After a remarkable winning return to cricket at Southampton, West Indies are set to face England in the 2nd test at Manchester this Thursday.
The previous match had opened the doors for further international cricket, and possibly, we can expect the rest of the cricket boards to resume cricket sooner than later.
Windies were tagged as the dark horse before the series started. However, they have proved that a common horse doesn’t win the derby by defeating England in their backyard.
The Windies will be anxious to win the next match and the series.
Their batting unit, which looked fragile pre-series, performed beyond expectation in the 1st Test Match.
The batters chased the target of 200 despite being 37 for 3 with a batsman retired-hurt. This move will boost their confidence to approach the second game like a “duppy conqueror.”
The underrated Captain Jason Holder has justified his number one world-ranked all-rounder position in Test cricket.
The bowling department of Windies looks a settled unit considering their current form. Roach wasn’t among wickets but has been consistent with his line and length.
The Windies are likely to go unchanged unless there is a forced change of John Campbell due to injury. They could add Rahkeeem Cornwall to give variety to the playing 11.
Stoke’s captaincy was criticized post-match as he looked defensive despite being an aggressive player. He didn’t go for wickets in the 2nd innings but was keener to save the runs and under bowled himself and later realized how handy he was with his golden arm.
Joe Root’s return will be a big boost to the team, especially his captaincy will add new tactics and strategies to the game. Joe Denly, who failed to convert his 20s to big half-tons and tons, is likely to be left out to accommodate Root. Also, considering the crucial 76 runs which Crawly managed to score to safeguard himself from being dropped when the captain returns for the 2nd test.
Broad will be furious to come back into the team after being dropped in the first match. Jofra Archer had silenced the critics with early breakthroughs in the 2nd innings. He will look to continue good form with his brutal pace and bounce in the upcoming match. Anderson will no doubt seek to be economical, but at the same time, will be desperate to dismiss the batsmen with his consistent line and length.
The umpiring decisions looked bizarre in the 1st test and were way below the international standards. The additional DRS has allowed the umpires to take it easy in their decision making. Hopefully, in the upcoming games, we can see much better umpiring and neutral decisions.
The Wicket at Old Trafford is a bit quicker than in Southampton. Hence, it will be a more challenging condition for the batsmen. The weather forecast looks better in comparison to the first match. The condition will remain overcast for the first two days with chances of intermittent showers.
This match will also be played behind closed doors. Although England is playing at home, it doesn’t seem like they have a home advantage in the crowd’s absence.
The second test will be crucial for both teams as it could be a series win for one side or the leveling of the series for the other. We can expect two good teams facing-off yet another close encounter and may the better team win.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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