Date & Time: Wednesday, July 08, 15:30 IST
Venue: The Rose Bowl, Southampton, England
And, Yes! here we are! After three and a half months of forced break due to the pandemic- Covid-19, International cricket will finally be back in our lives when the hosts England lock horns with the West Indies at the Rose Bowl in Hampshire’s Southampton, which is ”Bio-Secured”.
All the cricket lovers across the world are waiting for this moment for a while now, and it is to be noted that it is arriving in a traditional format. The fans, analysts and all the people involved with cricket are pretty eager to see the game of cricket in this Covid-infected World. By now the new norm is for the players to play in empty stadiums, which only means a double growth in the viewership on television and digital platforms.
As far as the game is concerned, England will be looking to avenge the 1-2 series defeat that they suffered at the hands of Jason Holder’s men in the Caribbean last year. This time, they will be playing under Ben Stokes, who is making his debut as skipper.
On the other hand, the West Indies announced a pretty young squad for the series but all of them are charged up to deliver their best against England. The seniors like Shai Hope, Jason Holder, Kemar Roach and Brathwaite will hold the key for the team.
Ben Stokes and Jason Holder are undoubtedly two best all-rounders in world cricket at the moment and they are also the players to rely on for both teams with seniors being unavailable for the contest. Apart from them, England will rely on Rory Burns and Ollie Pope in absence of Joe Root.
It will be interesting to see the contest between Joe Denly and Zak Crawly for the number 3 spot in the England lineup. England backed Jos Buttler ahead of Jonny Bairstow and there will be a few selection headaches for England management to chose between Stuart Broad and Mark Wood.
On the other hand, Brathwaite and Shai Hope are the players to rely on for the West Indies. Roston Chase will hold the key to the middle-order, while youngsters like Brooks and Campbell must play well to help the West Indies against solid England bowling lineup. The bowling department will be looked after by Kemar Roach and Gabriel.
England: Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Zak Crawley, Joe Denly, Ben Stokes (C), Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (WK), Dom Bess, James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood/Stuart Broad.
West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite, John Campbell, Shai Hope, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Jermaine Blackwood/Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich (WK), Jason Holder (C), Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel.
As there were no matches held in the recent past, the pitch is expected to give extra zip for the fast bowlers initially. However, as the game progresses, spinners will come handy for their respective teams. Batsmen will also enjoy the ball coming on to the bat under sunshine.
However, the initial couple of days of the Test match has the forecast of light showers and cloudy weather, which makes it tough for the batsmen to survive. In those conditions, bowlers will have their tail up.
Average 1st Inns scores 333
Average 2nd Inns scores 326
Average 3rd Inns scores 270
Average 4th Inns scores 181
Ben Stokes must be your first pick in the Dream11 team for this game. He is England’s prime player in all sections of the game and possess exceptional stats against the West Indies. He has PPM of 138.67 against West Indies and MDTA of 1.5.
Much like Ben Stokes, Jason Holder is going to be one of the crucial players in this contest. Holder is the player to rely for the West Indies. He has got brilliant stats in this format of the game. He has PPM of 128.4 against England in five games and MDTA of 1.67.
He is yet another player from England, who might make an impact on the game. With conditions being cloudy, it is expected that James Anderson would become a thorn for West Indies batting lineup. Besides that, he got excellent PPM of 87.83 against West Indies.
He is one of the few players in West Indies, who is pretty consistent and has the calibre to make things happen for his side. He has been the West Indies’ regular contributor in the last couple of years and is expected to play a crucial role in the upcoming game. He has PPM of 101 against England and MDTA of 1.5.
Well, it doesn’t matter which format it is, a player like Jos Buttler can make an impact with his incredible batting standards. The flamboyant batsman will be one of our big bets for this game, especially, with inconsistent top-order. He has PPM of 74.
He is one of the senior players of West Indies and has what it takes to make things happen for the team. He has PPM of 84.67 and he is regarded as one of the match-winning players for the West Indies.
The confident batsman has done exceptionally well during the Ashes series, but we didn’t choose him as a captain or vice-captain in any of our teams because of pitch and weather conditions. With fast bowlers set to get an extra purchase from the pitch, it might be difficult for Rory Burns to survive. Apart from that, the West Indies has got top-class bowlers to make use of the pitch and new ball.