England v West Indies Investec 1st Test Match at Lords
Put on your summer hat, don your sandals and shorts. The British summer is here (ignore the evidence to the contrary outside your window). The first home test, for many of us, is the real start of summer time - despite what the weather is up to. England welcome the West Indies to Lord’s on Thursday 17th for the first in a three test series.
While the Windies are no longer the ruthless - yet always fun - force that dominated World cricket for years. Illustrious names like Viv Richards and Malcolm Marshall and Brian Lara among many others, filled their lineup through the years; any visit by the former glamour team of cricket is still highly anticipated.
Even with their biggest star, turned bat for hire, Chris Gayle absent. Indeed in a worrying stat in their 13 Tests since Chris Gayle last played for the West Indies, their opening partnership has averaged a mere 19 runs.
The West Indies aren’t far short of a disaster in the post Gayle era, in terms of their opening batting, but their bowling and fielding have improved to such an extent that they will offer England a test in this first summer series on English soil.
Darren Bravo, a cousin of Brian Lara, is only 23 and averaging 49.59 runs in his 16 tests. While his talent isn’t fully formed, and matching his legendary cousin seems unlikely, he is one to watch in a series in which the Windies are looking to improve for the future.
Another 23 year old to watch is Kemar Roach, the young fast bowler looking to emulate the hallowed Windies fast bowlers of yore. He nabbed his first ten wicket haul in Port of Spain last month against a battered Aussie side. He is the great hope for Windies bowling and a first test in England will be crucial for his development.
The West Indies are building fro the future. England are looking to maintain home dominance after mixed results abroad. The summer of sport starts now.
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