England vs West Indies – 1st Test Tips and Betting Preview

The English Test match summer gets underway at Lord’s on Wednesday when England say goodbye to their greatest ever bowler when they play the first of a three match Test series against a West Indies side looking to be party poopers.

England are basically starting to look towards the next Ashes series in 16 months or so whereas West Indies have already been to Australia and come away with a draw and will be looking to show that isn’t a fluke.

England

England have spent the last six months stinking the place out in white ball cricket so there is probably a little extra pressure on the red ball team to deliver the goods here. There would have been that pressure anyway because this is the last time Jimmy Anderson will play for the Test side and also because these two countries have gone in different directions in the Test sphere over the last 20 years or so but if England don’t deliver in any discipline it isn’t going to look good.

England are clearly moving towards a changing of the guard and it will be interesting to see what the backup bowlers deliver here because in a week they are going to be the front guard. There has been so much rain around London in the lead up to this match that their bowlers will probably deliver the goods here but generally they do in English conditions. The acid test will be what their batters come up with. If they score well it is hard to see England not going well here.

West Indies

We are in an era where the West Indies are supposedly fading in red ball cricket but nobody told the current squad that when they went to Australia and came away with a 1-1 draw. That was a fantastic result as a young, emerging side showed that they are clearly good enough to have a good go with the best Test side in the world and come out on top. When you get a result like that though it brings added expectation with it and that is what they will have to deal with here.

It shouldn’t be forgotten that West Indies were wiped out with the red ball in that series but came out on top with the pink ball so they have something to prove here. If they are going to be competitive both in this match and the series as a whole then they are going to have to score runs. This might be a work in progress England bowling attack after this game but they’ll always go well in English conditions. If West Indies can’t find runs they are in trouble.


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Team News

As was revealed a few weeks ago, this will be the final time that Jimmy Anderson plays Test cricket for England and he’ll do so alongside a couple of debutants in Gus Atkinson and Jamie Smith. Harry Brook returns from missing the India tour too.

West Indies will be without their strike bowler Kemar Roach who has succumbed to a knee injury while playing for Surrey. Jayden Seales has spent the summer so far with Sussex and he’ll lead the attack while opener Mikyle Louis will make his debut.

Betting

Joe Root is a player that I expect to shine for England in this match. Unlike a lot of English summers he has spent the start of it with Yorkshire where he has made a couple of 50s and a couple of centuries in the County Championship and carried on scoring well in the Vitality Blast so he is going to be feeling good about his game right now. He has an excellent record at Lord’s where he averages over 50 and has scored five of his 31 Test match centuries so a performance line of 103.5 looks very much in range for the former England captain. He is likely to field at slip so catches aren’t out of the question and if the sudden change in the weather forecast holds up he might even get a bowl too so I like the idea of him covering his player performance line.

The other bet that I like in this opening game is for Joshua da Silva to be the leading West Indies run scorer in the first innings. He impressed with an unbeaten 50 in the second innings of the warm up match which West Indies played and with a top order going to be under pressure to deliver against a very good England bowling unit, it wouldn’t be a complete surprise if someone down the order has to pick up the pieces. He made a century in his previous First-class innings prior to that match for Trinidad and Tobago and has four 50s and a ton in Test cricket. That century came against England so we know he can score against most of this England attack. At 11/1 he looks like the value call in the West Indies first innings.

Tips

Back J.Root’s Performance – Over 103.5pts for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365

Back J.da Silva Top West Indies 1st Inns Batter for a 1/10 stake at 12.00 with Unibet

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