STAR PREVIEW: England v West Indies with RYAN SIDEBOTTOM

Cricket becomes the latest sport to emerge from lockdown on Wednesday with the start of the first Test against the West Indies and I can’t wait for the action to return – even though it will be behind closed doors for the time being.

Like everyone else, I’ve been trying to cope with lockdown. Plenty of home schooling and gardening to keep me busy and I’ve also been getting used to Zoom and doing some charity videos.

But it will be all eyes on the Ageas Bowl, Southampton from Wednesday with the start of the Test. And in a strange 2020 – it’s fairly safe to say it could be a very strange Test match with lack of matchplay impacting both sides.

Whilst it’s no surprise to see starsports.bet having England as red hot favourites, I’m certainly not underestimating the challenge of the West Indies and the 9/2 about England winning the series 2-1 makes plenty of appeal for starters. And a cheeky bet on the West Indies winning the series at 14/1 is of interest too !!

The Windies played well on their last tour here and beat England in the Caribbean so could easily shock the hosts in at last one of the Test matches.

Ben Stokes (pictured) stands in as captain for Joe Root who misses out for the birth of his second child and I wish him all the best on that front.

There are some great Ben Stokes specials on starsports.bet and I like the 7/1 about him scoring a century in the first innings of the first Test. He’s a big character for the big occasions.

For the West Indies, Rahkeem Cornwall to score a 6 in the first innings at 7/1 also makes some appeal.

The team news for England is confirmed as:

England squad: Ben Stokes (capt), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wk), Zak Crawley, Joe Denly, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Reserves: James Bracey, Sam Curran, Ben Foakes (wk), Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Ollie Robinson, Olly Stone.

Both James Bracey and Ollie Pope have impressed in their warm up matches.

Ollie Pope top-scored as England’s three-day intra-squad warm-up match (Team Buttler v Team Stokes) ended in a draw at the Ageas Bowl.

Broad and Anderson should again dominate when it comes to taking wickets but Dom Bess has impressed during the warm-ups and might be worth a small bet at 7/1 to be the series top England wicket taker.

RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)
BACK ENGLAND TO WIN SERIES 2-1 3 pt win at 9/2 with starsports.bet
BACK WEST INDIES TO WIN SERIES 1 pt win at 14/1 with starsports.bet
BACK BEN STOKES TO SCORE CENTURY IN FIRST INNINGS FIRST TEST 1.5 pt win at 7/1 with starsports.bet
BACK RAHKEEM CORNWALL TO SCORE ‘6’ IN FIRST INNINGS 2 pt win at 7/1 with starsports.bet
BACK DOM BESS TO BE TOP SERIES WICKET TAKER 2 pt win at 7/1 with starsports.bet


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