It is 2/1 that England win their three-Test series with the West Indies 2-0 and although cricket is a team game, it seems that Darren Bravo and Kemar Roach will have to shine to make even this result possible.
The West Indies have failed to win a single Test in either of their most recent series’ with India and Australia and many will expect much of the same in England against the number-one ranked team in the Test environment.
Throw in that the West Indies have won just two of their last 19 Tests and have a squad largely unaccustomed to English conditions and the challenge they face heightens further.
However, they did manage to draw one Test against both India and Australia and there are signs that they could do the same with England, even after their ten-wicket defeat to the English Lions on their first encounter of the tour.
The batting of Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Darren Bravo will be key, especially if the pair can spend time at the crease together, which is likely given that they are expected to bat at five and four respectively.
Chanderpaul is easily the most experienced of the batsmen and has plenty of County Cricket knowledge through his spells at Durham, Lancashire and currently Warwickshire.
Meanwhile, Bravo averages just after 50 from 16 Tests and has a very similar record to the great Brian Lara at a similar stage of his career.
Bravo is 7/2 to be the top run scorer for the West Indies in the first Test at Lord’s and this could be good value.
Roach is 9/4 to be the top wicket taker and he chipped in with three wickets against the English Lions in his only innings and he was easily the most potent of the West Indies seem attack against Australia.
Assuming that he is not over-bowled then he has the pace to be dangerous, while he is sure to receive some useful advice from Ottis Gibson following a previous spell as England’s bowling coach.