An Interesting England Test Series Beckons!

West Indies Men’s Senior team will tour England
to play a three-match Test series in July this
year. The West Indies 4-day Championship,
now in progress, will help to determine the composition
of the team. Following West Indies’ emphatic victory
over Australia in the recent Test series, where the
team was able to draw the series, there has been
renewed interest by West Indies fans across the region
and worldwide. The victory, particularly the superb
performance of Shamar Joseph, has caused many
disillusioned West Indies fans to want to believe again.

The Test victory is certainly not being hailed as proof
that West Indies has turned the corner. Most fans of the
West Indies are elated with the victory and are now
hopeful that West Indies will use this remarkable
performance as motivation to do even better in Tests.
West Indies fans are therefore already looking forward,
with anticipation, to the Test series in England. Our
batting is, however, still, an area of concern.

Probably due to the recent performance and success of West
Indies Test team, the West Indies 4-Day Championship 2024 has
been attracting more interest across the region by dedicated
fans of the West Indies. The matches are being streamed live with
ball-by-ball commentary on the West Indies Cricket YouTube
channel. Fans can follow every game from their mobile devices,
computers, or connected TVs, including access to live ball-by-ball
scoring on the live match center. Three
rounds have already been completed and there are four more
to go.

On February 28th, Cricket West Indies (CWI) announced
venue changes for the upcoming rounds of the West Indies
Championship, due to the unavailability of the Diego Martin
Sports Complex in Trinidad. The changes affect rounds 4, 5, 6,
and 7 of the competition, with venues being shifted to ensure
the tournament match schedule proceeds as planned. CWI
stated that these adjustments are part of their ongoing effort to
provide the best possible conditions for competitive First Class
cricket, and to showcase the talent within the region. CWI’s Director of Cricket, Miles Bascombe, seemed pleased with what he has witnessed so far in the first three rounds. He noted that
there were thrilling team and individual performances. Miles
made an interesting point in regard to the venues chosen for the
matches. He stated that Cricket West Indies (CWI) will continue
to work with the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) the host
Boards and venues to ensure that conditions for play are the
best on offer. Given the constraints, he hopes that in the end the
championship will be decided by the contest between bat and
ball. Despite the constraints, there were indeed some very good
performances and this is refreshing, as West Indies prepare for
future Test matches.

There is unlikely to be much changes to the West Indies squad
for the series against England. One expects though that players
like Jayden Seales and Jason Holder would be included in the
squad to England, probably at the expense Akeem Jordan and
Justin Greaves. Jayden Seales, back from injury, is bowling well
in the tournament, and Jason Holder will make the squad due to
his experience and ability as a senior player. Tage Chanderpaul,
however, may find himself out of the squad to England, if he
does not produce some good knocks in the next four rounds
of the West Indies Championship. He had a horrible series in
Australia and continues to struggle for form. In my opinion,
the most likely person to replace Tage, as opening partner to
Kraigg Brathwaite, is Jeremy Solozano. He continues to put
in consistent performances, as an opener, and if he maintains
this level of consistency he may find himself on the plane to
England for the upcoming tour. West Indies Test captain Kraigg
Brathwaite showed why he is still one of the better and more
reliable batsman in the West Indies. He made a determined
and characteristically patient 142 off 314-balls in the last match for
Barbados Pride, in the third round.

Also in the third round for the Windward Islands Volcanoes, Kaven Hodge produced a solid
158 not out and Sunil Ambris showed that he is still someone to
watch, scoring a brilliant 120. Volcanoes skipper Alick Athanaze
contributed with a solid knock of 58 which would boost his
chances of remaining on the West Indies Test squad. He is
a player of immense ability and potential. Windward
Islands Volcanoes remain unbeaten in the tournament
thus far.

It was nice to see West Indies under 19 wicket-keeper
batsman Jewel Andrew doing well with the bat with
knocks of 87 and 48 for the Hurricanes, batting at
position 6. He was impressive in the recently concluded
ICC Men’s Under 19 World Cup tournament and seems
to be continuing in that vein. He is definitely one for
the future, and one hopes he continues to perform well
going forward. Jermaine Blackwood is unlikely to be
recalled to the squad. He is presently struggling for runs
and looks in very poor form. Time may soon run out on

In terms of the bowling, I must mention Jomel Warrican.
He was quite impressive in that last match, finishing
with figures of 5/62. Though he is unlikely to be picked
ahead of Motie or Sinclair, as a spinning option for the
upcoming Test series. However, he continues to show
his worth at the regional level and will certainly remain
in contention for a Test recall. Rakheem Cornwall is also
performing well with the ball. He took a brilliant catch in
the last match showing his agility and alertness, despite
his size. The West Indies selectors will probably select
five fast bowlers for the Test series against England.
The attack would most likely be led by Kemar Roach,
with Alzarri Joseph, Shamar Joseph, and Jayden Seales
as part of the attack. Holder could play as a bowling

This should be a very interesting Test series. Meanwhile,
let us focus on the West Indies Championship and
hope that we see even more determined effort by the
players to put in great performances.

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