The 2019 cricketing calendar is set to be a busy one for England with both a World Cup and an Ashes series pencilled in. Joe Root‘s men enter the year full of confidence following the 3-0 victory over Sri Lanka, their first series whitewash in the country.
Before the year-defining action of the summer comes a challenging two-month tour to the West Indies where England will be seeking a first Test series victory since 2004.
England’s cricketers face considerable challenges in their forthcoming series in the West Indies. Their opponents have a potent, proven pace attack, and a batting line-up that is considerably less useless than some of its recent predecessors.
More significantly, however, England’s own excellence in their superb 3-0 series win in Sri Lanka in November has created a significant problem for a 21st century sports team.
England’s upcoming series against the West Indies is gently approaching, with the first Test kicking off on the 23rd January.
England may be third in the test rankings and the West Indies eighth, but history will be against Joe Root’s tourists when a three-match series gets underway in Barbados on Wednesday.
Only two England sides have won test series in the Caribbean during the past 52 years.
Below we look back at those most recent England campaign triumphs, which both featured members of the Jones family – left-arm quick Jeff Jones starring in 1968, with the Welshman’s son, Simon, a right-arm paceman, playing in 2004.
(1) 1967-68: WEST INDIES 0 ENGLAND 1 (five-match series)
This series went England s way thanks mainly to a seven-wicket win in the fourth Test in Trinidad.
England were left to score 215 in two-and-three quarter hours following a sporting declaration by West Indies captain Garry Sobers.
But England, with captain Colin Cowdrey making 71, follow his first-innings 148, and opener Geoffrey Boycott 80 not out, got the runs just in time.
There was one more twist to come in the fifth Test in Guyana when, with England nine wickets down, No 11 Jeff Jones survived the last over of the match to secure a draw that sealed the series win.
(2) 2003-04: WEST INDIES 0 ENGLAND 3 (four-match series)
England made a spectacular start to win the first Test in Jamaica by 10 wickets and never looked back.
Fast bowler Stephen Harmison, inflicting the kind of damage associated with legions of West Indies quicks, took an extraordinary seven wickets for 12 runs in 12.3 overs as the hosts collapsed to 47 all out in their second innings.
But after further convincing wins in Trinidad and Barbados, they were denied a 4-0 clean sweep in Antigua.
West Indies captain Brian Lara regained the world record for the highest individual Test score with an innings of 400 not out in a colossal total of 751 for five declared.
But by batting so long on a placid pitch, Lara reduced the time available for his bowlers to take 20 wickets and England captain Michael Vaughan, albeit his side followed on, made 140 as the match ended in a draw.
England ought to win:
This is a series that England ought to win, even if their nine away series before Sri Lanka produced just four victories in 32 Test matches. In the past 15 years, West Indies have won only two home series against top-eight ranked opposition, out of 18 played.
They have not won more Tests than they have lost in a year since 1994. If it lacks the spur of proving critics wrong, this tour does offer the opportunity to prove the complimenters right. Is a new, vibrant, multi-faceted team emerging with a distinctively Rootian stamp?
Are the lavish talents within the squad, which have not always translated into collective or individual success, about to erupt into an era of dominance? Will Jonny Bairstow blow kisses to the press box if he makes another century?
England will have to win this three-match series against the Windies starting on Wednesday in order to retain third position in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings.
According to details, England’s challenge starts in Bridgetown with the Joe Root-led side knowing they have to win by at least a 1-0 margin to remain ahead of fourth-ranked New Zealand.
A series victory will keep England ahead of New Zealand (107) on decimal points while a drawn series will see them drop to fourth position and 105 points. On the other hand, Australia and Sri Lanka will vie for important points in their two-match series starting a day later.
Head to Head:
Matches: 154 | England: 48 | West Indies: 55 | NR: 51
England: W W W W W (completed matches, most recent first)
West Indies: L L L L W
1. Joe Root (capt), 2. Moeen Ali, 3. James Anderson, 4. Jonny Bairstow (wk), 5. Stuart Broad, 6. Rory Burns, 7. Jos Buttler, 8. Sam Curran, 9. Joe Denly, 10. Ben Foakes (wk), 11. Keaton Jennings, 12. Jack Leach, 13. Adil Rashid, 14. Ben Stokes, 15. Chris Woakes, 16. Mark Wood
1. Jason Holder (capt), 2. Kraigg Brathwaite, 3. Darren Bravo, 4. Shamarh Brooks, 5. John Campbell, 6. Roston Chase, 7. Shane Dowrich (wk), 8. Shannon Gabriel, 9. Shimron Hetmyer, 10. Shai Hope (wk), 11. Alzarri Joseph, 12. Kemar Roach, 13. Oshane Thomas, 14. Jomel Warrican.
1st Test: January 23-27, Barbados (Kensington Oval)
2nd Test: January 31-4 February, Test, Antigua
3rd Test: February 9-13, St Lucia
Note: This article include content from AFP / Agencies