When West Indies faces England in first Test in Southampton on July 8, the visitors will walk out in the middle with a formidable bowling attack, featuring the likes of Jason Holder, Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel, all among the top 20 in official test bowlers’ rankings.
As this realization dawned upon the English captain, Joe Root, he has asked his batsmen to prepare well to ensure that the touring team does not get better of them as they did on their home soil in 2019.
“We are very aware of the skill West Indies have and what they will bring to this series,” Root told BBC Sport.
“One thing that stood out was how formidable their bowling attack can be.
“It is really important we prepare well and we are ready for all of that.”
Holder–Stokes rivalry huge
The Test series between the fourth ranked England and eighth ranked West Indies will witness world no.1 Test all-rounder Jason Holder face off with no.2 all-rounder Ben Stokes.
Joe Root could miss the first Test if it coincides with the birth of his second child, as reported over the last few weeks. If this happens, Ben Stokes will lead the English side.
Then all likely the face-off between the two all-rounders will be “huge” as predicted by West Indies coach Phil Simmons, with both leading their sides.
Speaking about the West Indies captain, who was the highest run-scorer on either side in 2019 when the both the teams played last, Joe Root said that he is one most well-respected guys in the international cricket.
“Jase is one of the most well-respected guys in international cricket.”
“He took the job at a young age and we are starting to see him at the peak of his career.
“He comes across as a very good bloke. I am looking forward to chatting to him from a social distance,” said Joe Root.
The Wisden Trophy was won by West Indies after triumphing 2-1 on home soil in 2019. England would want to win the home series and improve their place in the ICC World Test Championship, where they are currently placed at fourth behind New Zealand, Australia and India.