About the Match
West Indies will host England in a 3-match test series, the first of which is scheduled to be held at North Sound from 13th to 17th April; both sides are in the process of rebuilding their teams for the future and this might be the start of a new chapter for them. While the hosts have some of the senior players unavailable for these tests, England is still trying to recover from the world cup debacle and will be eager to showcase some of the promising young talent here. It will be a test of skills and nerves with crowds anticipating a balanced contest on the cards; the team that can use the resources tactfully and shift gears to the long format of the game will be better placed to emerge victorious.
Denesh Ramdin will lead the side and has much to prove here with youngsters like Kraigg Brathwaite, Jermaine Blackwood, Darren Bravo and seniors like Shiv Chanderpaul, Marlon Samuels and Suleiman Benn among others. The batsmen haven’t had much success in the recent matches away from home but they will be expected to do well here in known conditions; the last time England had toured West Indies, the hosts had demolished the opposition convincingly in the first test and the fans will be expecting a repeat performance in the upcoming match. On the bowling front, they have speedsters like Jason Holder, Jerome Taylor, Kemar Roach and Bravo; all-rounders like Benn, Devendra Bishoo, Holder and Carlos Brathwaite will also need to step up and shoulder the responsibilities with equal measure. The team is looking forward to gran this opportunity and improve its test rankings; if they can stay focused and rise above their internal problems, they can look head to good times that could start with a win here.
After being ignored for the Carlton tri-series down under and the world cup campaign, Alistair Cook makes entry to the national side yet again with the heavy responsibility of turning things around for English cricket. He performed well in the warm up matches here and will open the innings in the first match; the other batsmen like Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott, who has been called back to the side after a long hiatus, will need to build the foundation for the rest. Ben Stokes, Joe Root, Gary Balance, Jos Buttler and all-rounders like James Tredwell, Chris Jordan and Jonny Bairstow also have a lot to prove here. The bowling squad has the in-form Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood and others bringing in their skills to the table. Whether it was the world cup drubbing or the thrashing they received in recent test series, they will necessarily have to perform well in all departments of the game to emerge trumps against the hosts. If the English can come out on the field with a positive mind set, then this could well be the beginning of light emerging at the end of a tunnel.
As far as ICC test rankings go, England is definitely placed higher than West Indies but if one looks at the team morale and recent performances, then both sides are equally positioned; the first match will be a well fought contest but we feel that England have a slight edge to conquer the obstacles and win the opener.
England, 2.00 @ Bet365