England vs West Indies – 1st Test Match Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is England vs West Indies taking place? Wednesday 8th July, 2020 – 11:00 (UK)

Where is England vs West Indies taking place? The Ageas Bowl, Southampton

What is the expected weather for England vs West Indies? 19-22c with a risk of showers on Thursday but otherwise sunshine forecast

What channel is England vs West Indies on? The match will be televised live on Sky Sports Cricket

Where can I stream England vs West Indies? The match can be streamed live using the SkyGo app

Where can I get tickets for England vs West Indies? This match will be played without spectators

LAST MEETING
England beat West Indies by 232 runs

THE TEAM NEWS

ENGLAND

  • England return to Test action against the Windies for a three-match series that will see Ben Stokes lead them as captain with Joe Root unavailable due to the impending birth of his second child but that is likely to be the case just for this opening match in Southampton.
  • There was an intra-squad warm-up match last week and the selectors named a 13-man squad following that game with off-spinner Dom Bess chosen ahead of the returning Moeen Ali and Jack Leach.
  • The top order is likely to comprise of Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley and Joe Denly in Joe Root’s absence while the two to drop out will likely come from pace bowlers James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes as they have good options to rotate from throughout the series.

WEST INDIES

  • West Indies have been in England for a month having to go through an extensive protocol ahead of this series but they had a handful of players that refused to travel such as Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul.
  • The tourists will take heart from the fact that they beat England in the last series they played back in the Caribbean early in 2019 but this will be a completely different proposition in the UK where the conditions will certainly favour England’s bowling attack.
  • The Windies have concerns over their fragile batting order with Kraigg Brathwaite, John Campbell, Shamarh Brooks, Shai Hope and Roston Chase all struggling in the warm-up match and how they acclimatise to conditions will be key to their chances in this opening Test and in the series.

THE PREDICTION

This will be an intriguing series and opening Test match given that there has been so little cricket played in recent months so there is every chance that there will be a good degree of ring rust here. Combined with a positive weather forecast and the lack of action likely to impact the batsmen more than the bowlers, a result is highly likely in Southampton. Neither batting order particularly excelled in the intra-squad warm-up matches and the bowlers are surely going to have the upper hand here. England should have the edge there in terms of conditions and with the Windies batsmen likely to take some time to adjust, expect an England win here.

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