A side that can’t take 20 wickets in a Test match will never win, whether they score 600 or 60.
It was an inability to claim a score of scalps on a docile Antigua deck in the first Test which scuppered England’s chances of triumph in their series opener with West Indies, despite dominating for large chunks.
Heading to Grenada for the second encounter in this three-Test tour, vice captain Ian Bell expects to find more of the same unthreatening conditions at the National Cricket Stadium to the feather-bed pitch that faced the tourists in North Sound.
“If this pitch has the same characteristics, which I’m sure it will, we’re going to have come up with a lot of different ideas how to get those 20 wickets,” the first-innings century maker said ahead of the game.
In that case, fielding a side laden with spin bowling could be an answer to the 20-wicket conundrum.
James Tredwell and the part-time stylings of Joe Root combined to claim seven victims in Antigua and the touring party has the arrival of Moeen Ali to consider along with Adil Rashid’s leg spin when selecting their side for Grenada.
Tredwell picked up an arm injury late on in the first Test and is a doubt, but using the services of all three other slow men should be strongly considered by Peter Moores and Alastair Cook.
England’s pace options provide little in the way of variety, so fielding Rashid and Ali in the same side could be the key to victory, rated at 10/11 by Ladbrokes.
At 7/4, the draw looks the most appealing price in the match-betting market, while the hosts find themselves at 9/2 despite making a strong start to the first Test, before showing grit and determination to hold on for a share of the spoils.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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