England v West Indies, 1st Test, Lord's May 16, 2012

Low expectations for West Indies

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Match Facts

May 17-21, Lord's
Start time 1100 (1000GMT)

The Big Picture

The days when a West Indies series began with the expectation they would inflict a blackwash are long gone. Now they begin a series with many expecting they will be whitewashed. Unless weather intervenes, anything other than an England cleansweep is likely to be viewed as a missed opportunity.

There are valid reasons for that. England are at home in early season conditions against a West Indies team that have been hindered by rain and late arrivals during their preparation. Despite a difficult winter, where they lost four out of five Tests, England remain a formidable team with arguably the strongest pace-bowling resources in the world.

Yet, perhaps West Indies are not being given their due. Between the politics and batting collapses there have been a few signs that this team are starting to gel under the leadership of Darren Sammy. The 2-0 defeat against Australia looked comfortable for the visitors last month but they were tested on many occasions. In Fidel Edwards, Kemar Roach and Ravi Rampaul, West Indies have a strong trio of pace bowlers. If only they could put consistent runs on the board. Shivnarine Chanderpaul, despite being the No. 1 Test batsman, should not have to do it all on his own.

For England's standing in Test cricket - where they remain No. 1 by the skin of their teeth - they need to dominate this series. Not all the players have hit the ground running in the County Championship this season, notably the openers Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook, and that could provide an opening for West Indies. Ultimately, though, the depth of the home side should prevail.

Form guide

(Most recent first)

England WLLLL
West Indies LDLDL

Watch out for...

James Anderson was named England's Player of the Year on Monday and is now rivalling Dale Steyn as the leading pace bowler in the world. If he stays fit, Ian Botham's England record of 383 wickets is within his sights and he will expect to boost his tally against a flaky West Indies top order.

Darren Bravo has a huge part to play alongside Shivnarine Chanderpaul in the middle order. His twin fifties against England Lions in Northampton gave an English audience the first glimpse of his huge talent, but West Indies need him to convert into three figures on the Test stage - a skill he has already shown at the top level.

Team news

Unless the hosts decide to be really bold and select five frontline bowlers, Jonny Bairstow will make his Test debut at No. 6 to become the 13th father-son combination to play Tests for England. Then the only decision is who supports Anderson and Stuart Broad. Tim Bresnan may just be leading the race ahead of Steven Finn and Graham Onions.

England (probable) 1 Andrew Strauss (capt), 2 Alastair Cook, 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Kevin Pietersen, 5 Ian Bell, 6 Jonny Bairstow, 7 Matt Prior (wk), 8 Tim Bresnan, 9 Stuart Broad, 10 Graeme Swann, 11 James Anderson

Ottis Gibson has hinted at a four-man pace attack for West Indies with Shane Shillingford, the offspinner, missing out despite his impressive comeback against Australia. There have been some niggles in the camp over the last week and Ravi Rampaul did not take a full part in training on Wednesday. Narsingh Deonarine is the man in possession at No. 6 but his late arrival may count against him.

West Indies (probable) 1 Adrian Barath, 2 Kieran Powell, 3 Kirk Edwards, 4 Darren Bravo, 5 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 6 Marlon Samuels, 7 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 8 Darren Sammy (capt), 9 Kemar Roach, 10 Ravi Rampaul, 11 Fidel Edwards

Pitch and conditions

Chris Adams, the Surrey team director, was highly critical of a Championship pitch at Lord's earlier in the season. It has been tough for Mick Hunt, the groundsman, with all the wet weather around but there is rarely a concern about one of his Test strips. At Lord's it is often a question of looking up, not down. If it is cloudy expect help for swing bowling.

Stats and trivia

  • West Indies have not won an away series against anyone other than Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in 17 years

  • They have not won a Test at Lord's since 1988 when Malcolm Marshall took 10 wickets in the match

  • England have churned out hundreds at Lord's in recent years; since 2006 they have hit 24 with Kevin Pietersen scoring five, while Alastair Cook and Matt Prior have three apiece

  • This is the first Test for new MCC chief executive Derek Brewer

For a full stats preview click here

Quotes

"I'm excited about the challenges ahead, to come out at Lord's again, and I'm hoping we will all show what we're capable of this summer."
Andrew Strauss looks forward rather than back

"Pressure could make you crumble; pressure could make you rise above your expectations - and I know Strauss is a strong guy mentally."
Darren Sammy has no doubts about Strauss

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | May 17, 2012, 11:26 GMT

    @PADDA on (May 17 2012, 07:15 AM GMT) Easily pleased then I guess

  • POSTED BY vrn59 on | May 17, 2012, 9:38 GMT

    My teams (although a lot of these players are unavailable):

