Man of the Match: Jason Holder
England to win the Match
Our prediction is England to win the match!
Hosts West Indies will be keen to start their home season on a good note when they face England in the opening game of the three-match Test series in Barbados on Wednesday.
The home side is coming into this game on the back of four consecutive Test match defeats suffered against India and Bangladesh. Jason Holder and co. will need to bring their A-game to the table to turn their fortunes around in the three-match series against England.
On the other hand, England reached an all-time high by completing a historic whitewash in Sri Lanka. Skipper Joe Root will be hoping that the side can continue their good form in this series as well.
The home side will be desperate to get back to winning ways after suffering consecutive series defeats in India and Bangladesh. The big positive for West Indies is that Captain Jason Holder has regained full fitness and will play the opening game of the Test series.
West Indies have included uncapped players like John Campbell, Shamarh Brooks and Oshane Thomas in the Test squad for the three-match series. John Campbell is expected to make his Test debut for West Indies in this game. He will open the innings alongside Kraigg Brathwaite for the opening game of the series in Barbados.
Left-handed Darren Bravo will make his return to the Test side after a hiatus of two years. Bravo will certainly bolster West Indies batting resources and is expected to play in the middle-order in the three-match Test series.
In the batting department, the side will be relying on the likes of Shai Hope, Kraigg Brathwaite and Roston Chase to do the bulk of the scoring. Hope has suffered from lean run with the bat in Test cricket and will be keen to find form in this series.The side will be concerned over the poor form of Brathwaite, who hasn’t done much with the bat in the last six months.
Shimron Hetmyer is a promising player who will be looking to make an impression with the bat against England. Left-handed batsman has done well for West Indies in limited-overs cricket and will be keen to do well in the five-day format.
Wicket-keeper Shane Dowrich has been excellent behind the stumps for West Indies. He also has contributed with decent scores for the side in Test cricket. Captain Jason Holder will be determined to produce his best game with bat and ball.
In the bowling department, the side will be relying on the likes of Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach and Jason Holder to provide crucial breakthroughs with the new-ball. Alzarri Joseph or uncapped Oshane Thomas will fight it out for a place in the XI.
Kraigg Brathwaite, Shai Hope, Shane Dowrich (wk), Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Jason Holder (c), Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph/Oshane Thomas.
Kemar Roach, Darren Bravo, Alzarri Joseph, Shane Dowrich, Jason Holder, John Campbell, Shimron Hetmyer, Shannon Gabriel, Roston Chase, Shai Hope, Kraigg Brathwaite
The visitors will be looking to get off to a decent start in the three-match Test series against West Indies. Joe Root’s side certainly surprised many with their outstanding performance in Sri Lanka. England will quite confident of doing well in the Caribbean after achieving a clean sweep over Sri Lanka in the Test series.
Rory Burns will need to produce a big score in order to retain his place in the XI. He certainly chipped in with crucial scores for England in the three-match series played in Sri Lanka. Opener Keaton Jennings also will be under the spotlight as he needs to produce consistency with the bat for England.
In the batting department, England will be depending on the likes of Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler to do the bulk of the scoring. Jos Buttler has shown incredible form with the bat across all formats and will be keen to continue his good form in this series.
All-rounder Ben Stokes will be keen to get back to his best with bat and ball. In the bowling department, the side will be relying on the likes of James Anderson and Stuart Broad to make early inroads with the new-ball.
Adil Rashid might be dropped as Sam Curran will play as third seamer in the XI. Moeen Ali and Jack Leach will be spin bowling options for the series opener.
Joe Root (c), Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Rory Burns, Keaton Jennings, Ben Stokes, Sam Curran, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid/Jack Leach, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.
Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, AU Rashid, Keaton Jennings, Moeen Ali, Ben Foakes, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, James Anderson, Ben Stokes, Rory Burns
Traditionally, the pitch at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown provides assistance to the quick bowlers. The weather forecast for the game on Wednesday is partly cloudy skies with gusty winds. The rain is expected to play a role in this game.
The Kensington Oval in Barbados is one of the quickest pitches in the Caribbean at the moment. The surface provides an exciting contest with bat and ball.
The side that wins the toss would ideally like to bowl and make use of freshly prepared wicket. The quick bowlers will get assistance as new-Duke balls will be used in this series.