England vs West Indies | 1st Test Southampton - Statistical Preview

England vs West Indies | 1st Test Southampton - Statistical Preview

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Rory Burns would be a vital cog in England's top-order setup

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Yayyyy.. Cricket is finally back after more than 100 days in hibernation and we can’t keep calm. The first of the three-match Wisden Trophy will kick start in Southampton, with Ben Stokes leading England against an inspired Jason Holder-led Windies side. Let’s delve deep and unearth the numbers.

Form guide

England - W W W L D

Although both teams are returning to the field for their first Test match over five months, England will go with full confidence knowing the recent history is in their favour. Having won three of the four matches against South Africa, England will harbour hope of repeating the same against West Indies to exact revenge for the 2018-19 series that went awry for them right from the word go. Even the loss against Centurion was a pure lottery and the draw against New Zealand, which was not a part of the Test Championship, came on a dead track. 

West Indies - W L L L W

West Indies’ fortunes have been exactly opposite of England, with the Caribbean side having suffered three losses and two wins in their last five encounters. Co-incidentally one of those wins came against England, with the other one coming against Afghanistan. The thrashing that Windies had received at the hands of India last August is still fresh in the memory - something that Holder and co will try to turn this time, as the memories of their inspiring performance of the 2017 Headingley Test is still alive among many cricket fans. 

Key Batsmen

Rory Burns

It is not always you put an English opener’s name as the best batsman in the side if your name is not Alastair Cook, but such has been English batting predicament that this is the current reality. However, that is not to suggest that Burns doesn’t deserve the role, He, in fact, has earnt this label, thanks to the kind of solidarity he showed during the last Ashes, and also in the one Test that he played against South Africa in Centurion. His 84 gave England balance to hang around and there is no doubt that he will play a very important role in the first Test in Southampton. In the practice match too, Burns managed to score 21 and 35 in a very impressive manner and Stokes will want him not to give away his wicket cheaply this time.

Roston Chase

No one can ever forget that epic Leeds Test of 2017 when Roston Chase’s partnership with Shai Hope set up the base for a miraculous Windies win. Times have changed, Chase failed to inspire the same confidence after that, but as West Indies assistant coach Roddy Estwick admitted, the entire batting structure has fallen from grace. Chase, meanwhile, emerged as the biggest hope for the series, considering the impact he has till date against swing bowling. His 37 against WI Holder XI in the Intra-squad is a trailer which has the potential to unleash itself in totality come Wednesday in Hampshire. His all-round ability is never in doubt as he became the first West Indies player since Sir Garfield Sobers in 1966 to hit a hundred and take a five-wicket haul in the same Test when he achieved the feat against India in Jamaica in 2016

Key Bowlers

Jofra Archer

Historically, the Rose Bowl has been a fast bowler’s paradise, with the quality pace often being the major calling card, which makes me side with Jofra Archer more than the duo of James Anderson or Stuart Broad. Archer, in the Team Stokes vs Team Buttler practise match showed that has lost none of it but rather hungrier and eager to perform, dismissed Dominic Sibley and Ben Foakes to return with figures of 2/37. Barring the series against New Zealand, we all have seen the kind of damage that Archer can inflict on teams, and so that keeps England in good stead for the upcoming #Raisethebat series. 

Definitely one of the finest players of the current era, Kemar Roach inspires in equal measure as much as he thrills when the red cherry in hand. A strident reader of the game, Roach has an incredible average of 26.59 against England in 10 Tests he’s played against them, with him also claiming two five-wicket hauls in the process. In his 56-match Test career, he hasn’t bowled more against any team than England, which gives him a cutting edge over Jason Holder and Shannon Gabriel. 

Venue Statistics

The home for Hampshire County, Southampton has been one of the least favoured grounds by the English cricket team, with the venue only hosting three Test matches so far in its short history. England have only played three Test matches here - two against India and one against Sri Lanka - winning two and drawing one game here. At an average of 33.52 per wicket, Southampton is better than other traditional London venues as far as batting is concerned. With the wicket being fresh, this will be a challenge for batsmen this time though, with fresh grass supporting the quicks.

Sportsbet.io Predictions 

England are heavy favourites to win the game, having almost five times more favourites than their opponent, with the chances of a draw also extremely lesser. The Rose Bowl has traditionally been a run-scoring venue too that means a chance can’t be negated about this match ending in a draw. It is worth the money if you all bonkers with Ben Stokes winning the game by a handsome margin.

Squads

England: Ben Stokes (captain), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wk), Zak Crawley, Joe Denly, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

West Indies: Jason Holder (capt), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Chemar Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach

Venue: Rose Bowl, Southampton

When to watch: July 8-12, 2020, 3:30 PM

Where to watch: Sony Six, Sony Liv, Jio TV

Can England trump Windies in the first Test? Or will Windies create history? To get all the live updates, follow Sportsbet.io.

Predicted XIs

England: Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Zak Crawley, Joe Denly, Ben Stokes (c), Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (wk), James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer, Jack Leach

West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite, John Campbell, Shai Hope, Shamarh Brooks, Jermaine Blackwood, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich (wk), Jason Holder (c), Rahkeem Cornwall, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel

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