- West Indies v England, three-match Test series
- March 8 – March 28, 2022
- First Test, March 8-12
- Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound Antigua (2pm UK)
I’m going to get straight to it. I expect England to win the series, with them currently best priced 1/1 with William Hill.
I think England, despite no Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad as two of a host of changes, should still have enough to come away with the victory across these three Tests.
After all, there is still captain Joe Root to count on plus Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood all within the touring party. Then you can add in the likes of Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence and Saqib Mahmood.
But I think it will be close, and I expect the odd speed bump along the way. It wouldn’t be England Cricket otherwise, would it!
??"No one is saying that this is the end for them"
England Test captain Joe Root has not ruled out a return to the squad for both Stuart Broad and James Anderson ??pic.twitter.com/OjePJajUgZ
A series win would be England’s first since last January when they won in Sri Lanka.
Since then, they have lost away to India and Australia and at home to New Zealand. Add in a 2-1 deficit with one to play in the incomplete home series against India last summer. So it is clear England’s Test team have plenty of questions to answer.
However, the recent form of the West Indies is just as bad.
Following a 2-0 series win in Bangladesh at the start of last year, they have only won one of eight Tests at home and away, losing five of those against Sri Lanka, Pakistan and South Africa.
West Indies generally raise their game against England, highlighted best only a month or so ago.
Since winning 3-0 in the Caribbean in early 2004, a series which helped build the momentum ahead of that famous 2005 Ashes series, England have gone three series without a victory when favourites for them all.
The latest was in early 2019 when they lost 2-1.
The West Indies always seem to raise their games when England visit, as Eoin Morgan and co can vouch for following a 3-2 T20 series defeat in Barbados at the end of January.
And, despite my confidence in England, I’m sure they will not have it easy and expect Kraigg Brathwaite’s men to win one Test.
So, with that in mind, I think 2-1 correct score is the play here. William Hill, Ladbrokes and Coral are all offering 4/1 on this score.
England could be jolted into action by an early setback
bet365 are offering 11/1 on the West Indies to win the first Test – in Antigua from Tuesday – but go on to lose the series.
This selection is a little bit of a flyer and certainly wouldn’t be one that I would advise going in heavy on. But it did catch my eye when scrolling through the various sites.
England are no strangers to starting a series badly.
And, more generally, there is a pattern of away teams taking time to find their feet in overseas conditions with the ever decreasing lack of preparation time available.
Ben Foakes’ hands ??? pic.twitter.com/xWi8KTSMwV— The Root Academy (@TheRootAcademy) March 2, 2022
South Africa in New Zealand is one very recent example. They lost the first Test heavily before bouncing back well to secure a draw in that two Test series.
So it wouldn’t surprise me to see England struggle early but bounce back well and assert their authority.