England is all set for a West Indian test as they gear up to play three Tests, five one-day internationals and three T20I games after a succussful November where they won 3-0 in the Test series in Sri Lanka and come into the Caribbean tour third in the ICC rankings. On the other hand, West Indies will be looking to start their home season on a good note with skipper Jason Holder available for the series and should clear the fitness test ahead of the big clash.
Total match – 154
West Indies won – 55
England won – 48
Drawn – 51
One Day International Records (Since 1973)
Total match – 96
West Indies won – 42
England won – 49
No Result – 5
First Match: 1st ODI, England won by 1 wicket at Headingley, Leeds, September 5, 1973
Last Match: 5th ODI – England won by 9 wickets at The Rose Bowl, Southampton on Sept. 29, 2017.
Twenty20 International Records (Since 2007)
Total match – 14
West Indies won – 11
England won – 3
First Match: 1st T20I – West Indies won by 15 runs at Kennington Oval, London on June 28, 2007
Last Match: Only T20, West Indies won by 21 runs at Riverside Ground, Chester-le-Street on Sept. 16, 2017
Wednesday January 23rd – Sunday January 27th – 1st Test, Kensington Oval, Barbados
Thursday January 31st – Monday February 4th – 2nd Test, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua
Saturday February 9th – Wednesday February 13th – 3rd Test, Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, St Lucia
Wednesday February 20th – 1st ODI, Kensington Oval, Barbados
Friday February 22nd – 2nd ODI, Kensington Oval, Barbados
Monday February 25th – 3rd ODI, National Cricket Stadium, Grenada
Wednesday February 27th – 4th ODI, National Cricket Stadium, Grenada
Saturday March 2nd – 5th ODI, Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, St Lucia
Tuesday March 5th – 1st T20, Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, St Lucia
Friday March 8th – 2nd T20, Warner Park, St Kitts
Sunday March 10th – 3rd T20 Warner Park, St Kitts
The home side will depend on the likes of Kraigg Brathwaite, Shai Hope and Roston Chase to do the bulk of the scoring. Brathwaite had a torrid run with the bat and averaged 24.43 in Test cricket last season. West Indies will be hoping that the opener can turn things around with the bat and do well against England in the three-match Test series.
Shai Hope would also be looking to find form with the bat in red-ball cricket this season. Wicket-keeper batsman Shane Dowrich topped the batting charts for West Indies last season with 474 runs in 9 matches at an average of 36.46.
In 2018, Captain Jason Holder had a great year with the bat and scored 336 runs in 6 matches at an average of 37.33. The side has promising players like Shimron Hetmyer and Kieran Powell will be looking to do well in this big series against England.
In the bowling department, Shannon Gabriel proved to be premier bowler for West Indies over past couple of years. In 2018, he picked up 37 wickets in 8 matches at an average of 19.54.
Jason Holder also had a splendid year with the ball last season and picked up 33 wickets in 6 matches at an average of 12.39. Kemar Roach, Devendra Bishoo and Jomel Warrican are bowling options for the home side for the three-match Test series.
On the other hand, England will be confident of doing well in the Caribbean after completing a historic whitewash in Sri Lanka. Skipper Joe Root will be hoping that his side can continue their winning streak in this series.
Rory Burns and Keaton Jennings played well in the three-match series in Sri Lanka and have managed to retain their place in the XI. Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes are aggressive players in the middle-order for England.
Wicket-keeper batsman Ben Foakes proved his worth with the bat in Sri Lanka and scored 277 runs in 3 matches at an average of 69.25. Jos Buttler produced a remarkable run of form last year and scored heavily in red-ball cricket.
Last year, James Anderson was standout bowler for England in Test cricket. He picked up 43 wickets at an average of 22.51. The spin duo of Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid bowled well in Sri Lanka and picked up crucial wickets for the side.
Left-arm orthodox spinner Jack Leach proved an invaluable addition to the XI. He bowled exceedingly well and picked up 18 wickets in Sri Lanka.
Test Squad: Joe Root(c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Ben Foakes, Keaton Jennings, Jack Leach, Adil Rashid, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood England
ODI Squad: Eoin Morgan(c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
Windies 1st Test Squad: Jason Holder(c), Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach, Jomel Warrican, Oshane Thomas
“London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down. London Bridge is falling down, my fair lady.”
That was the song bellowed out by West Indian supporters the last time these two teams met in Barbados in 2015. Their team was coasting to a three-day victory over England and they were happy to let the Barmy Army know about it. As victory approached, so more locals flooded into the ground.
Four years is a long time in cricket, however. England have seven players from the team that was humbled in that match in their current squad – West Indies have five – but they are a far different, better equipped outfit than the one which capitulated so meekly four years ago.
Then, they were still reeling from a chastening Ashes series the previous winter which had led to sackings and recriminations. They had also just endured a shambolic World Cup campaign. Devoid of coherence and consistency, England were a mess and head coach Peter Moores was sacked soon after they arrived home. Now the scene is a lot brighter.
Joe Root’s team have won eight of their last nine Tests, beating India at home and whitewashing Sri Lanka away. A number of new players such as Sam Curran and Ben Foakes have immediately taken to Test cricket while a surfeit of all-rounders gives them plenty of options and a lengthy batting order that could see Curran, who has three half-centuries from 12 Test innings, at number nine.
There is still much to prove, especially away from home, and England remain a work in progress. But there is real optimism around the side after the past nine months. Given their recent form, they start as clear favourites for this series and if Rory Burns and Keaton Jennings can nail their places at the top of the order – the only major positions with questions remaining – they will be in fine fettle ahead of an Ashes series at home this summer.
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