England vs West Indies get an unusual test summer underway with the first of three tests; with the series-opening in Southampton at the Ageas Bowl.
England and West Indies kick off their three-test series with a match at the Ageas Bowl, Hampshire; which takes place from July 8 to July 12. The live-action is scheduled to get underway at 11:00 local time each day.
England vs West Indies Preview
England are without captain Joe Root; who had to withdraw from the bio-secure environment in order to be with his wife for the birth of their child. Ben Stokes will lead the team. England looking to build on a return to form in the five-day format after they beat South Africa 3-1 in the winter.
West Indies, meanwhile, have not played test cricket since a one-off win against Afghanistan. They are big underdogs for this match but Jason Holder and Roston Chase will remember fondly the fact they have upset the odds against England before.
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Overcast conditions on the first two days could tempt England to bowl first. Ben Stokes will be looking to win the toss in his first game as captain.
The first two days are set to be overcast, with a small chance of showers – though nothing sustained – before clearer conditions later in the week.
The Ageas Bowl is normally a good batting wicket and the test summer could start with a few runs.
England Team News & Playing 11
With Joe Root absent, Ben Stokes will lead the team. Moeen Ali and Jonny Bairstow have already been confirmed as missing out; Dom Bess will play ahead of Ali and Jack Leach as the frontline spinner.
The key selection decision will be which three of James Anderson, Stuart Broad. Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, and Chris Woakes will join Ben Stokes in the bowling attack. Anderson and Archer bowled well in the warm-up game and offer variation from each other.
England Predicted Playing 11
Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley. Joe Denly, Ollie Pope, Ben Stokes (c), Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Woakes. Dom Bess, Jofra Archer, James Anderson
West Indies Team News & Playing 11
Shannon Gabriel has been added to the West Indian test squad after his performances in the warm-up matches and the tourists could therefore opt for the same pace attack that beat England in the West Indies in 2019.
The squad includes potential debutants Nkrumah Bonner and Chemar Holder. The latter was in good domestic form with Barbados.
West Indies Predicted Playing 11
Kraigg Brathwaite, John Campbell, Jermaine Blackwood. Shai Hope, Sharmarh Brooks, Roston Chase. Jason Holder, Shane Dowrich (wk), Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel
England vs West Indies Odds
ENG to win the match: England are 1.30 favourites to beat West Indies.