Posted by: tootingtrumpet | February 3, 2009

West Indies vs England – Test Series Preview

gayleFrom a freezing London, The Tooting Trumpet looks west to the Caribbean and to what might be a fascinating Test series.

After January’s regicide, England’s players, management and fans can look forward to some cricket in February to remind us that the game is won in the middle not in the dressing room, nor in the nets, nor in the machinations of bureaucracy.

Under Andrew Strauss, the heirs of the MCC will take to the field at Sabina Park Kingston confident of victory, more as a result of their hosts’ lack of consistency than of the Englishmen’s Test pedigree. The warm-up match against West Indies A showed that the English batting had found a bit of form, but the bowling still lacked penetration a couple of months on from India’s big chase in Chennai. But where India had Sehwag to blast up top, supported by Tendulkar and Yuvraj all splendidly led by Dhoni, the West Indies can go like for like with Gayle and Chanderpaul for Sehwag and Tendulkar, but the batting support acts are few and the leadership diffident. England’s bowlers know that they are never far from a couple of quick wickets.

Both sides’ bowling strength lies in pace, with much depending on how the fast men deal with the physical and mental demands of four Tests so closely scheduled. As ever, England will look to Flintoff to dry up runs and take wickets, whilst Harmison will blow cold, but, on one of his favoured tours, maybe hot too. The West Indian pace battery need to improve on their less than impressive averages and bowl to plans that prey on the demons that soon surface in the minds of England’s batsmen.

The Trumpet would have no hesitation in forecasting an England series win at home, but away it will be much tighter. If England catch better than the West Indies, they should win 2-1, but if England fail to take their chances, Chris Gayle may well be spending some of his Stanford million on champagne, rum and Carib beer.

Let battle be joined.



  1. Should be an interesting series and I doubt that the Windies will be the pushover that some expect. They gave Australia a good contest last year but failed to put two days good cricket together. However, at times they were quite brilliant.

    Looking forward to see if Brendan Nash gets another cap for he is a talented bat that obviously has the desire to make it internationally.

    He has a fair bit to prove and although now Jamaican I think he’ll approach the series as a mini Ashes and I expect him to play well.

    Obviously the key to England winning is to find a chink in Chanderpaul’s defence or alternatively try and bowl out the other ten while restricting his scoring.

    Pietersen will no doubt score heavily and as long as Strauss doesn’t bowl Flintoff into the ground England should come away with a series win in the Tests. However, I have my doubts about their abilities when it comes to the ODIs and T20s.

    Expect moneybags Stanford to turn up and the England camp’s reaction to him should make for interesting viewing!

  2. The slow waist high full toss should account for Chanders :) The English bowlers should watch videos of Jeetan Patel to Chanderpaul.

    Joking aside, my predicition is a tie

  3. In what must be a blow to the ego both Bell and Harmison have been overlooked by every IPL franchise. Considering retired State cricketers like Jon Moss are still in the mix that really is a slap in the face.

    Knowing Harmy’s fragile mind I wonder if the news will fire him up to prove them wrong or instead cause him to fall in a heap and cry into his pillow.

  4. Knowing Harmy, he might not have noticed yet!

  5. Of course, Toots! Even after playing with and against fast bowlers for a quarter century their minds are a still a mystery to me.

    I’ve often wondered what motivates a bloke to charge in nostrils flaring, calves burning under a hot merciless sun all afternoon.

    One day you’ll have to explain it to me.

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