    ENG: Strauss (c), Cook, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Bairstow, Prior (wk), Bresnan, Broad, Swann, Anderson

    WI: Gayle, Powell, Sarwan, Darren Bravo, Chanderpaul, Nash, Ramdin (wk), Sammy (c), Roach, F Edwards, Narine

  • POSTED BY Yevghenny on | May 17, 2012, 9:33 GMT

    Always makes me smile whenever an article states this England attack is arguably the strongest in the world you get loads of people outraged at such a comment - wake up! It's not the 90's anymore lads, England are #1 in the world, and the main reason for that is the ability of our bowling attack to consistently restrict sides to under 300 in any set of bowling conditions. First you said Jimmy could only take wickets when it swings - Australia, UAE, Sri Lanka. Then you said Broad was over-rated - decimated India, wickets in UAE as well. Then we have Tremlett unfortunately injured but still has aussie batsmen waking up in the middle of the night in a sweat, and Bresnan who has won every single test match he has been in who can swing it and take wickets on dead tracks. Finn who is still very young but over 50 test wickets, and then there are many top quality quiicks in reserve. Face facts, England are now a top side and are going to be a top side for years to come

  • POSTED BY gibbsie82 on | May 17, 2012, 9:15 GMT

    If people want to dip into statistics to compare the Eng SA bowling attacks, you cant really use the ICC player rankings for the top 3 pace bowlers. Englands wickets over the last 2 years have been spread between mainly 6 bowlers (Anderson, Broad, Bresnan, Swann, Tremlett, Finn) with Swann 2nd in the list. SA have been spread between only 3 (Steyn, Phillander, Morkel). The conditions and amout of games are factored by the ranking system, but players will fall in the rankings when they dont play as often for their side.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | May 17, 2012, 9:07 GMT

    ElBeeDubya/SachBro - No doubting Steyn's quality been top of the ICC rankings for a long time but I'd like to ask where it is that Steyn has been winning test matches in unhelpful conditions or in SC?According to the test records table SA haven't played a test match in SC for over 2 years and yes he was immense in the test they won in India but what about the test they lost If he was that great how come he made no effect on the 2nd test in Ind where he took 1-115? So if you're saying Steyn is a killer in SC please tell me where/when?And if SA are miles above England with their bowling attck why are they not winning the team more matches? In the 2nd test vs Australia late last year when the full strength SA bowling attck had Aus 145-4/165-5 and still could not defend a 300+ score on own turf? I'm not saying Eng have a better bowling attack but if it is worse it is marginal. I'm quite happy with our bowling attack Not that this was supposed to be a go compare thread for Eng/SA bowling

  • POSTED BY Romanticstud on | May 17, 2012, 9:07 GMT

    Remember, what goes up must come down ... The WI of the 70-80s came down ... Aus of the 90-00s came down ... who will rule the 10s and 20s ... England ... South Africa ... Australia again? ... England have had a dimal time in the sub-continent ... India at England and Australia ... South Africa had mediocre home series against Australia and Sri-Lanka to go to rain-hit New Zealand a 3-0 became 1-0 ... and Australia wrapped up an up and down 2-0 against the Windies ... So the 4 major contenders are closer than ever and no-one has been able to take the bull by the horns and dominate recently.

  • POSTED BY A_Yorkshire_Lad on | May 17, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    @Greatest game So , England's pace attack is " nowhere near the top. Really " Really ? Would this be the same pace attack that really contributed to the last Ashes victory(ies) and that pretty much really demolished India last year ? Oh , who are the current really top ICC-ranked test team ? Why , England ! Yes , REALLY

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | May 17, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    @sawifan on (May 17 2012, 01:17 AM GMT) Dwayne Bravo's stats aren't all that impressive at test level. Gayle is much better but his stats (on recollection) were around 42/43 which is similar to Strauss and I think it's quite funny that Strauss is seen as a weak link whereas Gayle is seen as a saviour.Someone even said that it's about recent form but in test format Gayle's last inns was either 0 or 9 and he has not played for a while either. Shiv and Darren Bravo are key and maybe those who are saying about Nash and Sarwan doing ok in Eng county cricket have a point.

  • POSTED BY FAT_MAN on | May 17, 2012, 8:30 GMT

    "James Anderson was named England's Player of the Year on Monday and is now rivalling Dale Steyn as the leading pace bowler in the world."

    My word, does your bias know no limits. Anderson is a lovely bowler, even brilliant at times...but why oh why do we want to belittle all his achievements by trying to compare him to Steyn, who has been the number 1 test bowler for a few years now?

