Time: 16 Mar, 7.30 PM IST
Venue: Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados
The last seven matches at this venue have produced a result. Historically, the wicket at Barbados has helped the pace bowlers. A typical Caribbean storm is also forecast on days two and three.
Probable XI for West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite (c), John Campbell, Shamarh Brooks, Nkrumah Bonner, Jermaine Blackwood, Jason Holder, Joshua Da Silva (wk), Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph, Veerasammy Permaul, Jayden Seales
Probable XI for England: Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Joe Root (c), Daniel Lawrence, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Foakes (wk), Chris Woakes/Ollie Robinson, Craig Overton, Saqib Mahmood, Jack Leach
We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
Jason Holder, the world’s No.2 all-rounder, will relish the opportunity to play on his home ground. The last time he batted against England at Barbados, he remained unbeaten on 202. With the ball, he has bagged 24 wickets in five Tests at the Kensington Oval. Given his record, Holder can be a genuine fantasy cricket captain.
After getting his 24th Test ton, Joe Root will be brimming with confidence going into the second match. In 12 Tests against West Indies, he has scored 1055 runs at 55.52. The England skipper is also a safe slip fielder, where catches often go when the ball is new.
Jonny Bairstow carried his rich form from the final Ashes Test in Sydney by scoring his second consecutive century. His 140 in the first innings resurrected England’s fortunes.
Ben Stokes has picked 34 wickets and scored 1,002 runs against West Indies in Tests. Although the star all-rounder can be moody and inconsistent, his reputation demands a slot in fantasy cricket.
For early breakthroughs, West Indies will continue to bank on the experienced Kemar Roach. When the two teams last met at Barbados, he picked up a five-wicket haul in the first innings.
While Jayden Seales impressed with the ball in the first innings of the last Test (4 wickets), Alzarri Joseph responded with a three-wicket haul in the second innings.
Nkrumah Bonner likes to put a price on his wicket by blocking for long hours. His 123 & 38* blunted the English attack in the Antigua Test.
Ben Foakes is capable of generating useful fantasy points with both bat and gloves. He will be a handy pick in the wicket-keeper category.
After being dismissed for 8 in the first innings, Zak Crawley responded with a gutsy 121 in the second innings. The English opener doesn’t shy away from playing freely.
West Indies will need another strong performance from Kraigg Brathwaite at the top. His last 8 innings against England read 33, 55, 19, 1, 12, 75, 4, and 65.
Since 2004, England haven’t won a Test at Barbados. In fact, the West Indies also beat England by a big margin when they last played a Test at the venue in 2019. Overall, England have played 72 matches in the Caribbean, out of which they have won only 15.