England v West Indies, 2nd Test, Trent Bridge May 24, 2012

West Indies must dig deep again


Match Facts

May 25-29, Trent Bridge
Start time 11.00 (1000GMT)

The Big Picture

England were forced to work hard for their victory at Lord's but ultimately had too much depth for West Indies. The visitors showed the resourcefulness they displayed against Australia - especially on the fourth day with the bat - but too many familiar failings emerged at crucial times to allow England to wrestle back control.

It may have been West Indies' best chance because now England have got a foothold in the series. With two of England's favourite venues to come it will be a tough task to keep the series alive. Trent Bridge offers help for swing bowling - even now the sun has emerged after a cold, damp start to the season- which will provide another examination of West Indies' top order, the area that remains their weakest link.

England, though, are on message that they cannot lose focus. Kemar Roach gave them a fright in the run chase while Shivnarine Chanderpaul was only dismissed after 425 deliveries at the crease. West Indies were not the pushovers of 2009 by a long way and the contest was all the better for it.

Inevitably, however, when West Indies are playing, it is off the field issues that continue to take the headlines. Chris Gayle is a constant source of questions but certainly will not be here for this Test at least. Then there are the slightly differing issues surrounding Ramnaresh Sarwan and Jerome Taylor. Meanwhile the captain Darren Sammy is again under pressure to justify his place in the side. Given all the distractions it is commendable that West Indies are being competitive.

Form guide

(Most recent first)

England WWLLL
West Indies LLDLD

Watch out for...

Kevin Pietersen had a quiet match at Lord's but that is not the same as being out of the news. He has been fined for his Twitter remarks about Nick Knight, and during the net session on Thursday was giving the ball a fearful smack. A frustrated Pietersen can be dangerous if he can channel his feelings into motivation. If he scores a hundred it is just a shame Knight is not on the commentary roster for this Test to interview him afterwards.

He is not confirmed in the team, but Shane Shillingford's absence was keenly felt at Lord's and he is pushing hard for a recall. One of the by-products of his omission was West Indies' awful over-rate which cost them financially and he is also a bowler who can provide control for Sammy. England have struggled against spin in recent times - albeit away from home - so it is surely worth a punt from West Indies.

Team news

As at Lord's, England's only decision revolves around the third quick bowler. Tim Bresnan now has 12 wins in 12 (and last year he hit 90, then took 5 for 48 against India at Trent Bridge) but had a limited impact at Lord's with one wicket and duck although, for long periods, did an important holding role with the ball. The question remains: Could Steven Finn do the same job and also provide an additional cutting edge? Finn is frustrated at being on the sidelines. He may have a bit more time there yet.

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

West Indies will need to make one enforced change to their bowling attack after Shannon Gabriel was ruled out of the tour. Sadly, from an entertainment point of view, that is likely to mean a recall for Ravi Rampaul, who has now recovered from his neck problem, rather than Tino Best who has recently arrived from the Caribbean. They will also give serious consideration to playing Shillingford and he could replace Fidel Edwards after a disappointing display at Lord's.

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 Shane Shillingford

Pitch and conditions

Typically in the UK the first sign of warm weather has made front-page news and it is expected to last throughout the Test. It could offer the batsmen a chance to prosper although Trent Bridge is rarely flat even in the best of conditions.

Stats and trivia

  • West Indies have never lost a Test at Trent Bridge. However, they have not played there since 1995 when Mike Watkinson helped save the match for England

  • England have won their last three Tests at the ground and by huge margins: 319 runs against India, 354 runs against Pakistan, and an innings and nine runs against New Zealand. There has not been a draw since 2002 against India.

  • This will be the last Test for the old, traditional-style, scoreboard at Trent Bridge which is due to be replaced by another electronic version.

  • James Anderson is back on a happy hunting ground where he has taken 33 wickets at 17.45 in five Test, while last year Stuart Broad claimed a hat-trick against India.


