Having completed a 3-0 series whitewash over Sri Lanka last month, England have decided to name an unchanged 16-man squad for their upcoming three-Test series in the West Indies.
Joe Root’s men will face the West Indies at the start of 2019 and they will be looking to secure what would only be England’s second Test series win in the Caribbean since 1968.
Only Michael Vaughan’s England team, who won 3-0 back in 2004, have won a series in the West Indies in over fifty years, so Root’s squad will be looking to create even more history and they’ll do so with the same squad which won in the sub-continent.
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There had been some calls in the media for England to include Jason Roy in the squad as a potential opening batsman as Keaton Jennings and Rory Burns haven’t nailed down their places in the team just yet, but the selectors have decided to keep Joe Denly involved and he could go in at the top of the order if either of the current incumbents struggle.
In times gone by, it wouldn’t be uncommon for teams to not really bother with a spin bowler in the West Indies, such was the ferocity of the pitches in the Caribbean, but times have changed.
Pitched in the West Indies are usually slow and flat, hence why England have decided to take three spinners on the tour.
Moeen Ali, Jack Leach and Adil Rashid all bowled brilliantly in Sri Lanka and whilst it’s unlikely that all three will be in the team for the upcoming games, there is a good chance that Root will pick two spinners and as such, it will be a battle between Leach and Rashid to see who plays alongside the nailed on Moeen Ali.
Whilst the West Indies seem more focussed on ODI and T20 cricket these days, they’ll be keen to defeat England in this Test series, and it’s unlikely that they’ll be pushovers in the Caribbean.