Englandís cricketers have flown to The Caribbean full of hope, expectation and a collective desire to make history. It is 36 years since our lads went to the West Indies and returned with anything more than bruised reputations, but this time they know they have a real chance of returning with something tangible.
A lot has been spoken and written about comparing two average bowling attacks, but if we can get everybody fit and fighting at the same time then our attack might prove the stronger of the two. It will be very interesting to see just how Steve Harmison copes on a long tour and on the hard West Indies wickets and surely the selectors would not have risked Simon Jones had they thought he was anything less than 100 per cent. If these two fire then some of the pressure will be off James Anderson to deliver all the time and with those three sharing the work load there will be less need to bowl Andrew Flintoff too much. Much will depend on how England restrict the damage that West Indies skipper Brian Lara is capable of inflicting. The world No.1 has been in top form for the last 18 months and it is obvious that the entire team respond to his lead. Keep him quiet and England will have struck a huge psychological blow. From 1-7 they will prove every bit as tough to get out as ours, but if we can knock over the lynchpin then that often affects the confidence of the lesser players. I am convinced that the entire series could revolve around the outcome of the first of the four matches because the pitch in Jamaica has proved the one most likely to produce a result. There is a bit of spite in it and whoever bowls best may just turn out to be the boss of the entire shooting match. Letís hope Michael Vaughanís attack is firing on all cylinders by the time the first Test starts. If it is then we might just be watching history unfold over the next couple of months.