And, here we are! After nearly four months of inaction, cricket is back and alive. England host West Indies at Southampton in the first of the three-Test series starting from Wednesday, 8th July. The entire cricket world is geared up for this match, as all eyes will be on how players and fans adjust to the ‘new normal’.
As for the action, the visitors are the holders of the Wisden Trophy awarded to the winners of the Test series between England and West Indies. England will be without regular captain Joe Root, but in Ben Stokes they have a natural stand-in replacement. West Indies have some exciting names themselves and would fancy their chances of an upset.
Root’s absence makes England go for a complete greenhorn batting unit. Rory Burns will be back at the top, while Dom Sibley will be hoping to grow from his South Africa series exploits. Ollie Pope has had a great series as well and can be a good pick.
For your fantasy selections, you can’t look beyond Stokes. Even without captaincy, he remains England’s talisman and should be a definite pick. James Anderson will relish getting back into Test whites, while Jofra Archer’s pace is always a plus.
West Indies Preview
The Windies had a couple of good practice games leading up to this match. Captain Jason Holder didn’t bowl much in those matches but remains their premier all-rounder. Batting looks brittle, but Shai Hope and Shamarh Brooks give hope of putting up a fight.
Bowlers give the Windies a good chance of competing in the series. Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel have been excellent for the visitors over the last two seasons. Both the players deserve a look in your fantasy side.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Ben Stokes has been England’s go-to player with the bat and the ball. Now, he will be their captain, calling the shots. His presence in your fantasy side should be a near certainty.
Jason Holder didn’t have an ideal practice leading to the match but should hold off any worries. The Windies captain is a great addition to your side, especially since he offers a lot of all-round points.
Jos Buttler has struggled in the Test whites recently, but this is his glorious chance. With a strong bowling unit giving him enough ‘keeping points, Buttler can be an excellent choice.
England: 1 Rory Burns 2 Dom Sibley 3 Joe Denly 4 Zak Crawley 5 Ben Stokes (C) 6 Ollie Pope 7 Jos Buttler (WK) 8 Dom Bess 9 Jofra Archer 10 Stuart Broad 11 James Anderson
West Indies: 1 John Campbell 2 Kraigg Brathwaite 3 Shamarh Brooks 4 Shai Hope 5 Jermaine Blackwood 6 Shane Dowrich (WK) 7 Jason Holder (C) 8 Rahkeem Cornwall 9 Alzarri Joseph 10 Kemar Roach 11 Shannon Gabriel
Join Dream11 today and compete in real money fantasy cricket contests for the England vs West Indies series 2020! Click the banner below for more details!