    England is a vary solid team but to be honest, they have punched well above their weight. No real superstars, just a good solid bunch of triers. That doesn't mean they are any less of a team, just shows what a solid unit they are, without relying too heavily on 1 particular player

  • POSTED BY on | May 17, 2012, 8:26 GMT

    God here it goes again...Eng;and bashing...forget looking at bowling ranking points and look at the bigger picture and look at what Anderson, Broad & Bresnan have been doing to opposition batsmen over the past couple or so years, they've been decimating them match after match....Don't get me wrong, the SA pace attack is excellent, Steyn a top drawer opening bowler as is Anderson, but Broad is a far better all-round bowler than Morkle, and Phillander, whilst he's made an excellent start to his test career is still rather an unknown quantity, and from what I've seen of him during the winter looks no different than countless other seamers plying their trade in county cricket...His wickets look to come from dreadful batting techniques against a seamer as opposed to out of this world bowling.....Trust me, come the end of August you'll see why England had, have & will still have the best all-round bowling attack in world cricket....Imitation is the best form of flattery ;)

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | May 17, 2012, 11:26 GMT

    @PADDA on (May 17 2012, 07:15 AM GMT) Easily pleased then I guess

  • POSTED BY vrn59 on | May 17, 2012, 9:38 GMT

    My teams (although a lot of these players are unavailable):

    ENG: Strauss (c), Cook, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Bairstow, Prior (wk), Bresnan, Broad, Swann, Anderson

    WI: Gayle, Powell, Sarwan, Darren Bravo, Chanderpaul, Nash, Ramdin (wk), Sammy (c), Roach, F Edwards, Narine

  • POSTED BY Yevghenny on | May 17, 2012, 9:33 GMT

    Always makes me smile whenever an article states this England attack is arguably the strongest in the world you get loads of people outraged at such a comment - wake up! It's not the 90's anymore lads, England are #1 in the world, and the main reason for that is the ability of our bowling attack to consistently restrict sides to under 300 in any set of bowling conditions. First you said Jimmy could only take wickets when it swings - Australia, UAE, Sri Lanka. Then you said Broad was over-rated - decimated India, wickets in UAE as well. Then we have Tremlett unfortunately injured but still has aussie batsmen waking up in the middle of the night in a sweat, and Bresnan who has won every single test match he has been in who can swing it and take wickets on dead tracks. Finn who is still very young but over 50 test wickets, and then there are many top quality quiicks in reserve. Face facts, England are now a top side and are going to be a top side for years to come

  • POSTED BY gibbsie82 on | May 17, 2012, 9:15 GMT

    If people want to dip into statistics to compare the Eng SA bowling attacks, you cant really use the ICC player rankings for the top 3 pace bowlers. Englands wickets over the last 2 years have been spread between mainly 6 bowlers (Anderson, Broad, Bresnan, Swann, Tremlett, Finn) with Swann 2nd in the list. SA have been spread between only 3 (Steyn, Phillander, Morkel). The conditions and amout of games are factored by the ranking system, but players will fall in the rankings when they dont play as often for their side.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | May 17, 2012, 9:07 GMT

    ElBeeDubya/SachBro - No doubting Steyn's quality been top of the ICC rankings for a long time but I'd like to ask where it is that Steyn has been winning test matches in unhelpful conditions or in SC?According to the test records table SA haven't played a test match in SC for over 2 years and yes he was immense in the test they won in India but what about the test they lost If he was that great how come he made no effect on the 2nd test in Ind where he took 1-115? So if you're saying Steyn is a killer in SC please tell me where/when?And if SA are miles above England with their bowling attck why are they not winning the team more matches? In the 2nd test vs Australia late last year when the full strength SA bowling attck had Aus 145-4/165-5 and still could not defend a 300+ score on own turf? I'm not saying Eng have a better bowling attack but if it is worse it is marginal. I'm quite happy with our bowling attack Not that this was supposed to be a go compare thread for Eng/SA bowling

  • POSTED BY Romanticstud on | May 17, 2012, 9:07 GMT

    Remember, what goes up must come down ... The WI of the 70-80s came down ... Aus of the 90-00s came down ... who will rule the 10s and 20s ... England ... South Africa ... Australia again? ... England have had a dimal time in the sub-continent ... India at England and Australia ... South Africa had mediocre home series against Australia and Sri-Lanka to go to rain-hit New Zealand a 3-0 became 1-0 ... and Australia wrapped up an up and down 2-0 against the Windies ... So the 4 major contenders are closer than ever and no-one has been able to take the bull by the horns and dominate recently.

