A hard-fought, but well-deserved four-wicket win in the first Test at Rose Bowl gave the West Indies a 1-0 lead over England. As the series moves to the second match at Old Trafford from Thursday, the pressure is on England to keep the series alive.
England played second fiddle for the most part of the first Test, as Ben Stokes’ first Test as captain ended in a narrow loss. That said, England need to improve on a number of counts. The return of Joe Root improves their batting stocks, which could be crucial. West Indies did nothing wrong in Southampton and will look to repeat the dose.
Joe Denly will be the most likely person to give way to Root. Zak Crawley had a decent outing, while Rory Burns would be looking for a big score. Ben Stokes didn’t have a great game, but per his standards, it was an average outing.
For your fantasy picks, look at unusual ones like Crawley. Jos Buttler is under pressure to improve his performances, but a place in your side is not prudent. Stuart Broad might get a chance to play and if he does, he’s a good pick.
West Indies Preview
The visitors ticked most of the boxes in the first match, as they took a 1-0 series lead for the first time under Jason Holder’s captaincy. The visiting captain is once again primed to do a confident job at Old Trafford.
Jermaine Blackwood played a good hand in the second innings. However, it is the performance of opener Kraigg Brathwaite that prompts a final XI selection choice. Shame Dowrich has displayed good technique with the bat and gloves.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Ben Stokes had scores of 43 & 46 in the first Test. Yet to hit his best with the bat, Stokes can be a great asset to your fantasy side.
Jason Holder picked up six wickets in the first innings of the first Test, winning the battle against Stokes. With the series up for grabs, expect him to
Shane Dowrich had a good outing with the gloves and showed hunger while batting. His all-round skills make Dowrich a good pick.
England: 1 Rory Burns 2 Dom Sibley 3 Joe Root (C) 4 Zak Crawley 5 Ben Stokes 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 Roston Chase 9 Alzarri Joseph 10 Kemar Roach 11 Shannon Gabriel
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