Will England Comeback at Machester?

England vs West Indies 2020, 2nd Test: Preview:
West Indies made a positive start with a win in the three-match Test series against England after defeating the hosts in the first match in Southampton, by four wickets on Sunday. The Jason Holder-led side will head to Manchester for the second Test, starting Today. The tourists will now be eager to wrap the series in the second Test at the Old Trafford stadium here. The West Indies are the current holders of the Wisden Trophy after beating England at home last year. There is very little turnaround between matches and the depth of both squads will certainly be tested. After such a high in Southampton, can the West Indies find a way to out-perform England again?
Match Details: 
England vs West Indies second Test Match 
Date And Time: 16th July, Wednesday- 3:30pm IST
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester 
Head to head record (last 5 Tests): West Indies 3, England 2
Pitch Report:
Pitch of the Old Trafford in Manchester is expected to behave the same as in Southampton infact a bit quicker than the one in Southampton, which puts England in a bit of a tricky spot as to the make up of their attack this time around. However, the surface is usually very good to bat on early in the Test, with an average first-innings score of 425.4 in the past five Tests, even with India’s 152-all out in 2014. Pacers will again play a huge part in the game and spinners would also have a role to play in the game. Teams would like to bowl first under the overcast the conditions. Hence, it will be a more challenging condition for the batsmen.
Weather Forecast:There is a chance of some showers on days one and two, but hopefully not enough to impact the game too much.
Probable XI:England:
Stoke’s captaincy was criticized after the post-match as he looked defensive despite being an aggressive player. He didn’t go for wickets in the 2nd innings but was keener to save the runs and under bowled himself and later realized how handy he was with his golden arm. Joe Root’s return will be a big boost to the team, especially his captaincy will add new tactics and strategies to the game. Joe Denly, who failed to convert his 20s to big half-tons and tons has been left out to accommodate Root. The crucial 76 runs which Crawly managed to score in the first test has safeguard himself from being dropped from the 2nd test. Broad will be furious to come back into the team after being dropped in the first match. Jofra Archer had silenced the critics with early breakthroughs in the 2nd innings. He will look to continue good form with his brutal pace and bounce in the upcoming match. England have maintained that the pacers’ selection will be dependent on the pitch, so it will be interesting to see if they’ll change that in Manchester. Broad returns means Wood goes out. James Anderson has been rested so there will be one between Chris Woakes, Sam Curran and Ollie Robinson
Possible XI: Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Joe Root (c), Zak Crawley, Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler(w), Dominic Bess, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, Sam Curran/Chris Woakes/Ollie Robinson
West Indies:
Windies captain Jason Holder needs 83 runs to reach 2000 in Test cricket and become only the third West Indies player behind Sir Garfield Sobers and Carl Hooper to achieve the feat. He did most of the damage in the first match with six wickets in the first innings but Shannon Gabriel was not far behind with four victims in England’s first dig and five in their second. He will be will be  handful again on what has historically been one of England’s quickest pitches. Success in England is nothing new for Gabriel – he has taken 20 wickets in four Tests – and his express pace should unsettle England’s fragile batting unit. The Windies are likely to go unchanged unless there is a forced change of John Campbell due to injury. They could add Rahkeeem Cornwall to give variety to the playing 11.Possible XI:John Campbell/Rahkeeem Cornwall, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, Shai Hope, Roston Chase, Jermaine Blackwood, Shane Dowrich(w), Jason Holder(c), Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel

It has been 25 years since they won a series away to one of the seven sides above them in the rankings. The teams they have beaten in that time are Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The West Indies team is on cusp of history. What great Viv Richards team achieved in 1988, Jason Holder team can emulate in 2020. Beating England in England in a test series is a dream which very few have realized and Holder’s team can make it a reality. If he achieves that it will be after a gap of 32 years that the Caribbean team will beat England in their home soil.

By Paramdeep Rathee


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