After the flat pitches of Antigua and Barbados we apparently have a result wicket here in Trinidad. I’m sure we heard similar soundings about the previous two pitches and with West Indies needing only a draw to secure their first major series victory in five years it’s hard to believe this pitch will be any different to the last two.
The West Indies have a couple of minor selection issues with Ryan Hinds lack of runs and Daren Powell not producing with the ball, their places could come under pressure with Lendl Simmons still waiting after his 282 in the warm up match and Lionel Baker in the bowling department.
England on the other hand have major selection issues. Is the pitch a result pitch? If it is do you need five bowlers? If they opt for a five man bowling attack which batsman do they drop? Apparently they have assured Owais Shah a run in the team to prove himself but then how do you drop Ravi Bopara after he has just scored a century. Two changes seem to be inevitable though, Tim Ambrose looks to be unlucky but will surely have to make way for the returning Matt Prior and Ryan Sidebottom who has looked toothless and unfit on this tour is likely to make way for Amjad Khan.
The question then remains, if they opt for five bowlers who will be the fifth one? Surely not Steve Harmison, he looks to be on the naughty chair having seemingly upset someone with his attitude. Monty Panesar has looked ineffective also recently but could he benefit from bowling in tandem with Graeme Swann at the other end? Or do England perhaps take a chance on Adil Rashid and hope his batting comes off as well? Add to that would England dare play two spinners, it’s unheard of for them these days unless in India.
West Indies – Gayle(C), Devon Smith, Sarwan, Hinds, Chanderpaul, Nash, Ramdin(WK), Taylor, Baker, Benn, Edwards.
England – Strauss(C), Cook, Shah, Pietersen, Collingwood, Bopara, Prior(WK), Broad, Anderson, Swann, Khan.
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West Indies are 3/1 with Boylesports
England are 15/8 with Totesport
Draw is 7/5 with Bet365 (Bet365 have £200 in free bets available to use to bet free with)
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