West Indies will look to clinch the second Test and series, to claim the Wisden Trophy for the first time in England since 1988 at Old Trafford, Manchester, starting from tomorrow.
The tourists after a hard-fought thriller defeated England by four wickets in Southampton courtesy Jermaine Blackwood’s 95 on Day 5 in Southampton, are also eyeing back to back series win as they defeated England on home soil in 2019
West Indies will be hoping that their bowlers will provide the same performances which they produced in both the innings of opening Test. It was Shanon Gabriel, player of the match for a nine-wicket haul, who was not in the main squad ahead of this Test series because of his ankle surgery.
Bowlers’ fitness might play a big part for West Indies as the Test is starting just after the span of three days. One advantage for them would be returning to Old Trafford, where they quarantine after the arrival and played two intra-squad warm-up games which can help them to further perform better here.
English bowlers can put Windies’ batsmen in doubt just like the second innings where they collapse to 27-3 and saw opener John Campbell retire hurt.
Captain Jason Holder will be key who recently grabbed the second spot from New Zealand’s Neil Wagner in Test bowler rankings after his Test-best 6-24 in first innings and saw Windies to pass through the 200 run target.
On the other hand, England captain Joe Root returns after attending the birth of his second child and will likely replace Joe Denly, who averages 29.53 and is yet to score a century in his 28 Test innings.
Jos Buttler, the other in-form candidate, has once again been given a vote of confidence for the second Test after his disappointing 35 and 9 with the bat.
One more key issues for England will be the management of their bowlers, with Stuart Broad likely to return after being dropped from the opening Test, a decision that ended his run of 51 consecutive home appearances. He also showed displeasure but also hailed the competition among bowlers.