England Vs West Indies, 1st Test: Three Key Player Battles To Watch Out For

England and West Indies clash in the series opener of a three-match Test series at Lord's on Wednesday. Three key player battles from ENG Vs WI are worth looking out for

james anderson farewell test group pic X @englandcricket
England national cricket team before the first Test match against West Indies. Photo: X/ @englandcricket

England are set to face West Indies in the first Test match of the three-game bilateral series starting on Wednesday, 10th July 2024 at Lord's Cricket Ground in London. This match also marks the farewell Test of James Anderson. (More Cricket News)

Anderson, who has played 187 Test matches for England, will be hanging his boots after the first Test match against West Indies at the Mecca of Cricket, Lord's. He is just eight wickets behind Shane Warne's 708 Test wickets.

Ben Stokes will be leading the English side after missing the T20 World Cup due to fitness issues. Jamie Smith is expected to make his debut on Wednesday as England are without their full-time wicket-keeper Ben Foakes and Jonny Bairstow.

Jason Holder is returning to the Test squad after missing the home World Cup due to injury. Kraigg Brathwaite will be leading the West Indies team. He is the most experienced player in the squad. Gabba's hero Shamar Joseph will also feature in the match.

ENG vs WI, 1st Test Full Squads:

England: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes(c), Jamie Smith(w), Chris Woakes, Gus Atkinson, Shoaib Bashir, James Anderson, Daniel Lawrence, Matthew Potts, Dillon Pennington

West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite(c), Mikyle Louis, Kirk McKenzie, Alick Athanaze, Kavem Hodge, Joshua Da Silva(w), Jason Holder, Kevin Sinclair, Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie, Shamar Joseph, Tevin Imlach, Jeremiah Louis, Jayden Seales, Zachary McCaskie

As the English side is preparing to give James Anderson a deserving farewell, three key player battles are worthy of looking out for:

1. Joe Root vs Shamar Joseph

Joe Root is the backbone of England's batting and he will be tested by the sheer pace and accuracy of Shamar Joseph. Root may use his experience to tackle Joseph's tactics but the hero of Gabba must be coming up with some plans to halt the innings of England's Mr. Dependable.

2. Kraigg Brathwaite vs James Anderson

West Indies captain is the most experienced batter in the side but his slow strike rate is the reason for West Indies' usual slow starts. If England started to play the "Bazball", then Brathwaite must also have accelerated his batting speed. He will be challenged by the living legend, James Anderson, who becomes more dangerous when he plays at Lord's.

3. Zak Crawley vs Jason Holder

Zak Crawley enjoys playing aggressive cricket, and it will be interesting to see how he adapts to the bowling attack of Jason Holder, who has a wide range of experience and can pose a threat to him. Holder is returning from an injury and will be keen to bowl in the English conditions, which suit his bowling style best.