Hopeful Eng aim to draw level in Antigua
England seek to draw level in a Test series that they were favoured to win when they face West Indies in the second Test, starting today at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.cricket Updated: Feb 13, 2009 13:05 IST
England seek to draw level in a Test series that they were favoured to win when they face West Indies in the second Test, starting on Friday at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
England were upset in the opening Test at Kingston, where they were bowled out for 51 in their second innings and crashed to an innings and 23-run defeat inside four days to hand West Indies a 1-0 lead in the four Test series.
The visitors face a crucial challenge in the match. Another defeat for England would give West Indies an unassailable lead in the series and end their nine-year spell of Test series defeats against them.
But there are reasons for England to be hopeful about a reversal from their sensational demolition last Saturday at Sabina Park. Barring back-to-back wins over Bangladesh, West Indies have not won consecutive matches in the last 10 years.
England should also recall that West Indies also outplayed South Africa in Port Elizabeth two months ago, and they still lost a four Test series 2-1.
The visitors also remember that the last time they crumbled in a Test in the Caribbean, when Michael Atherton's side were bowled out for 46 at Port of Spain, their predecessors rebounded with a 208-run victory in Barbados which was highlighted by hundreds in each innings from Alec Stewart. "If there were massive divisions in the side, I would be worried, but I do not think they are," England captain Andrew Strauss said.
WI captain Chris Gayle admitted that a single Test victory will not be enough to atisfy his side.
West Indies (from): C Gayle (captain), L Baker, S Benn, S Chanderpaul, F Edwards, R Hinds, B Nash, D Powell, D Ramdin, R Sarwan, L Simmons, D Smith, J Taylor.
England (from): A Strauss (captain), A Cook, T Ambrose, J Anderson, I Bell, S Broad, P Collingwood, A Flintoff, S Harmison, M Panesar, K Pietersen, M Prior, A Rashid, O Shah, R Sidebottom, G Swann.