About the Match
The West Indies and England start their second test with supporters from both sides hoping for a bit of fight from the visitors. Die hard West Indian supporters are dismayed at the gulf between the sides while England is worried about not being tested enough ahead of a testing Ashes year. Will things be different in Headingley?
There was plenty of noise made about how playing a test under lights would even things out and maybe even give the West Indies an advantage since they had played with the pink ball before. As it turned out, the basic skills of the game and talent transcend the color of the ball or the time at which cricket is being played. Shocker.
England won the match inside three days. Their two main test batsmen, Alastair Cook and Joe Root got hundreds, while their bowlers took 19 wickets in a day to leave no doubt about the quality of the opposition batsmen.
These were, however, questions that did not need answering. Cook scored a marathon 243, Jimmy Anderson swung the ball, Joe Root looked like he was having a net in the middle and strolled his way to a century. None of these things were ever in doubt.
The things that England was really looking at though were left up in the air. Stoneman and Westley wasted a golden opportunity to cement their place for the Ashes while Dawid Malan would have been unhappy at throwing his wicket away on 65 as well.
These are the kinds of series where you want to score a mountain of runs because there are much tougher challenges ahead and runs will not be served on a platter there. All three will get another chance in this test match, though, and we think that they will make it count.
England’s bowling can continue to work in second gear and get 20 West Indian wickets with ease. Leeds always provides something in it for the bowlers and so expect Anderson, Broad, Roland-Jones and Ben Stokes to run through the West Indians once again.
All the former West Indian greats are being talked about, some of them are even talking about the state of this West Indian team and a few more greats are questioning the point of the West Indies even playing top flight test cricket anymore.
None of this present team can be considered a great and most of them cannot even be considered good cricketers. They played like amateurs on one of the biggest stage in the game as they continued to let balls through their legs, bowled terrible lines and give catching practice to the opposition fielders.
Only Jermaine Blackwood showed some fight in the first inning for the West Indians as he played some shots to extremely attacking fields. It seems pointless to expect this group of West Indian batsmen to grow test match batting ab ilities in the span of a week. It is just not going to happen. Kieron Powell, Shai Hope, Kyle Hope and Roston Chase can play some attractive shots but it seems that hunkering down for a session or two is not within their combined skill sets.
Kraigg Braithwaite is probably the one batsman that can spend a lot of time at the crease but it will take a lot more than him to give this English bowling a sight. We honestly do not see the West Indies crossing 250 in the first inning of this match and maybe not in the entire series.
The West Indian bowling was also hopeless without Shannon Gabriel in the mix. Devendra Bishoo was left out for some unknown reason and Roston Chase filled in as the only spinner. There was no plan or its execution as Joseph, Cummins, Holder, and Chase waited for the English batsmen to get bored and get out.
Only Kemar Roach showed some skills and threatened early on. We hope that Shannon Gabriel makes it back to the playing eleven for the next match otherwise start betting on more centuries for Cook and co.
Pitch and Conditions
A clear and sunny five days of cricket have been forecast at Leeds, something that does not too often. There is traditionally some help for the fast bowlers in the first session of each day but plenty of runs in the pitch thereafter.
England to wi