England vs West Indies: Third Test Preview

Batsman Faces Bowler with Slip Cordon Ready

We take a look at the third and final Test between the England and the West Indies which starts on 7 September 2017 at Lord's.

Well, who saw that coming? The West Indies put in a stellar performance against England at Headingley last week, chasing down 322 on the final day to claim the unlikeliest of victories.

The teams now turn their attention toward Lord's in London for the third Test with Joe Root and his charges desperately looking to right the wrongs of their Leeds performance.

England vs West Indies | Thursday 7 September – Monday 11 September | Lord’s, London

To Win Match
England 1/4 | Draw 11/2 | West Indies 9/1

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England
In many ways, their loss against the West Indies in the second Test perfectly sums up English cricket over the last few years. When on song, they can steamroll opposition home or away, however, when they go through the motions as they did at Headingley, they can slip up against even the weakest teams on the Test circuit.

Looking back, it’s a game they should have never lost despite a below-par first innings total of 258. They clawed their way back into the game after going into their second innings behind by 169-runs. What followed was a magnificent team effort in which six of England’s batsmen managed half-centuries on their way to 490-8.

The declaration came as expected in the latter stages of day four with the visitors needing 320 for victory. England were their own worst enemies as the Windies steadily chipped away at the total. Brathwaite was dropped on 4 and 29 – by Alistair Cook and Stuart Broad – on his way to 95. Cook was also responsible for spilling a sharp chance off the bat of Shai Hope.

Trevor Bayliss will no doubt be drumming on about the basics this week in a bid to wrestle momentum back from a now fired-up West Indies unit. Going 2-1 down will be nothing short of disastrous for Bayliss as well as his newly installed captain, Joe Root.

West Indies
Nobody would have thought going into the final day’s play that the Islanders would successfully chase down a pretty daunting 320-run target? As it happens, they did so with light rapidly fading in Leeds – a fine advert for Test cricket along with Bangladesh’s historic win over Australia.

The second Test proved to be somewhat of a coming of age for Shai Hope. The 23-year-old Barbadian scored a century in each innings – the first time any player has ever scored two hundreds in a First Class match at Headingley – in a performance that we would normally associate with Joe Root or a Steve Smith.

Hope now leads the way in terms on runs scored in the series on 286, seven more than Alistair Cook in second. Surprisingly, Kraigg Brathwaite and Jermaine Blackwood also find themselves in the top five ahead of the likes of Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow.

Hope will be key to the West Indies' hope of securing an unlikely series win. He, along with Brathwaite, Blackwood – and indeed his brother Kyle, who hasn’t been at his best in the Tests – will need to pile on the runs. I simply don’t see the visitor’s attack causing too many problems at Lord’s where batting has been fairly easy. The average score at the ground in the last five years is 318.1 which seems to suggest we could see a high-scoring fixture.

Verdict: Draw 11/2
I’m not really sure which way to go here. England are generally quite good coming off the back of defeats. However, you can’t rule out the mercurial West Indians, especially after such a massive win. I’m thinking this will end in a pretty high-scoring draw. 11/2 represents decent value. 

Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

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