Headingley: After going past West Indies in merely 3 days, England are set to take on each other at Headingley in the second of the three-Test series. The first contest — also the first-ever day-night Test on England soil — saw the hosts wallop West Indies by an innings and 209 runs.
Joe Root’s captaincy career has so far been anything but a smooth sail after a 3-1 series win over South Africa, and now this. It has given ample chance to the management to try out various combinations.
Since the arrival of 21st century, England have completely annihilated West Indies, winning 19 of 31 and losing only 3.
Jason Holder’s side face a humongous task to even put up a fight, let alone beat the rampant England, who have an unbeaten track record at Leeds since 2000 versus West Indies. They, in all likelihood, will not be making any unwarranted change. The only problem the hosts posses is the absence of stable opening partner for Alastair Cook.
Mark Stoneman should be continued with. The new No. 3, Tom Westley, looks promising but needs to assure he is here for the long haul.
Sadly for West Indies, coach Stuart Law’s remarks of the series being a mismatch does hold true. Law was quick to add that the current West Indies outfit lacks talent and experience, and hopes to improve in the Leeds Test.
West Indies cricket has, since the retirement of Brian Lara, Shivnaraine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan, struggled to produce batsmen. One-off Test performances will won’t do much good moving ahead.
With more and more players opting to play T20 cricket, their interest in the more rigid form of cricket has diminished. Law himself hinted that West Indies won’t be making any changes in the team combination and rely on the same set of players to step up their game.
The standout players for West Indies in the opening pink-ball Test was Kemar Roach and Jermaine Blackwood. It is important that the likes of Roston Chase, Jason Holder and Kraigg Brathwaite bring their ‘A’ game come Friday.
England: Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, Tom Westley, Joe Root (Capt.), Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Mason Crane, Toby Roland-Jones
West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite, Kieran Powell, Kyle Hope, Shai Hope, Roston Chase, Jermaine Blackwood, Shane Dowrich (wk), Jason Holde r(Capt.), Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph, Miguel Cummins, Devendra Bishoo, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Raymon Reifer
Pitch and conditions
There was rain in the build-up which meant the pitch was covered for considerable time but the forecast is promising for the duration of the match.
Stats and trivia
August 25-29, 2017
Start time 11.00am local (1000 GMT)