England must build on draw in Antigua for 2nd Test with Windies
England (evens for victory) will be left wondering how they aren’t 1-0 up in the three-Test series against the West Indies going into the second match in Grenada, as they let the hosts hang onto a draw in Antigua.
While the likes of Ian Bell (4/1 to top score for his team in the first innings), Joe Root, Gary Ballance (both 9/2) and Ben Stokes (8/1) all produced encouraging totals in the Caribbean, there are still holes to fill.
Openers Jonathan Trott and captain Alastair Cook managed just 28 runs between them from both innings, and are going to have to overcome any loss in confidence to ease the pressure off themselves. That is especially with Yorkshireman Adam Lyth, top run scorer in the County Championship Division One last season, waiting in the wings to earn his first cap.
But coach Peter Moores will be hoping the return of Moeen Ali can spark his men into action and beat a Windies side they were expected to make light work of. The all-rounder has been a revelation for England in all forms of the game, and has recovered from injury.
England’s bowlers showed some promise too, particularly in the first innings, with spinner Tredwell, who may be the one to make way for Ali, getting impressive figures of 4-47.
James Anderson, meanwhile, took four wickets across both innings, and in the meantime broke the all-time record in Tests for his county, that was previously held by Sir Ian Botham. Lancastrian Anderson is 11/4 to be best England bowler in the first innings.
For the West Indies, they will be hoping 23-year-olds and century heroes in Antigua Jermaine Blackwood and Jason Holder, who had never hit Test hundreds before, can deliver with the bat again. They are tempting 7/1 and 16/1 chances to get the highest first innings totals in Grenada.
But giant Windies ODI skipper Holder is better known with the ball, and he is 7/2 to be best bowler for his side.
Jerome Taylor and Kemar Roach impressed most for Phil Simmons’ side (9/2 to win the second Test), both getting five wickets across the two innings. They are 11/4 chances in the same market.
If you fancy England to falter and lack ruthlessness again, then another draw at 13/8 is a decent price.