Testing time awaits Windies batsmen in England

Zeenews Sports Bureau

London: England and West Indies will square off against each other in the first of the three Tests starting at Lord’s from Thursday.

Even though the stand-off between Chris Gayle and the West Indies cricket board has been resolved, the visiting side will miss the services of the southpaw owing to his Indian Premier League commitments.

Their batting looks shaky with their top-order struggling in the touring games, blame it on the seaming conditions. Kieran Powell did score a century but that came in a losing cause against England Lions in a tour game.

Middle-order batsman and reigning world number one Test batsman, Shivnarine Chanderpaul will be the key to their batting performance. The 37-year-old veteran of 140 Tests has been urged to move up the batting order by former West Indian batsman Brian Lara even though Chanderpaul’s preference lies in the middle.

"It beats me. If he can be so consistent, why he wouldn't say, 'Let me bat with some more experienced, talented players up the order.' That's not only going to benefit him but it would help the team,” Lara was quoted as saying by a news agency.

"Your best batter is going to be at number three -- he is the one who is going to lay the foundations to win a match," he added.

On the other hand England will be eager to return to winning ways after being humiliated 3-0 by Pakistan in UAE and a drawn series in Sri Lanka.