  • POSTED BY A_Yorkshire_Lad on | May 17, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    @Greatest game So , England's pace attack is " nowhere near the top. Really " Really ? Would this be the same pace attack that really contributed to the last Ashes victory(ies) and that pretty much really demolished India last year ? Oh , who are the current really top ICC-ranked test team ? Why , England ! Yes , REALLY

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | May 17, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    @sawifan on (May 17 2012, 01:17 AM GMT) Dwayne Bravo's stats aren't all that impressive at test level. Gayle is much better but his stats (on recollection) were around 42/43 which is similar to Strauss and I think it's quite funny that Strauss is seen as a weak link whereas Gayle is seen as a saviour.Someone even said that it's about recent form but in test format Gayle's last inns was either 0 or 9 and he has not played for a while either. Shiv and Darren Bravo are key and maybe those who are saying about Nash and Sarwan doing ok in Eng county cricket have a point.

  • POSTED BY FAT_MAN on | May 17, 2012, 8:30 GMT

    "James Anderson was named England's Player of the Year on Monday and is now rivalling Dale Steyn as the leading pace bowler in the world."

    My word, does your bias know no limits. Anderson is a lovely bowler, even brilliant at times...but why oh why do we want to belittle all his achievements by trying to compare him to Steyn, who has been the number 1 test bowler for a few years now?

    England is a vary solid team but to be honest, they have punched well above their weight. No real superstars, just a good solid bunch of triers. That doesn't mean they are any less of a team, just shows what a solid unit they are, without relying too heavily on 1 particular player

  • POSTED BY on | May 17, 2012, 8:26 GMT

    God here it goes again...Eng;and bashing...forget looking at bowling ranking points and look at the bigger picture and look at what Anderson, Broad & Bresnan have been doing to opposition batsmen over the past couple or so years, they've been decimating them match after match....Don't get me wrong, the SA pace attack is excellent, Steyn a top drawer opening bowler as is Anderson, but Broad is a far better all-round bowler than Morkle, and Phillander, whilst he's made an excellent start to his test career is still rather an unknown quantity, and from what I've seen of him during the winter looks no different than countless other seamers plying their trade in county cricket...His wickets look to come from dreadful batting techniques against a seamer as opposed to out of this world bowling.....Trust me, come the end of August you'll see why England had, have & will still have the best all-round bowling attack in world cricket....Imitation is the best form of flattery ;)

  • POSTED BY indiarox4ever on | May 17, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    Fallen Giants v/s Tigers at home. Shall watch IPL instead.

  • POSTED BY on | May 17, 2012, 8:07 GMT

    Where is Ramnaresh Sarwan these days? I think that the West Indies desperately need someone of his quality in their middle order. He is, after all, the player who scored 291 against England only a couple of years ago. Has he retired from cricket? Does anyone know?

  • POSTED BY MeghanaMarathe on | May 17, 2012, 7:58 GMT

    I hope.. West Indies would put up a better show this time... Sammy looks good as captain of WI team.... they have to show some courage as they really shown at home against Aussies..Its really getting fired in Babylon...go for glory... Come on West Indies...

  • POSTED BY PADDA on | May 17, 2012, 7:15 GMT

    LOL....."England arguably the strongest pace-bowling resources in the world". There are other tema around like South Africa, Australia an Pakistan that still play this game.....!!! That was a good chuckle to start my day....

  • POSTED BY loki897 on | May 17, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    West Indies: Kieron Powell, Adrian Barath, Kirk Edwards, Darren Bravo, Shivane Chanderpaul, Dinesh Ramdin (wk), Marlon Samuels, Darren Sammy, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Fidel Edwards

    England: Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Jonny Bairstow, Ian Bell, Matt Prior (wk), Tim Bresnan, Grame Swann, James Andreson, Steven Finn

  • POSTED BY on | May 17, 2012, 6:11 GMT

    without the experience of Gayle,Bravo,Pollard,Smith & Narine West Indies look a mediocre team and will have to struggle to beat England who possess a well balanced team.

  • POSTED BY intuitive4real on | May 17, 2012, 6:05 GMT

    For an intriguing encounter with the Brits at Lords this would be my starting eleven. Powell,K.Edwards,Bravo,Samuels,Chanderpaul,Sammy,Ramdin,Gabriel,Rampaul,Roach , F.Edwards.

  • POSTED BY MAK123 on | May 17, 2012, 5:59 GMT

    The WI of yore were once inspired by a "grovel" comment; wonder what will inspire them this time around. I thought West Indies play the most exciting brand of Cricket (refer to Sammy's late hitting when he made a match of the no-contest against Aus recently). One hopes they show a glimpse of the past if not completely overcome the strong English team in their home conditions

  • POSTED BY Asher_Jurgens on | May 17, 2012, 5:46 GMT

    England have the best pace bowlers in the world ? Nonsense !! Steyn > Anderson; Morkel > Broad; Philander > Bresnan. Enough said.

