England will lock horns with West Indies in the second Test at Manchester, starting July 16. Jason Holder’s men will be keen to notch up a second consecutive victory. A draw will ensure that the team from Caribbean retain the Wisden Trophy, after winning it last year at home.
After having lost the first Test by four wickets in Southampton, the home side is expected to make a few changes to their playing-11. In a blessed news for the Three Lions design room, regular captain Joe Root will return to the side after having missed out on the opening game and due to the birth of his child. England’s team selection was a point of contention in Southampton as they left out Stuart Broad and went with the pace option of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood.
The dominance of West Indies in the Southampton Test, on the other hand, serves as a testament to West Indies’s potential in red-ball cricket. In conditions where there is any assistance for the fast bowlers, West Indies will always be a potent force because of the quality that they have got in the pace bowling department. The only question ahead of the Southampton game was if the West Indies batsmen would be able to rise to the occasion and as it turned out, they did just that.
Weather Forecast (England vs West Indies 2nd Test)
Unlike Southampton, in which the first couple of days were badly affected by rain, Manchester is expected to have sunny days through, but there’s a chance of overcast weather on Day 1. The fans would hope that the entire Test match goes uninterrupted.
Pitch Report (England vs West Indies 2020)
The pitch at Old Trafford might offer a little bit more for the fast bowlers than the one at the Rose Bowl did and England might think about bringing Stuart Broad back into the XI.
Broad might not be as quick as some of the other England fast bowlers, but he is still skilful enough to make use of favourable pitches.
England XI: Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Joe Root (C), Zak Crawley, Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (WK), Dominic Bess, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, James Anderson
West Indies XI: John Campbell, Kraigg Braithwaite, Shai Hope, Shamarh Brooks, Jermaine Blackwood, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich (WK), Jason Holder (C), Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel
The England side is going to be strengthened by the arrival of Joe Root and if Stuart Broad is picked as well, he will add a lot of experience to the XI. The conditions will also suit England in Manchester and even though they are going into the second Test match trailing 0-1, they might be able to topple West Indies this time around.
The prediction is for England to win the Test match and level the series 1-1.