The West Indies begin their tour of England having a big disadvantage despite being the current holders of the Wisden trophy, the symbol of supremacy between the two countries.
In my opinion, the Caribbean team has walked right into the hands of their English counterparts. Firstly, the two warm-up matches are not enough preparations for a Test series of this magnitude.
The video I have seen of the first warm-up intersquard fixture was quite interesting. The players were in training and one day international kits. This may be of little significance to the regional team’s technical staff and even to some fans but, I recall a former Test player telling me every time he “dons white’’ his attitude is different from a T20 or One-Day International fixture. I ask the question, have you ever seen a touring team preparing for a Test series playing in a warm-up fixture in T20 or One-Day kits?
Coming back to the team’s preparations, our batsmen needed to face up to bowlers who know their conditions very well and as a result would be given a stern test in their technique and character. One English county team would have been the ideal preparation, but I guess the limitations with the Covid-19 pandemic were the reasons for that not coming off.
Some are asking the question, why was the tour rushed? Is the series being used as a “cash cow” and the Wisden trophy the sacrificial lamb. And, others have stated that the tour is being used by the English Cricket Board for their new candidate to challenge for the top post in the upcoming election of the International Cricket Council. I am not aware of that and would not make any comments.
On the topic of the bowling department headed by Kemar Roach it is quite a decent one and can produce a strong challenge for the home team batsmen. They too, needed to bowl to quality batsmen. But that was not to be.
At the end of the first warm-up fixture, the promising Shamarh Brokes who made a useful 83 in which the scores were not fantastic in the game, is quoted as saying, “the team which bats better will emerge victorious of the Test series”.
How correct is this young man, let’s hope for the regional team’s sake the Caribbean batsmen can surprise us all and anchor the West Indies to victory.