  • POSTED BY jack_maxwell on | May 17, 2012, 5:03 GMT

    Come on, Andrew. If any cricket follower were presented with the choice of Anderson/Broad/Bresnan or Steyn/Morkel/Philander, do you honestly believe most will argue in favour of the former? I doubt it. Not if they are objective. It's such a wild claim it's hard to believe that you actually believe it yourself.

  • POSTED BY on | May 17, 2012, 4:56 GMT

    now it's prediction time WI beat england @ lords in 3 and half days.

  • POSTED BY Windies89 on | May 17, 2012, 4:52 GMT

    Windies players topping the charts, but the WI cricket team still in a sad state. We got Shivnarine Chanderpaul as the #1 ranked test batsman, Chris Gayle leading run scorer in IPL, Sunil Narine leading wicket taker in IPL with one of the lowest bowling average and economy rates and Sarwan the leading run scorer in Div2 County Cricket. With all of our stars surely we would be a lot more competitive.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | May 17, 2012, 4:33 GMT

    @Kareem Gordan - "...i havent heard they talk about aussies fall and theyve fallen preety bad..." - mate, Oz's "fall" was briefly to #5, & less than a year after our "nadir", we are #3 with a rocket. WIndies have not won away from home in 17yrs! (excluding Zim & Bang). @Nampally - only ONE of the 4 players you mentioned would be assured of making the Test team (Gayle), all the rest are NOT certainties. They would be better served by having Nash & Sarwan though.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | May 17, 2012, 4:02 GMT

    England should have too much for the WI, but then they should have had too much for Pakistan and Sri Lanka as well. I wouldn't be surprised to see Bresnan given the nod over Finn for the last bowling spot, given Bresnan's superior batting. Both bowled pretty well in the last county match they played, Finn getting 7 wickets in the game and Bres a fivefer in the only innings possible. Onions is a great lad, but I'm a bit mystified as to why he's there, unless there are some fitness issues we don't know about or the selectors are worried about Broad falling over another boundary rope. Given no undue weather problems, there should be a result. It's great to see another English test season beginning!

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | May 17, 2012, 3:00 GMT

    Really? England has "arguably the strongest pace-bowling resources in the world," and Anderson "is now rivalling Dale Steyn as the leading pace bowler in the world!" Really?? A lot of carefree "in the worlds" being tossed around here, but in the world I live in - the world wherein the Reliance ICC Player rankings are published - things look quite different. Dale Steyn is ranked 88 points higher than James Anderson, who is only 34 points ahead of the next ranking pace bowler, Vernon Philander. The truth is that Philander is much closer to rivaling Anderson, who has never come close to Steyn's rankings over the last six years. Interestingly the 3 top SA pace bowlers are cumulatively rated 236 points higher than ENG's pace trio, and the average rating of SA's top 3 is 794 - just 4 points shy of Anderson's 798! ENG's top 3 avge only 715 in comparison. Real world stats show the real world truth: ENG's pace attack is nowhere near the top. Really.

  • POSTED BY on | May 17, 2012, 2:29 GMT

    Sunil Narine should be in test team. Why is he not? watching him on IPL, he could be a match winner. Unless Roach or edwards patch and run through the English Team, I consider this to be one-sided series, not worth watching.

  • POSTED BY AyrtonS on | May 17, 2012, 2:22 GMT

    Both Bravos are over rated, without Sarwan, Gail and Nash this will be a walk in the park for the English team.

  • POSTED BY on | May 17, 2012, 1:37 GMT

    The West Indies is not a bad team . The names look good on paper. West Indies can beat England

  • POSTED BY sawifan on | May 17, 2012, 1:17 GMT

    Why is everyone talking up the absent IPL players for the Windies... Sure, Gayle and Brave will be sorely missed, but Narine is completely un-tested in the long format, so to say he will be missed is pushing it a bit far. And Pollard, as much as i like the guy, he is proof of what the IPL can do. Surely a talented player, but the international game has so far proven too much for him (although now slowly getting better). And he has never played in or been close to test selection as well. I'd much prefer to see Nash back in the team before both Pollard and DJ Bravo.

