Preview England vs. Windies Test match.

I am looking forward to this test series. West Indies wants to rebrand themselves and be known as Windies now. That rebranding did not help them as Pakistan beat Windies convincingly in the West Indies. Except for the test that Windies won; the Pakistan bowlers decimated the Windies. However it is a different story in their tour matches. Their batsman have done extremely well against the English bowlers. The exception was against Kent.

England have gone in with a different team than the one that played against South Africa. Jennings and Dawson have been dropped. They have been directly replaced by Mark Stoneman and Mason Crane. Michael Woods is still injured and has been replaced by Chris Woakes. The team that I would have liked to see

1) Alastair Cook

2) Mark Stoneman

3) Joe Root

4) Dawid Malan

5) Ben Stokes

6) Jim Baristow

7) Moeen Ali

8) Toby Roland Jones

9) Chris Woakes

10) Stuart Broad

11) Jimmy Anderson

Seven players automatically get selected. So the question is the choice of Mark Stoneman, Dawid Malan, Tom Westley, Toby Roland-Jones,Chris Woakes and Mason Crane. The team chosen to play are

1) Alastair Cook

2) Mark Stoneman

3) Tom Westley

4) Joe Root

5) Dawid Malan

6) Ben Stokes

7) Jim Baristow

8) Moeen Ali

9) Toby Roland Jones

10) Stuart Broad

11) Jimmy Anderson

The team that they have chosen is a good game and cannot be faulted. They have not chosen Woakes because they want to make sure he his fit especially keeping Australia in mind where Chris Woakes may be needed. I have not followed Stoneman and this is the first time I have heard about him. However England need to find a stable opening partner. So far Alastair Cook has had 11 partners so far. An opening partner must be found by the time the Ashes come up. I don’t think that The Ashes is a place to test new players. You have had greats like like Don Bradman and Graham Gooch fail on debut even though they were playing in their home country. I hope Stoneman, Westley and Malan succeed. The top order needs to get sorted. Generally your best batsman should be at number three. Trevor Bayliss wants Joe Root to bat at three but Root feels comfortable batting at four. In the top order Cook and Root are the most important players. Cook opens the batting so it is only fair that Root bats in the slot where he feels most comfortable. It is better for Root to score more runs with either Cook, Stokes, Baristow or Moeen supporting him.

This will be England’s first Day and Night test match. The first in England and the 5th overall. This will also be the first match where the Dukes pink ball will be used. England is one of those few places in the world where Test cricket is still healthy. Having a day and night match will probably be better for the game.

Detailed Analysis to follow.

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