"It's all about keeping our feet on the ground and making sure we're willing to do the hard graft necessary to get on top of the side ahead."
Andrew Strauss will ensure England do not get carried away

"There is a good chance that Shillingford might play in this Test match. Ravi is fit for us again. He has been the guy taking wickets with the new ball, so probably we would go back to two hard fast bowlers and myself, and a spinner."
Unlike Strauss, Darren Sammy did not mind giving a strong hint about his selection

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on May 26, 2012, 20:14 GMT

    @IndiaNumeroUno on (May 25 2012, 05:44 AM GMT) They've already done better than the last overmatched touring test side who were very dire despite bold claims from their fans

  • Derek on May 25, 2012, 16:56 GMT

    Get K. Edwards on the A team tour or send him home. WI and Doedorine are being deprived at his expense. Alternatively he is quite welcome to attend coaching lessons in South London on Saturday and Sunday mornings while he is in the UK. Seniors meet midweek if he is not CRB checked.

  • Dummy4 on May 25, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    i though the coach say chanders is batting slow,and need to be more aggressive,chander should captain the side,go chanders.

  • lokesh on May 25, 2012, 9:09 GMT

    Whatever happens to test cricket the wimdies team are only going to progress under the captaincy of SAMMY, but but the windies T20 team according to me is simply superb.Just look at the 16 below (the selectors can blindly name this as the squad for the T20 world cup)


    The above can be the probable starting XI.

    Now the bench


    Guys...........Play as a team and u can be the INVINCIBLES again :):):)

  • Senthil on May 25, 2012, 8:51 GMT

    It will be a one sided game again and will be walk thro' for England !!! My WI team will be Chris Gayle, Sarwan, Smith, Darren Bravo, Chanderpaul, Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Ramdin, Sammy, Roach, Ravi Rampaul, Sunil Narine... Dono why WI team is still pondering to pick Gayle... without him, bravo, pollard and narine, it is a boring game.

  • Hildreth on May 25, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    @ Nerk I agree with most of what you said except RAMDIN who batted very responsibly in the last inn keeps his place. However SAMMY needs to score more heavily when he gets settled. Too many times we see him scoring rapidly with boundaries and gets out playing in that mode in the 20's or 30's. This is unwise cricket on Sammy's part and as we saw in his last inn he got out unnecessarily just when he and Ramdin were batting beautifully and starting to build a significant partnership. AS CAPTAIN Sammy must bat longer and sore more runs when the opposing bowlers are a bit TIRED. If he had stayed longer with Ramdin the target could have been pushed to 250 or more and the end result different. I am not saying he should change his approach to batting but simply be a bit more SELECTIVE in shot making and play each ball on merit. To be a more SUCCESSFUL leader he must apply STRATEGY to every area of the game incl BATTING, FIELD PLACING and BOWLING. Simply THINK the game more. GO WINDIES!!

  • John on May 25, 2012, 7:46 GMT

    @Abhishek Lahiri on (May 25 2012, 04:34 AM GMT) Not difficault at all. WI are performing better than when they had the 1st 3 in their side and Narine has not played any test cricket and maybe isn't that bothered about playing test cricket. And Pollard - on what grounds does he deserve to be picked? You deserve to be picked on consistency and who you have performed against not on DLF maximums

  • John on May 25, 2012, 7:37 GMT

    @Warren Mendes on (May 24 2012, 17:58 PM GMT) I'd prefer to have a team - which maybe less talented but putting in the effort than guys whoes attitude towards playing for their country is questionable. I thought Bishoo was injured but maybe wrong on that and think Taylor has only just returned to playing 1st class cricket. All the others - would they really be doing that much better than the current crop? Results from a few years ago actually suggest that the current crop is performing better. Yes Holding etc would not have accepted defeat too well but then Gibson has a whole different set of tools to work with

  • sanjay on May 25, 2012, 7:35 GMT

    It's very sad story of West Indies Cricket as players like Gayle,Sarwan,Pollard,Bravo,Taylor,Russell are not in Test squad.They have except Chandrapaul all tit bit players to cause any threat to well balanced England Team.

  • david on May 25, 2012, 6:59 GMT

    @Abhishek Lahiri, it is not a matter of selection, and not difficult to understand: Gayle etc cannot be in two places at one time and they have chosen to be at the IPL for huge amounts of money rather than playing these Tests in England for much less money. @Anver777, I think the only thing England might find scary in this Test wil be the size of Kemar Roach's gold necklace...

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