Hello and welcome to Sportstar’s LIVE coverage of the second Test match between England and West Indies at the Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester.
Root back with team in familiar territory
Fresh from becoming a father of two, Joe Root will be reinstalled as England captain on Thursday with his team in very familiar territory.
With Root absent so he could be with his wife for the birth of their second child, England lost the first Test against the West Indies last week in what was the first international cricket match since the sport’s shutdown because of the coronavirus outbreak.
It leaves England with a bizarre record of having lost the first Test in eight of the team’s last 10 series.
The doors are certainly not closed on Denly: Joe Root
Joe Root, who missed England’s first Test in Southampton last week, will return to the squad as captain for the second Test in Manchester, with Joe Denly facing the axe. Denly’s scores of 18 and 29 at the Ageas Bowl didn’t help his cause, but Root maintained that this isn’t the end of the road for the top-order batsman.
“It’s never easy having to leave someone out of the team. Joe, over a period of time, has done a brilliant job for us. He has helped show our identity as a side and how we would want to play moving forward,” said Root.
READ: Phil Simmons: Extended preparation period played key part in beating England
“The doors are certainly not closed on him and if he gets a chance to come back [into the squad], I’m sure he will be desperate to take it.”
Southampton Test erased swing doubts, says ball-maker
The ball moved enough in last week’s Southampton Test between England and West Indies to erase any lingering doubt about swing bowling under cricket’s COVID-19 protocols, manufacturer of the Dukes ball told Reuters.
READ: How West Indies won the first Test
Strict health regulations that greeted international cricket on its return from a 117-day stoppage included a ban on saliva to shine the ball, even though players can still use sweat to polish it in order to generate swing.
“The ball did swing and it was a balanced game of cricket,” Dilip Jajodia, managing director of British Cricket Balls Ltd, which produces the Dukes balls used in England, told Reuters by telephone.
Shannon Gabriel: Windies plans to approach next Tests with intensity
As West Indies stunned England in the first Test at Southampton last week, captain Jason Holder admitted that such a feat was possible because of Shannon Gabriel’s heroics.
The Caribbean pace ace scalped nine wickets and was adjudged Man of the Match as Test cricket returned after lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was certainly an incredible moment for the fans across the globe as they witnessed a lethal West Indies pace attack ripping apart a star-studded England batting line-up.
What: West Indies tour of England, 2020
When: July 16-20
Where: Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester
Time in IST: 03:30 PM
West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite, John Campbell, Shai Hope, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Jermaine Blackwood, Shane Dowrich(WK), Jason Holder(C), Rahkeem Cornwall, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel, Alzarri Joseph, Chemar Holder, Raymon Reifer, Nkrumah Bonner
England: Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Zak Crawley, Joe Root(C), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler(WK), Sam Curran, Dominic Bess, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes, Ollie Robinson
West Indies Tour of England will be aired LIVE only on Sony Six channels from 3.30 pm