  • POSTED BY on | May 17, 2012, 0:54 GMT

    ditto with monkey....

    sammy is a key man for this series.

    english conditions are to me the hardest anywhere int he world...

    these young lads..... against swing.....

    i'd rather face murali and warne for 2 days ... than face swing

  • POSTED BY ElBeeDubya on | May 17, 2012, 0:23 GMT

    Anderson is a quality fast bowler but he does not rival Steyn. Nobody apart from an Englishman would say that for the following reasons: Steyn has been a match-winning bowler in unhelpful conditions against good batting sides. Steyn has more weapons. Steyn has better stats. If Steyn had been able to represent England, English writers will say Steyn "is now rivalling Malcolm Marshall as the greatest pace bowler in modern cricket."

  • POSTED BY on | May 17, 2012, 0:07 GMT

    What a joke. West Indies have picked a side without Chris Gayle who is willing to play. Earnst Hillaire must be kidding himself if he thinks that they can win without him

  • POSTED BY Meety on | May 17, 2012, 0:00 GMT

    Memo to the WICB - get on hands & knees & BEG for Sarwan!

  • POSTED BY Mr.Cassanova on | May 16, 2012, 23:46 GMT

    A West Indian currently has the 'most runs' in the IPL and another has the 'most wickets' while the squad is loosing to a county team in England. The team needs more committed players if it is going to be consistent. Isn't it funny? you never see an Indian national player playing in any other league when the national team needs him.

  • POSTED BY maddy20 on | May 16, 2012, 23:43 GMT

    With No Sarwan and Gayle to hold the batting together, WI are doomed to fail. A 2-0 win for England is the best result possible!

  • POSTED BY TeamSelector on | May 16, 2012, 23:29 GMT

    1-Powell, 2-Barath, 3-Kirk, 4-Bravo, 5-Shiv, 6-Samuels, 7-Deonarine, 8-Ramdin, 9-Sammy, 10-Rampaul, 11-Roach.

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2012, 23:20 GMT

    Barath,Powell, Edwards,Bravo and Samuels dont deserve to be in WI team, a bunch of waste, sorry WI, but whitewash is facing you.

  • POSTED BY Carpathian on | May 16, 2012, 23:10 GMT

    @RandyOz. Trouble? Much better to be packing the might of Warner, Cowan, Watson and Punter in your top four. Yawn.

  • POSTED BY 12thUmpire on | May 16, 2012, 22:33 GMT

    MCC members should get discounted helmets when Matt Prior is leaving the pitch! :-)

  • POSTED BY yorkshirematt on | May 16, 2012, 22:23 GMT

    And how many times have you seen Bairstow play Randy? He'd walk into the aussie side if, heaven forbid, he was one of them

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2012, 22:13 GMT

    OH, come on. Giving England a fight is not so important. Narine wouldn't win it alone. Let the dude make some money. Gayle, Pollard and Dwayne B wanted nothing to do with Central contracts, so drop that line

  • POSTED BY Munkeymomo on | May 16, 2012, 22:00 GMT

    @Nampally: England are poor against spin in subc conditions, but in England, where the ball will not spin much, they would have little problems.

    Bold prediction: Sammy will be the windies leading wicket taker, his type of bowling is effective in English conditions and he has a tendency to be underrated.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | May 16, 2012, 21:49 GMT

    England look to be in serious trouble, Bairstow? Oh dear.

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2012, 21:49 GMT

    England are only weak against low skiddy spin from bowlers who can turn it both ways. Against orthodox spin they are pretty good. In fact against any spin on bouncy pitches where the ball is less prone to skid on and rap them on the pads - they are pretty good. Skiddy spin is Englands nemesis at the moment.

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2012, 21:33 GMT

    West Indies are going to destroy England with there bowling attack yes bowling attack watch the swing and pace

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2012, 21:28 GMT

    WINDIES FO LYFFFFFFFFFF......COMON GUYS!!!!

  • POSTED BY AnoMaLy on | May 16, 2012, 21:24 GMT

    Wow no Gayle. Good luck WI

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2012, 21:04 GMT

    As much as it looks like a whitewash for the West Indies and the English and world press EXPECTS the West Indies Top order to crumble and put ALL of the pressure on the inconsistent middle order,cricket is played on the field and NOT based on what alot of these writers put out there.The play on the field begins tommorow.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | May 16, 2012, 20:53 GMT

    The WI team would have been considerably stronger if 4 star players- Gayle, Pollard, Narine& Bravo - currently playing in IPL were in the side. In absence of Narine, Shillingford must play in XI. He is a star player who can spin the ball at nearly 100 KPH. He also has considerable bounce which makes him difficult to play.England is weak against spin. Hence all pace attack is not warranted.WI batting is weak & the above mentioned guys playing in IPL would have made a huge difference.Both Bravo & Pollard are also all rounders - big difference to batting.So WI could have given England a fight to the finish at full strength. Even in the present form, WI can pose some problems with their battery of pacemen led by Edwards & Roach. However their batting will let them down in the final analysis.England has to remember that WI already beat them last year in short version thru' Soin. So don't count your win yet. Good Luck to both the teams.

