Considering the decline of West Indies cricket in recent decades, you would expect England to be the favorites going into a Test series against them, even in their own backyard. However, for some reason, West Indies managed to rally themselves in the last two series in which they hosted the Three Lions – in 2009 and 2015 – to win the former and draw the latter.
So, this contest may not be as easy to predict as many would imagine. Apart from their smashing victory over the home side in 2004, West Indies has been one of the most difficult places for England to visit. They used to routinely get beaten during the great era of Windies cricket in the last quarter of the previous century and haven’t been able to register too many victories since their historic triumph under Michael Vaughan.
Having registered a whitewash over Sri Lanka in their own backyard, England are buoyant and looking to turn the tide of history. West Indies, though, suffered a whitewash themselves in their previous series – against Bangladesh in Bangladesh.
So, what is likely to be the course of events in this contest? What are the chances of the two teams heading into the series? And who are going to be the key players? Let’s explore these questions through a quick preview.
Will Spin Dominate Again?
In spite of the reputation of the West Indies as a country in love with fast bowling, it is spin that has become the most preferred art of bowling in recent years in the region. This is why pitches in the Caribbean have become slow and low and traditionally help slower bowlers.
It would be interesting to see how the pitches in this series behave considering that England seem to have a very potent spin attack that bowled them to victory in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, West Indies have picked just one spinner in their attack – Jomel Warrican. So, the nature of the pitches would be interesting to observe.