Engalnd v West Indies, 2nd Test, Trent BridgeEngland Look to Add to West Indies' Woes24-May-2012 12:24:00 GMT
Nottingham: England will take an unbeatable lead in their three-match series against the West Indies if they win the second Test at Trent Bridge starting on Friday.
And, after a five-wicket victory in the first Test at Lord's, few would bet against Andrew Strauss's number one ranked side going 2-0 up in Nottingham.
The West Indies did take the first Test into the fifth day and twice had England wobbling as they pursued a modest target of 191.
But England were only ever one decent partnership away from victory, which came courtesy of Alastair Cook (79) and Ian Bell (63 not out).
Well though Shivnarine Chanderpaul, officially the world's best batsman, played in scoring 87 not out and 91 at Lord's, the fact he came in with the total on 86 for three and then 36 for three was a testament to the failings of West Indies' top order.
The likes of opener Adrian Barath, Kieran Powell and Kirk Edwards can expect their techniques to be tested again by James Anderson and Stuart Broad, man-of-the-match at Lord's with an 11-wicket haul, at a Trent Bridge ground renowned for aiding swing bowling.
West Indies have won just twice in their last 31 Tests and are without a win in 15 Tests in England, a run including 13 defeats.
They badly need someone in the top order to lend more support to Chanderpaul and Marlon Samuels, who made 86 in the second innings at Lord's.
The Indian Premier League and disputes with the West Indies Cricket Board have left the tourists without the likes of star opening batsman Chris Gayle as well as Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine.
Meanwhile Ramnaresh Sarwan, like Gayle a former captain, is scoring runs in county cricket for Leicestershire, while pacer Jerome Taylor is injured.
The West Indies suffered another setback when fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, who took four wickets on debut at Lord's, was subsequently ruled out of the tour with a back injury.
However Kemar Roach, who troubled England with a fiery spell on the fourth evening at Lord's, should be fit after suffering a recurrence of a longstanding ankle problem.
The present West Indies side may struggle to match the standards and all-round flair of the celebrated teams of the 1970s and 1980s.
But opening batsman Cook insisted the current attack were no pushovers.
Despite taking 10 wickets in his previous Test appearance against Australia, Shillingford was omitted at Lord's where Samuels' part-time slow bowling posed few problems.
England all-rounder Tim Bresnan may have celebrated his 12th win in as many career Test appearances at Lord's but a match return of one for 144 has left his place vulnerable to a challenge from pacers Steven Finn and Graham Onions.
West Indies will need to make one enforced change to their bowling attack after Shannon Gabriel was ruled out of the tour. Sadly, from an entertainment point of view, that is likely to mean a recall for Ravi Rampaul, who has now recovered from his neck problem, rather than Tino Best who has recently arrived from the Caribbean.
England : Andrew Strauss (captain), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Jonathan Bairstow, Matt Prior (wk), Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Graham Onions, Steven Finn
West Indies: Darren Sammy (captain), Kirk Edwards, Adrian Barath, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Fidel Edwards, Assad Fudadin, Kieran Powell, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Shane Shillingford, Tino Best
Pitch and conditions
Typically in the England the first sign of warm weather has made front-page news and it is expected to last throughout the Test. It could offer the batsmen a chance to prosper although Trent Bridge is rarely flat even in the best of conditions.
Stats and trivia
- West Indies have never lost a Test at Trent Bridge. However, they have not played there since 1995 when Mike Watkinson helped save the match for England
- England have won their last three Tests at the ground and by huge margins: 319 runs against India, 354 runs against Pakistan, and an innings and nine runs against New Zealand. There has not been a draw since 2002 against India.
- This will be the last Test for the old, traditional-style, scoreboard at Trent Bridge which is due to be replaced by another electronic version.
- James Anderson is back on a happy hunting ground where he has taken 33 wickets at 17.45 in five Test, while last year Stuart Broad claimed a hat-trick against India.
May 25-29, 2012
Start time 11.00 local (1000 GMT)