, 4. Jonny Bairstow, 5. Stuart Broad, 6. Rory Burns, 7. Jos Buttler, 8. Sam Curran, 9. Joe Denly, 10. Ben Foakes, 11. Keaton Jennings, 12. Jack Leach, 13. Adil Rashid, 14. Ben Stokes, 15. Olly Stone, 16. Chris Woakes
1. Jason Holder, 2. Kraigg Braithwaite, 3. Darren Bravo, 4. Shamarh Brooks, 5. John Campbell, 6. Roston Chase, 7. Shane Dowrich, 8. Shannon Gabriel, 9. Shimrol Hetmyer, 10. Shai Hoe, 11. Alzarri Joseph, 12. Kemar Roach, 13. Jomel Warrican, 14. Oshane Thomas
Match Time, Toss, Venue and Weather Conditions
Match Time: The match will start at 7:00 PM (Pakistan Standard Time).
Toss: West Indies won the toss and choose to bat first.
Venue: Kensington Oval of Barbados will be hosting the match.
Weather Forecast: The forecast for the first 2 days of ENG vs WI match is more or less set to be fair, although there could be showers on the final three days.
- England eyeing just a second Test series win in the West Indies in 50 years, with Michael Vaughan’s 2004 team the first to triumph since Colin Cowdrey’s men in 1968.
- England has played 15 test series against West Indies in the Carribean but has been able to win only 3.
- Of the 15 Tests played between the two teams at Kensington Oval, just under half have ended in draws with West Indies winning five matches and England just three.
- In last two years, England and West Indies have drawn just two Tests each from 24 and 19 matches respectively.
Picture Credit: Sky Sports