Two wounded sides who find themselves languishing at the bottom of the WTC table are all set to lock horns in a three-match Test series, set to begin this Tuesday at the Sir Viv Richards Stadium in Antigua.
The series holds great importance for both the sides as the winners of this series can jump a few places up in the ladder and moreover the chances of England to make it to the top two of the WTC championship might just get slim to none if they are to end up on the losing side.
The last time the sides met in the longest format, it was back in 2020 in England, where the Windies did put up a tough fight but the Englishmen ended up winning the series, 2-1. There are no clear favorites like we saw in the T20I, where both the teams were neck to neck throughout the series and it was the brilliance of the West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder that tilted the balance towards the hosts.
WI ready to go again🏏— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) March 8, 2022
Fine tuning ahead of our 2nd @cricketworldcup match vs England 🏟University Oval, Dunedin.
🗓March 9 at 11am (Tuesday March 8 at 6pm AST)
📺 ESPN#CWC2022 #TeamWestIndies #MaroonWarriors pic.twitter.com/cw8vjZGCBA
West Indies come on the back of defeat against Sri Lanka, where they lost 2-0. England on the other hand will come into this series on the back of a nightmare Ashes series which they lost 4-0. West Indies are a force at home conditions and the series looks promising for entertainment. Can West Indies end England's hope of making it to the top two?
Match Toss time: 19:00 IST (13:30 GMT)
Match Start time: 19:30 IST (14:00 GMT)
Match Venue: Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua
Head to head
Matches played: 160, West Indies: 58, England: 51, Draw: 51
Weather conditions and pitch
The West Indies are featuring their full strength squad and they have shown their faith in the veteran Kemar Roach once again despite failing on multiple occasions to great an impact. Joshua de Silva will take up the responsibility behind the stumps, while the bowling department is expected to be filled in by Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales, Alzarri Joseph and V Permaul. We also expect John Campbell to get the thumbs up ahead of Shamarh Brooks.
England on the other hand will be without the services of their most experienced duo of James Anderson and Stuart Board after the management decided to rest them for this series. Jonny Bairstow is expected to make the cut as a pure batsman and Ben Faokes is expected to don the gloves.
Probable Playing Xl
West Indies (WI): Kraigg Brathwaite (c), John Campbell, Nkrumah Bonner, Jermaine Blackwood, Kyle Mayers, Jason Holder, Joshua Da Silva (wk), Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph, Jayden Seales, Veerasammy Permaul
England (ENG): Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Joe Root (c), Dan Lawrence, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Foakes (wk), Chris Woakes, Craig Overton, Mark Wood, Jack Leach
The English skipper Joe Root is only getting better with time and he is on the verge of becoming the first English player to cross the 10k run mark in Test cricket. Along with him, the World's no.1 ranked Test all-rounder Jason Holder is the player who is expected to pile on the fantasy points.
English all-rounder Ben Stokes and West Indies opener Kraigg Brathwaite are the two other must-Picks for this encounter.
WI vs ENG fantasy team
Captain and Vice-captain picks
It's very difficult to separate these two teams as both have world class all-rounders in their side. The bowling unit of the West Indies is slightly inexperienced when compared to that of England but the home conditions could play a huge role. The toss is also expected to play a huge factor and the team winning the toss is likely to boost their chances of winning by a huge margin. With experience on England's side and given it's a must win encounter for them, we expect them to give it everything.
Cricwizz predicts England to win the 1st Test and take a 1-0 lead.
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