England vs West Indies: A look at the key battles
The forthcoming Test series between England and West Indies will mark the return of international cricket, following a three-month hiatus. While the hosts will be aiming to regain the coveted Wisden Trophy, the Jason Holder-led side will vie for a first series victory on the England soil since 1988. Let us have a look at some interesting battles that could spice up the series.
When England toured the Caribbean last year, the feud between Shannon Gabriel and Joe Root made headlines throughout the series. Although Gabriel could only dismiss the England skipper once in the series, Root seemed to be in trouble more often than not. The latter scored only 177 runs from six innings. However, the home advantage could give Root a little respite, this time around.
Shai Hope's twin hundreds against England in the (2017) Headingley Test gave a bright testimony of his immaculate technique. He would like to break the shackles this time as well. Meanwhile, England seamer James Anderson has already given a gist of his hostile bowling through his training sessions. It will be interesting to see how Hope deals with Anderson's out-swingers in testing conditions.
West Indies batsman Kraigg Brathwaite has risen to prominence in the latter half of his career, owing to impactful knocks. In Brathwaite, West Indies have found a solid opener, studded with a sound composure. Notwithstanding, Jofra Archer's express pace could perturb his plight early on. Archer will be raring to dazzle the red cherry on the vicious England decks.
Over the years, Broad has been successful against the left-handers, bowling around the wicket. His success against David Warner in The Ashes was a classic example. He will constantly be in quest of the stray outside edge throughout. In this case, he becomes a potential threat for the West Indian opener John Campbell. Paradoxically, the left-handed batsman could also display an attacking approach.
Kemar Roach is probably the fastest bowler in the West Indies squad presently. Known for his aggression, Roach will be aiming to destroy England's top order with his pace. Opening batsman Rory Burns, who is making a comeback for England, could find it difficult to face the West Indian pace spearhead. However, his robust technique may also give Roach a run for the money.