The second Test between West Indies and England will begin today at the National Stadium in St George’s in Grenada. The first of the 3-match Test series was played at Antigua and it finished in a draw thanks to a last day century from all-rounder Jason Holder.
There is no doubt England looked the better of the two teams at Antigua. In the first innings, Jermaine Blackwood held the fort for the West Indies with a fighting century while in the second essay, Jason Holder prevented a possible English victory with a superb knock.
Above photo: GRENADA, GRENADA – APRIL 20: Moeen Ali of England during fielding practise during the England nets session at the National Cricket Ground Stadium in St George on April 20, 2015 in Grenada, Grenada. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
England are the team under pressure as they had a disastrous show in the ICC World Cup 2015 where they even failed to make it to the Quarter Finals. It seems that England only seems to be interested in Test cricket and which is why they are expected to prove that they are among the top three Test sides in the world. West Indies on the other hand would be happy to just compete and avoid a defeat. Unfortunately they do not have the team that can win them Test matches against quality teams. The bowling isn’t the most intimidating although Kemar Roach and Jerome Taylor can generate express pace. The batting lacks the big names and comprises mostly of under-achievers in international cricket. The only exception is Shivnarine Chanderpaul but he is in the brink of his long and illustrious career, and right now doesn’t look to be in great form.
West Indies will bring in leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo in their line-up in the place of left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn who has been dropped. There has been two more changes with the inclusion of fast bowlers Shannon Gabriel and Carlos Brathwaite. Both are unlikely to get a nod for this Test match unless the West Indies go in with an all-pace attack. As of now, although Jason Holder isn’t that special with his pace bowling, his batting show in the first Test has bought him a place in the playing XI.
Above photo: West Indies cricketer Shiv Chanderpaul plays a shot during a training session at the Grenada National Stadium in Saint George’s on April 20, 2015. West Indies will play its second of a three-match Test series against England starting on April 21. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD/GETTY IMAGES
England’s main problem has been the opening batting. While Alastair Cook has been struggling to get the big runs, his partners have been kept on changing. His latest opening partner is Jonathan Trott who had a double failure in the first Test and doesn’t seem to be suited for the role. The visitors have been boosted by the addition of off-spinning all-rounder Moeen Ali who missed the first Test at North Sound because of an injury. There will be straight swap with Moeen Ali replacing James Tredwell with the latter suffering an arm injury.
The venue for the second Test – the National Stadium in St George’s, Grenada is all set to host what is going to be only its third Test match! The pitch here is expected to be on the slower side and is going to turn a lot more than what we saw at Antigua. It is also going to have early morning dampness which should assist the seamers. This Test match may also see some rain intervention which could impact the end result.
The West Indies vs England, 2nd Test at Grenada is scheduled to start at 10:oo local or 14:00 GMT which turns out to be 19:30 GMT.
West Indies Squad: Kraigg Brathwaite, Devon Smith, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Jermaine Blackwood, Denesh Ramdin (Captain and Wicket Keeper), Jason Holder, Kemar Roach, Jerome Taylor, Shannon Gabriel, Devendra Bishoo, Carlos Brathwaite, Shai Hope
England Squad: Alastair Cook (Captain), Jonathan Trott, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler (Wicket Keeper), Ben Stokes, Chris Jordan, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Adam Lyth, Jonathan Bairstow, Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood, Adil Rashid, James Tredwell