England will be hosting the West Indian side for a three-Test series that will be the first international series after close to 4 months of drought. Both the sides have been practicing well in the build-up to the game and also taking care of the COVID-19 that has apparently slowed down the world.
The first Test will begin on July 8 and the scheduled final day of the third Test is also in the same month. The month of July is considered as summer in England but there is some rain from time to time. To give a reference, the World Cup last year was being played at this time of the year and it had a say on a few of the matches.
With rain around, the conditions tend to stay overcast. Swing bowlers might already be licking their lips. There are quite a few bowlers who are expected to come out on look in this series. Let’s have a look who they are:
- James Anderson – England’s most successful Test bowler needs no instruction as he is just 16 wickets away from the magical ‘600’ mark which has been achieved by only 3 bowlers so far, all spinners. Anderson has scalped the West Indian opener Kraigg Brathwaite 7 times, Shai Hope 4 times, Roston Chase thrice, Shane Dowrich, Jermaine Blackwood, and Jason Holder twice and John Campbell once in the longest format of the game. He has been at his best in England and that is not a good start for the touring Caribbean team.
- Stuart Broad – Anderson’s bowling partner is as dangerous as his senior, especially when both of them are working together. Broad is 15 wickets away from 500 wickets and will be looking forward to getting there as soon as possible. Even at the age of 34, he was among the first players to come back to practice after the England Cricket Board cleared the players and allowed them to take necessary measures and begin training. This speaks of his hunger to perform and with the Tests in home conditions, Broad will certainly be in the top 5 wicket-takers in the series. Like Anderson, the taller of the two has also bowled well against the batsmen in the current West Indian squad. He has scalped Jason Holder and Shane Dowrich thrice, Kraigg Brathwaite and Roston Chase twice and Shai Hope once.
Expect England to bowl first if they win the toss. Anderson and Broad like to take the ball away and bring it back in (to right-handers) respectively and they can keep doing it irrespective of the shine on the ball. So if the Windies batsmen are hoping that the saliva-ban will reduce the effectivity of the England stalwarts, they are going to be surprised! Be sure to keep checking the Live Cricket Score when these are bowling in tandem!
- Shannon Gabriel – Gabriel was initially not in the 15-man West Indies squad for the first Test but he recovered in time from his ankle injury and played well in the practice match. He returned with bowling figures of 8-1-42-4 in his first match in a span of 3 months and it is really commendable to do that at the age of 32. He is one of those bowlers who run-in with all their might and bowl their heart out deliver after delivery. He is not one of the best components of swing on offer but can move the ball sideways once the ball gets a bit older. He has bagged the wickets of Ben Stokes 4 times, Joe Root, Joe Denly, and Jonny Bairstow twice and Jos Buttler once. In 3 Tests in England so far, he has picked up 11 wickets and would like to repeat this performance in the upcoming series.