West Indies vs England, 2nd Test: Preview and Predicted Playing XI
England faced a 381-run thumping in the series opener against the West Indies in the opening Test. Now, the visitors will be eyeing a turnaround when they visit the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound for the second Test beginning on Friday, January 31.
The hosts were no less then a surprise package in the previous fixture and tasted victory after four consecutive defeats against India and Bangladesh. Meanwhile, they have lost just once at North Sound and this win will certainly raise their confidence and will be eager to make it count in the next game too.
Jason Holder (5 & 202*), the top all-rounder in the ICC Test Rankings, clinched his maiden Test double-century in the second innings of the opening game as he shared an unbeaten 295-run seventh wicket stand with Shannon Dowrich (0 & 116*).
Both looked good in their respective innings and overshadowed their scores of the first innings to lead the team towards a massive total. Except for Bravo all other top and middle order batsmen were among runs in the first game and if they can continue their form, then another surprise might be on the cards.
Roston Chase was the pick of the lot claiming an eight-wicket haul in the second innings while Kemar Roach picked a five-fer in just 11 overs in the first innings.
These two will be backed by the skipper to rattle the opponents early on. Seamer Alzarri Joseph and skipper Jason Holder shared five wickets between them and one may expect them to improve on it further in the next outing.
Expected Playing XI
Jason Holder (C), Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel, Alzarri Joseph, Kraigg Brathwaite, John Campbell, Shai Hope, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Shimron Hetmyer and Shane Dowrich.
England's below par show in the first Test was a timely reminder for the visitors and a few underperforming names might make way for some other options.
Meanwhile, the visitors currently finds themselves in a situation, where they must win this Test, to keep the series alive. Despite their poor show in first innings, there were some signs of revival in the second and with the kind of talent and experience they boast, it won't be tough for them to counter the hosts in the next meeting.
Rory Burns was England's sole half centurion in the opening clash, as he scored 84 runs in the second innings and showed his power in middle by hitting 15 boundaries during his stay. Therefore, it will be essential that he comes out with a similar show in next game.
Except him, the likes of skipper Joe Root, Jos Butter and Jonny Bairstow need to put up a show. All have been the backbone of the British batting lineup and the team will need them to level up their performance and get the team towards a fair total in the second Test.
England had an off week in the first Test, but there was a player who broke a few records during the opening fixture. James Anderson once again used his expertise to claim his 27th five-wicket haul in the first innings to become second British bowler to achieve this feat, while becoming the first Englishman to take 200 wickets in away Tests.
He is certainly a major plus in the team and is likely to make the most of the conditions during the second game as well. The likes of Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali were the other bowlers to register their name in the wickets column with six and four scalps respectively.
These two, along with the experienced Stuart Broad, who is likely to make a comeback for the second Test, will be expected to clinch few wickets upfront.
Expected Playing XI
Joe Root (C), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Rory Burns, Keaton Jennings and Jonny Bairstow.