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International Cricket: All You Need To Know – West Indies vs England Test Series

After their recent T20 international series in the Caribbean, its Test cricket next on the agenda between West Indies and England.

Both teams have struggled in the five-day format in the last couple of years and are currently eighth and fourth respectively in the Test standings.

How many Tests will they play?

This is an international three-Test series, with the matches being played in the Caribbean – where England haven't won a series since 2003-04.

The two teams have previously battled it out for the Wisden Trophy, which is currently in the hands of England following their 2-1 success on home soil in 2020, but this is for the inaugural Richards-Botham Trophy.

When and where will the matches be played?

The three Tests will be played in different stadiums, with the first Test in Antigua, the second match in Bridgetown and third and final Test in Grenada.

The first Test begins on Tuesday 8th March at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua, before the teams then head to the Kensington Oval for the second Test on Wednesday 16th March.

The National Cricket Stadium in St George's hosts the final Test, with opening day's play on Thursday 24th March. All three tests will start at 14:00 UK time.

Can I watch or listen to the action?

The West Indies vs England series will be shown live on BT Sport and the matches will also be streamed on bet365.

If you are not able to watch the series, bet365 will also have ball-by-ball off-tube audio commentary of each of the three Tests.

What is England's recent record in the West Indies?

England first tour of the Caribbean came way back in 1929-30 and this will be their 17th Test series in the West Indies.

The last time the two sides met in the Caribbean was in 2018-19, when the hosts won the three-match series 2-1.

The previous meeting had finished in a draw in 2015, with the Windies winning the third Test in Bridgetown by five wickets to level matters at 1-1.

In 2008-09, it was the home side that collected the Wisden Trophy with a 1-0 win in a five-match series having won the opening Test in Kingston. The fourth Test in Bridgetown saw England rack up 600-6 declared, before the Windies made 749-9 dec.

The last time England won a series in the Caribbean came back in 2003-04 and the tourists were comfortable 3-0 winners in a four-Test series.

Captained by Michael Vaughan, England won the first Test by 10 wickets having skittled the Windies out for just 47 in the second innings. Steve Harmison was the star of the show, ending the second innings with figures of 7-12 from just 12.3 overs.

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Who are the West Indies players to watch out for?

Although they have won just one of their last eight Test matches, there are still some standout players in their 13-man squad for the first Test.

Jermaine Blackwood is their highest ranked Test batsman, with the 30-year-old making an impact in the middle order. Blackwood has an unbeaten century to his name against England and averages 47.26 in nine matches against Joe Root's men.

In Jason Holder, the hosts have the highest ranked Test all-rounder with the 30-year-old having taken 33 wickets in 11 Test matches against England.

Kraigg Brathwaite will captain the home side with the opener, looking to improve on his current Test average of 32.60. The man from Barbados smashed first-innings 97 in the Windies first Test win over Pakistan back in August.

Who is named in England's squad?

Paul Collingwood will take charge of the England touring party, after Chris Silverwood's decision to step down after the disappointing Ashes tour.

The biggest talking point was the selectors' decision to leave pace-bowling pair James Anderson and Stuart Broad out of the 16-man squad.

Joe Root will captain a squad that includes first international call-ups Durham batsman Alex Lees and Yorkshire seemer Matthew Fisher.

Bowling duo Matt Parkinson and Saqib Mahmood are looking to make their Test debuts, while wicketkeeper Ben Foakes has been recalled.

Along with Anderson and Broad, six other players who featured in the Ashes have been left out of the touring party – with Rory Burns, Dawid Malan, Haseeb Hameed, Sam Billings, Dom Bess and Jos Buttler missing out.

Who are the favourites?

Despite home advantage, the West Indies are 2/1 to win the series, with England available at 10/11 and the draw can be backed at 15/4.

The two teams met in North Sound in the second Test of the last series, in February 2019, with the Windies winning by 10 wickets after England failed to score over 200 runs in either inning.

Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali were the only England players to hit half centuries, with skipper Joe Root bowled out for seven in both innings.

West Indies are 2/1 to start the series with a win in Antigua, with England priced at 6/5 and the draw is available at 11/4.

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