International cricket is all set to resume from Wednesday (July 8) with the first Test between England and West Indies at Ageas Bowl in Southampton. It’s been a wait of over than a 100 days due to the coronavirus, but with a few changes in the rules, cricket is taking baby steps towards normalcy.
Coming back to cricket, the pitch at Southampton has always aided the spinners. Back in 2018, Moeen Ali wreak havoc on the Indians and helped the English secure the match. So spinners might have a crucial role to play. Also the pitch hasn’t been used for county cricket, so there will be something in it for the pacers as well. With overcast conditions, it becomes a no-brainer, to bowl first on this kind of a wicket.
Former West Indies captain Brian Lara feels Jason Holder’s troops will have to try and finish the game inside four days as they won’t be able to attain a positive result if the Test matches against England go into the fifth and final day.
The two teams will lock horns in a three-Test series starting Wednesday at the Ageas Bowl, and it will mark the resumption of cricket after the sport was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lara feels England are ‘overwhelming favourites’ to get the better of West Indies in their own backyard but he suggested a game plan for the visitors to follow in the upcoming clash.
“They have to be able to pounce immediately,” Lara was quoted as saying by BBC Sport. “England are not beaten very easily at home and are overwhelming favourites.
“They have to hit the road running and stamp their authority on England.
“I don’t think they can last five days, so they have to take these games in four days. They have to establish a lead and keep it.”