Having not won a Test series in the West Indies since 2004 – and prior to that not since 1968 – England do not have history on their side as they prepare for the 1st Test in Barbados.
Coming off the back of a 3-0 series win in Sri Lanka, however, Joe Root and co should at least have plenty of confidence. The Windies, meanwhile, suffered a 2-0 series defeat against Bangladesh in November and early December and are still without a permanent head coach after the departure of Stuart Law to Middlesex.
With Richard Pybus currently in charge on an interim basis, he will want to make headway this series ahead of the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming 1st Test.
1st Test details
Dates: 23-27 January, with play commencing at around 2pm GMT
Venue: Kensington Oval, Barbados
How to watch: The 1st Test will be televised on Sky Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event, while subscribers will be able to watch online using Sky Go
Odds: West Indies 9/2, Draw 7/1, England 2/5
England Test squad vs West Indies
- Joe Root ©
- Moeen Ali
- James Anderson
- Jonny Bairstow
- Stuart Broad
- Rory Burns
- Jos Buttler
- Sam Curran
- Joe Denly
- Ben Foakes
- Keaton Jennings
- Jack Leach
- Adil Rashid
- Ben Stokes
- Chris Woakes
- Mark Wood
Test squad talking points
With just four Test matches before the start of the Ashes (three in the West Indies and one at home against Ireland), pressure is on this set of players to cement their place in the side.
Rory Burns and Keaton Jennings are expected to keep their berths at the top of the order, although still have some convincing to do before the Australians visit.
The experiment of Jonny Bairstow should continue at No 3 following his century in the third Test against Sri Lanka but he is unlikely to regain the wicket-keeping spot if Ben Foakes continues his superb form with both bat and gloves.
In the bowling department, paceman Wood could get a chance to rejuvenate his Test career in the Caribbean with England less likely to play three spinners, while veteran Stuart Broad will feel he has a point to prove after being dropped for two the last three Tests.
This post first appeared here