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2012, 20:52 GMT

    WI maybe underestimated but one thing for sure our bowlers can't look as bad as india and sri lanka last year. When those teams bowling attack bowled the pitches looked as if they were playing in the subcontinent but then when england bowled it look like the pitch was a grassland. All is needed is for the batting to stand up for once and am sure this will be a better series than most think.

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2012, 20:23 GMT

    Look for a few great innings from Kieran Powell! This youngster will not disappoint.. 500 test runs from the young left hand opener by time this series is done.. Rally 'round the West Indies!!!

  • POSTED BY SachBro on | May 16, 2012, 19:56 GMT

    @Tim Harmer Anderson, the best swing bowler in the world???? Dude, do you realize that Steyn is still alive and playing? He is by far and I mean By Far the best swing bowler the world has seen since Wasim Akram. He was phenomenal on dead dodo wickets of India with a 7 wicket haul. Let Anderson come to sub-continent and we will see how effective he is. Its easy to swing the ball in Green and Wet conditions of England, you real test lies in dusty bowls of India.

  • POSTED BY jcassie on | May 16, 2012, 19:52 GMT

    can't help but notice in the west indies line up there is still no signs of gayle, without him the top order will crumble against the swing of jimmy, and also most notably, Graeme Swann is in the line up for england, he's one of the best spin bowlers around the world, so why not give sunil narine a chance? who i believe is a much better spin option than shane shillingford. shane is good but not as good a bowler as narine. just hope that the board offers him a contract before he takes his trade elsewhere just like gayle.

  • POSTED BY mahabesh on | May 16, 2012, 19:50 GMT

    Its sad that most other countries try to play their best players but when it comes to WI its a different story. Shiv is the only batsman of test quality and if Gayle is available then he should play. I think that both Bishoo and Narine are better than Shillingford. I also think that Bravo sr is also better than Sammy, if he wants to play test. England has such a better team on paper that they should play Taylor in at least one test. This series will be too one sided but I hope the young guys in the WI team will learn from this experience.

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2012, 19:43 GMT

    Seems utterly crazy that two West Indian guys who have been getting runs a plenty in these very difficult early season batting conditions in England are omitted from the squad.

    I'm talking about Brendan Nash and Ramnaresh Sarwan.

    Gayle's omission is understandable (a) he's playing in the IPL and (b) he has been unprofessional.

    But Nash and Sarwan were dropped due to poor form. Well both have rediscovered it in very tricky English conditions. Nash's century came against an attack which included Tim Bresnan.

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    Who is West Indies "fourth" paceman? I only see three in the lineup.

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    I reckon Rampaul could cause us some problems and Sammy will be an ideal bowler in early english conditions. But with Anderson who i think is the best swing bowler in the world and Broad and Bresnan we should knock over there batsmen.

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | May 16, 2012, 18:51 GMT

    got to feel that England should beat them but there is no point being complacent.

  • POSTED BY Dav1daKing on | May 16, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    It's amazing that in the current IPL the leading runs scorer and leading wicket are both West Indians (Gayle & Narine), and to think both are of test caliber and should be here playing to give the English press a different opinion. But for this current WICB we are unable to field our best 11. Gayle, Narine, Pollard & D.J. Bravo should be included in all formats.

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2012, 18:27 GMT

    Windies are ones who cant be under-estimated. Ans also the confidence of Sammy and Co

  • POSTED BY Indiaforever on | May 16, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    I have faith in WI. At least to give them a fight for their money. West Indies seam attack versus Englands top order will be the important battle. If England don't lose early wickets I can see them doing very well and no turning back but if WI can take early wickets and put pressure on the middle order then game on! WI batting have it tough, playing against arguablly the best seam attack in the world and their top 3 is quite brittle. COME ON WEST INDIES!!!

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2012, 17:19 GMT

    every series for the westindies you hear the same old non sence, fallen giants, fast men, expectations, those days are long gone, i havent heard they talk about aussies fall and theyve fallen preety bad

  • POSTED BY Snick_To_Backward_Point on | May 16, 2012, 17:06 GMT

    I have been impressed with the Windies the past 6 months or so. They've got some world class bowlers (including spin options), Shiv & Bravo, but, most importantly for me, they're bringing in guys who seem to have PRIDE and no longer accept poor performances with a shrug. I reckon you can judge the motivation of a team by the way they field and Windies were pretty impressive against the Aussies. Add to the mix decent backroom staff and you;ve got the makings of a far more competitive series than some pundits are giving credit for. England sohuld win but I don;t see it being an easy series. Should be a tasty hors d'oevres for the season.

