England vs West Indies: Second Test Preview

The West Indies and England will go head to head in the second Test at Headingley starting Friday 25 August. 

Having comprehensively trounced the West Indies in the first Test at Birmingham by an innings and 209-runs, the sides will head off to Leeds for the second Test at Headingley.

Can the West Indies make more of a contest of the second encounter or will it be more of the same with England dominating from start to finish? Let’s take a look:

England vs West Indies | Fri 25 August – Tues 29 August | Headingley, Leeds | England

To Win Match 
England 1/8 | Draw 6/1 | West Indies 15/1

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England 
Now is very much the time for the players who want to force their way into the English Ashes squad for the end of the year to put their hands up. Guys like Mark Stoneman, Tom Westley, and Dawid Malan will all want to nail down a place in the side.

I still think there’s a case for Hameed Haseeb to be included in the side, although Stoneman is the chalk to Alistair Cook’s cheese. The Durham opener is far more aggressive than the stoic Cook, who is more than content to block for three sessions.

Westley and Malan have both shown limited promise and are unlikely to feature going forward unless they can really put on big scores against a very limited West Indian attack. There are only two Tests against the Windies before the side jets off to Australia leaving the two with very little time to make their mark on the selectors.

The rest of the team picks itself really. Toby Roland-Jones has shown massive promise since his cracking debut against South Africa at Oval while his ability with the bat also stands him in good stead going forward.

I don’t really see England being troubled at Headingley despite England’s wobbly record at the ground in recent years. This West Indian side simply can’t compete, especially in English conditions.

West Indies
Wow… where to start with the West Indies’ performance last week? The bowling after the first session of the match was pretty average, the fielding is something you’d expect to see in an U13 game while the batting isn’t even worth comparing to anything.

It was especially disappointing seeing as the Windies enjoyed a pretty good run in the three warm-up games they played against Kent, Derbyshire, and Essex. Those promising performances might as well be ancient history now after the rout at Birmingham.

You run through the scorecard and the only person you can really say had a decent game was Jermaine Blackwood. The Jamaican’s first innings 76-ball 79 added a smidgen of respectability to their first innings score of 168. Unfortunately for the visitors, he wasn’t able to recreate that form in the second innings as the Islanders were skittled for 137 as they lost inside of three days.

I’m not really sure where the West Indies can go from here? At the very least they need to improve on last week’s train wreck. The Hope brothers need to be more solid as they were the warm-up games while Kraigg Brathwaite and Kieran Powell need to negate the new ball more effectively.

In terms of changes, the Windies’ management could bring in Shimron Hetmyer, although his young Test career hasn’t shown much promise. A high score of 25 in three matches at an average of 16 – he’s still only 20-years-old and English conditions may just be too much for him at the moment, especially with the likes of Anderson and Broad with the Duke in hand.

Verdict: England 1/8
There was absolutely nothing to suggest that the West Indies can challenge the English in the Test arena – especially in the UK. Big stake on England with confidence here. 

Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

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