Headingley history does not bode well for West Indies

'Woakes is part of England's best XI' (3:41)

Melinda Farrell and Alan Gardner look ahead to the second Test at Headingley where the problems are with West Indies while Toby Roland-Jones has been unlucky for England (3:41)

Match facts

August 25-29, 2017
Start time 11.00am local (1000 GMT)

Big Picture

If West Indies are looking for inspiration in Headingley, they probably don't want to cast their eyes at their last two visits to the ground. In 2007, they were beaten by an innings and 283 runs (albeit with Ramnaresh Sarwan unable to bat), an even heftier drubbing than last week at Edgbaston and their biggest-ever innings defeat. In 2000, the match - a few weeks after what remains their last Test victory in England - didn't see a third day as West Indies were skittled for 61 in their second innings as Andrew Caddick took four wickets in an over.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge since both those games and a lot of players - from the 2007 fixture only Alastair Cook will be on show this time. That series in 2000 marked a huge swing in the fortunes of the two teams against each other and the gulf has rarely looked wider than last week in Birmingham.

The scenes at Edgbaston provoked much talk about the future of the Test game - from whether day-night Tests have a long-term place to if the format can survive such contests without a new structure. Those decisions, though, are out of the players' hands (although they are not without influence and can play a significant part in buying into new ideas) as their focus remains on scoring runs and taking wickets.

Both those aspects, as well as others, West Indies have to do considerably better to even push England close. Stuart Law mentioned their recent fightback against Pakistan to win in Barbados, but a horrendous overseas record spanning nearly 20 years does not offer much promise of better days coming soon even given England's ability to go off the boil.

Edgbaston did not tell us anything new about this England side which, with the Ashes looming, means concerns remain. One, and ideally two, of the vulnerable batting positions at two, three and five need to produce a century over the next couple of Tests to at least allow the selectors to pick for Australia with a few numbers in their favour.

However, England's strengths - two very fine batsmen, their allrounders and the new-ball attack - can overpower opponents. Further landmarks are looming for James Anderson (500 Test wickets) and Stuart Broad (400 wickets), and with Anderson needing just eight for his next century - on a ground where he took 10 for 45 last year against Sri Lanka - that could happen over the next few days.

Form guide

England WWWLW (last five matches, most recent first)
West Indies LLWLW

In the spotlight

In the seemingly never-ending search for an opening partner to join Cook, the recent candidates have generally been given a run of at least six games. By that reasoning, Mark Stoneman will open at the Gabba come what may. In reality, it's far from that simple. Stoneman was unfortunate to get the best ball West Indies bowled at Edgbaston and if he scores significantly then it will buy the selectors some time, but as Sam Robson, Adam Lyth and Keaton Jennings have shown, an early century can have little bearing on whether they end the Curse Of The England Opener (the Indiana Jones film that has yet to be made).

Jason Holder has one of the toughest captaincy gigs going. A huge amount rests on his shoulders at a young age. Still, he had a very poor Test at Edgbaston and West Indies need their captain to lead from the front. He didn't look very fit, made the bizarre decision not to take the second new ball as soon as it became available under the floodlights on the first evening and was insipid with the bat - the facet of his game that has often been the most impressive. Part of the issue for Holder - and West Indies - is that he struggles to hold the role of a specialist third seamer, which means balancing the side is an issue. Although at Headingley, it should give him as good a chance as any.

Teams news

Chris Woakes, who suffered a side injury during the opening match of the Champions Trophy, has been recalled in place of Toby Roland-Jones as the only change to the England side.

England: 1 Alastair Cook, 2 Mark Stoneman, 3 Tom Westley, 4 Joe Root (capt), 5 Dawid Malan, 6 Ben Stokes, 7 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 8 Moeen Ali, 9 Chris Woakes, 10 Stuart Broad 11 James Anderson

Holder did not offer much indication towards West Indies' thinking but Shannon Gabriel and Devendra Bishoo will come into the mix. Law talked about showing faith in the XI from Edgbaston, but the attack needed something extra - either Gabriel's pace or Bishoo's spin.

West Indies: (possible) 1 Kraigg Brathwaite, 2 Kieran Powell, 3 Kyle Hope, 4 Shai Hope, 5 Roston Chase, 6 Jermaine Blackwood, 7 Shane Dowrich (wk), 8 Jason Holder (capt), 9 Kemar Roach, 10 Alzarri Joseph, 11 Miguel Cummins/Shannon Gabriel

Pitch and conditions

There was rain in the build-up which meant the pitch was covered for considerable time but the forecast is promising for the duration of the match. Headingley is a ground where it's as important to look down; cloud cover and it can be a bowlers' delight, sunshine and runs can come apace.

Stats and trivia

  • The last time England won four Tests in a row was in 2013 when they beat New Zealand 2-0 before going 2-0 in the Ashes series.

  • If James Anderson reaches 500 wickets in this Test, it will happen on the same ground where he reached 400 - against New Zealand in 2015

  • A half-century for Joe Root would mean he equals the world record held by AB de Villiers for the most consecutive Tests (12) with at least a fifty

  • Jason Holder needs six runs to reach 1000 in Tests


"We know they're a side that are capable of some strong performances and we expect them to come back hard. We have got to make sure that our game is the best it can be and we follow up what was a really good win last week."
Joe Root

"We can only control what we do on the field and take individual responsibility for performances. We can't control what people have said about us or think about us"
Jason Holder