A test of endurance for the West Indies
eyes will be on the young Barbadian squad that is presently in England to represent the West Indies in cricket. Far more than fifty percent of the players that are selected to represent the West Indies in the test series are very young and inexperienced.
This could be the last tour for Jason Holder. It seems that only the inclement weather can save the West Indies.
The majority of the players will be making their test appearance in England for the first time. English playing conditions can be very difficult for overseas players. Not only the very cold weather, but the wet conditions can enable the bowlers to get more paces from the wickets. Further, the early morning dampness will make the ball move around and swing. The English players are at home and the weather will be no problem for them, while the Caribbean players will have to adjust themselves to the changing weather conditions.
Only three players in the touring party played test cricket in England before this tour. Batsman, Kieron Powell, who went to England, will find it extremely difficult to vindicate his position in the team. He will find it extremely hard to accumulate runs. And if he decides to play aggressively then he will be a bound to fail.
Powell may very well be playing for the last time for the West Indies team. As for fast bowlers Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel, they are capable of getting wick- ets. The other quick bowler, Miguel Cummings, can be very effective on the English wickets. However, all eyes will be on fast bowler Jason Holder, who is certainly can be described as an ‘up and down’ bowler. With not a single bowler in the team, that can be described as a world class bowler it will be good for West Indies cricket if this tour can produce such a player.
As for the batting, opening batsman Braithwaite will have to give the team a solid start. Good innings from Braithwaite will enable the other ‘flashes in the pond’ to put together some runs on the scoreboard. The Hope brothers will not be playing on home soil and it will be interesting to see them establish themselves in the team. Both Hope brothers as expected were given a chance to play in the opening tour match against Essex county club. Both reach double figures before perishing with their stumps shattered. Blackwood and Chase are two very good youngsters and if they could get some runs consistently then the score board will look better.
The captain is speaking about a family. Well the dressing room and the ‘bars and waterholes’ are speaking about a ‘Barbadian and insular family.’
We would like to see the team ‘gel’ and play as a Caribbean unit, but this could only happen with a leader who could lead by example.
As for England, their team is under an astute cricket captain Joe Root. Root is highly rated as one of the best test batsman in the world. In the present test series, Root hit a massive hundred and a masterful half century in the first and second test match to enable his team to beat the powerful South Africans.
Former England captain Alister Cook is concentrating heavily on his batting and he would be looking to score heavily against the West Indies. Keaton Jennings and Tom Westley are two new players and both of them are capable of making runs at the top of the order.
The batting all-rounders Ben Stokes, Moen Ali and Jonny Bairstow are all capable of destroying any bowling attack. England batting could be very worrisome for the West Indies bowlers.
England bowling lineup i s very strong. Jimmy Anderson, St u a r t Broad and the new ‘ kid’ on the ‘ block’ Toby Rol and- Jones, along with Stokes are capable of bundling out the visitors cheaply, while Moen Ali, who is fresh from his test hat-trick against South Africa will be difficult for the West Indies to deal with in England.
The Test series between England and the West indies could very well be a whitewashed series.