RICHARDS-BOTHAM TROPHY: 2ND TEST PREVIEW
"HERE WE GO AGAIN!" this was what all Eng fans exclaimed when Eng were reduced to 17-2 on the opening day of the 1st test against WI. In no time they found themselves at 27-3 and eventually at 48-4. Eng's so called red ball reset had started on a horror note. But as they say "Never write off anyone in sport". England started rebuilding their innings. Jonny Bairstow first stitched a partnership with Ben Stokes and then with Foakes and Woakes and guided the Eng Innings to a competitive total of 311 as he racked up his 8th test ton. This was his 3rd consecutive FC 100 and his 6th test 100 away from home. WI got off to a flyer as Brathwaite registered his fastest 50 but they found themselves in a spot of bother as they were reduced from 83-1 to 127-4. N Bonner who has been WI's best batsman in the last 2 years registered his 2nd test 100 and helped WI gain a lead of 64. Ben Stokes raised his hand in the bowling department as he sent down 28 overs in the innings and took 2 important wkts.
Debutant opener Alex Lees once again failed to impress as he was dismissed on 6 in the 2nd innings. That brought Joe Root on the crease who scored his 7th test 100 since Jan 2021 and in the meantime went past Kevin Pietersen (23) as Eng's 2nd highest centurion in tests. Along with Zak Crawley the pair put up a match saving 201 run partnership. Eng declared with 286 runs to get for the WI in 70 odd overs. At one point, the match was completely in the grasps of the visitors with WI at 67-4. But the pair of Bonner and Holder were succesful in playing out more than 100 deliveries each as the 1st test ended in a draw.
Eng will be satisfied as well as disappointed with the result considering the positions the were in the 1st session of Day 1 and and 2nd sesion of Day 5. Saqib Mahmood will make his Test debut after replacing the injured Mark Wood in England's team to face West Indies. "He's very mature for a guy who hasn't played a huge amount of international cricket," England captain Joe Root said of Mahmood on Tuesday. "He's been very impressive. He's got a slightly different trajectory and will give us a point of difference."
WI have played 54 tests at Barbados, Won 25 and lost 12
Eng have played 16 tests at Barbados, won 3 and lost 6.
England: Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Joe Root (c), Dan Lawrenece, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Foakes, Chris Woakes, Craig Overton, Jack Leech, Saqib Mahmood
West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite (c), John Campbell, Shamarh Brooks, Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Jason Holder, Joshua Da Silva (wk), Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph, Jayden Seales, Veerasammy Permaul/Philip Anderson
Head to Head
Overall: West Indies lead 58-51
In Caribbean: West Indies lead 27-15
Last 5 Tests: England leads 3-2
Root vs Alzarri: 99 runs for 5 dismissals
Root vs Roach: 181 runs for 2 dismissals
Root vs Holder: 173 runs for 4 dismissals
Stokes vs Roach: 178 runs for 6 dismissals
Bairstow vs Roach: 82 runs for 6 dismissals
Campbell vs Stokes: 35 runs for 2 dismissals
(last 5 Test innings)
Joe Root: The ICC test cricketer of the year had one of the greatest calender years a batter could wish for. He ammassed 1708 runs in 2021 with an average of 61 and breaking the all-time record of Sir Vivian Richards with most top-scores for the team in a calendar year. What makes his achievement even more special is the 2nd highest run scorer in the side was Rory Burns with 550 odd runs. There was a staggering difference between the 1st and the 2nd best batter. Joe Root scored a fine 100 in his last Test in West Indies in 2019 and continued his rich vein form by scoring another 100 in the 3rd innings of the 1st test.
Jonny Bairstow: Having played over 80 Test matches, JB's returns in this format are below average and the graph has only gone south since 2018. However, he showed his old spark and hunger in the longest format when he racked up a top notch 100 in the 4th Ashes test at Sydney. He carried from where he left in Sydney as he recorded a 100 in the 1st practice game of this tour and an another magnificent innings of 140 when Eng were struggling at 48-4.
Zak Crawley: The batsman went through a series of low scores and single digits after his scintillating 267 against Pakistan in 2020. Called back into the side midway through the Ashes Crawley responded with knocks of 77 at Sydney, 36 at Hobart and 121 in the 1st test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
Nkrumah Bonner: While everyone in the West Indies line up is averaging in 30s since past 2 years, Bonner has been an exception. He averages at 49.20 from 10 Tests with 2 100s. He has top scored for the WI 5 times in this WTC cycle.
Kemar Roach: In the last 5 years, Roach has taken 113 wickets at an average of 23 and SR of 50. He has been the leader of West Indies' bowling attack. Roach along with Jayden Seales forms a potent bowling pair. He has dismissed Stokes and Bairstow 6 times each in test cricket.
Jason Holder: Often referred to as the best batsman in the side, the all-rounder's 200* in the last series between these 2 sides in West Indies would still be fresh among the visitors. England are Holder's favourite opponents. He averages 38.76 against them with 2 100s. With ball he averages just a notch below 30 and has scalped 36 wickets.
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