I was interested to read what Courtney Walsh said about the forthcoming series between his West Indies and our England… and I’m sure Michael Vaughan and the management were as well. The fast bowling legend felt that the Windies had the edge in both bowling and batting and expected them to win the four-Test duel. No doubt Duncan Fletcher will be using Walsh’s words in part of his team talks between now and when the real action starts on Thursday.
Unfortunately the final warm-up game has not been very helpful towards the batsmen because the wicket was apparently diabolical and none of them wanted a second knock for fear of injury.
There were some easy pickings for the bowlers and both Matthew Hoggard and Simon Jones collected three apiece. Hoggy may well have sneaked ahead of James Anderson for the final seamers place because I expect Steve Harmison and Jones to be given the new ball while Ashley Giles has already picked up wickets and may warrant inclusion.
Marcus Trescothick hasn’t spent too much time in the middle, but the captain is in good touch and his predecessor, Nasser Hussain, has had a couple of decent knocks.
It’s going to be a tough call for the other positions because Mark Butcher has been injured and Graham Thorpe’s back isn’t 100 per cent so the Test door could open for Paul Collingwood, who has a century to his name already.
Plenty of people will be waiting eagerly for the team sheet… and also to discover exactly who does have the edge.