As Cricket resumes after a long break due to the COVID-19 outbreak, West Indies prepare to face the mighty English in their home den, in a 3 match Test series with the new set of rules by the ICC coming into effect, taken to ensure the safety of players during this pandemic.
With England ranked at 4 and West Indies at 8 many consider this a walk in the park for the former team. But if we take into account the recent performances, it isn’t the case. West Indies takes the pride in heading to the series as the Wisden trophy holders with a promising bunch of players looking to upset the English side. On the other side, the English well served in every department will look to dominate. Last time these two nations faced in a Test series the West Indies won with a margin of 2-1.
Looking at the squads, England has been a world-class team for years. With Joe Root, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes set to carry the batting line-up, youngsters Rory Burns, Joe Denly, Ollie Pope and, a few others to assist. England could be shaky at times with their batting and it is in the pace bowling where they stand strong with the likes of James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer and, Mark Wood in their ranks. Sam Curran and Craig Overton are some fine picks from the reserves. The spin department is where both the teams lag. Dom Bess has been preferred to start after Jack Leach failed to make an impact. With Joe Root set to join only after the first Test, it's a real test for the inexperienced English batting line-up and for interim skipper Ben Stokes to handle the team.
The West Indies too are a decent side with members who could punch above their weights and most of the members do have good numbers against England. Shai Hope, Shane Dowrich, Kraigg Braithwaite, Jermaine Blackwood hold the key batting spots. S.Brooks and John Campbell would look to support them. With the skipper Jason Holder, who is the current numero uno test all-rounder, West Indies do have an answer for the Englishman Ben Stokes. Roston Chase and Raymon Reifer are other good all-rounders in their bank. The bowling attack does not stand near England's line up but isn't too weak to be written off. They do have pacemen Kemar Roach & Shannon Gabriel who could wreak havoc along with their skipper. Youngsters Alzarri Joseph and Chemar Holder are the backup options. The spin department is well served with Rakheem Cornwall performing a great job for them.
Article written by: T.M.V.Sai Ram