  • POSTED BY SICHO on | May 16, 2012, 17:06 GMT

    I don't have a problem with this article but i'll have to disagree with you Mr McGlashan when you say the "the strongest pace-attack in the world", no way the Eng attack is better than South Africa's. James Anderson is no rival to Dale Steyn and he too knows that

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2012, 16:36 GMT

    Low expectations is a fair assessment, in some ways that can be a good thing for the Windies. They can go in there with nothing to prove and nothing to lose. But as well as the conditions going against them, England have a very good allround test match team and the only things that might save the Windies is the weather or if our under-acheiving batting line-up can support the ever-reliable Chanderpaul and score some runs, it just might give the WI bowlers, the time and support they need, to compete in their roles. Consistancy is a huge key for West Indies, their recent defeats in tests against Australia and India was due to being unable to maintain a good standard of cricket for two innings. If they can somehow work on that, they just might make England work harder than expected.

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2012, 15:52 GMT

    Not enough strength in WI top order, tail is too long, failing a miracle WI have already been crushed, Gayle, DJ Bravo, pollard, sarvin, Russle, badly needed. This team is far too weak, probably would be even giving a hard time from one of the countries like Bermuda..

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  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2012, 15:52 GMT

    Not enough strength in WI top order, tail is too long, failing a miracle WI have already been crushed, Gayle, DJ Bravo, pollard, sarvin, Russle, badly needed. This team is far too weak, probably would be even giving a hard time from one of the countries like Bermuda..

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2012, 16:36 GMT

    Low expectations is a fair assessment, in some ways that can be a good thing for the Windies. They can go in there with nothing to prove and nothing to lose. But as well as the conditions going against them, England have a very good allround test match team and the only things that might save the Windies is the weather or if our under-acheiving batting line-up can support the ever-reliable Chanderpaul and score some runs, it just might give the WI bowlers, the time and support they need, to compete in their roles. Consistancy is a huge key for West Indies, their recent defeats in tests against Australia and India was due to being unable to maintain a good standard of cricket for two innings. If they can somehow work on that, they just might make England work harder than expected.

  • POSTED BY SICHO on | May 16, 2012, 17:06 GMT

    I don't have a problem with this article but i'll have to disagree with you Mr McGlashan when you say the "the strongest pace-attack in the world", no way the Eng attack is better than South Africa's. James Anderson is no rival to Dale Steyn and he too knows that

  • POSTED BY Snick_To_Backward_Point on | May 16, 2012, 17:06 GMT

    I have been impressed with the Windies the past 6 months or so. They've got some world class bowlers (including spin options), Shiv & Bravo, but, most importantly for me, they're bringing in guys who seem to have PRIDE and no longer accept poor performances with a shrug. I reckon you can judge the motivation of a team by the way they field and Windies were pretty impressive against the Aussies. Add to the mix decent backroom staff and you;ve got the makings of a far more competitive series than some pundits are giving credit for. England sohuld win but I don;t see it being an easy series. Should be a tasty hors d'oevres for the season.

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2012, 17:19 GMT

    every series for the westindies you hear the same old non sence, fallen giants, fast men, expectations, those days are long gone, i havent heard they talk about aussies fall and theyve fallen preety bad

  • POSTED BY Indiaforever on | May 16, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    I have faith in WI. At least to give them a fight for their money. West Indies seam attack versus Englands top order will be the important battle. If England don't lose early wickets I can see them doing very well and no turning back but if WI can take early wickets and put pressure on the middle order then game on! WI batting have it tough, playing against arguablly the best seam attack in the world and their top 3 is quite brittle. COME ON WEST INDIES!!!

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2012, 18:27 GMT

    Windies are ones who cant be under-estimated. Ans also the confidence of Sammy and Co

  • POSTED BY Dav1daKing on | May 16, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    It's amazing that in the current IPL the leading runs scorer and leading wicket are both West Indians (Gayle & Narine), and to think both are of test caliber and should be here playing to give the English press a different opinion. But for this current WICB we are unable to field our best 11. Gayle, Narine, Pollard & D.J. Bravo should be included in all formats.

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | May 16, 2012, 18:51 GMT

    got to feel that England should beat them but there is no point being complacent.

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    I reckon Rampaul could cause us some problems and Sammy will be an ideal bowler in early english conditions. But with Anderson who i think is the best swing bowler in the world and Broad and Bresnan we should knock over there batsmen.