Former England captain Michael Vaughan believes West Indies will have the upper hand in the second of the three-Test series at Old Trafford, since they spent time at the venue after arriving in the country on June 9.
The West Indies side quarantined, trained and played two warm-up games at Old Trafford before heading to the Ageas Bowl for the opening Test, which they won by four wickets. With six days of cricket at the ground under their belt already, the conditions in Manchester won’t be alien to Jason Holder’s men.
The first boundary of the summer.
Kraigg Brathwaite cover driving Shannon Gabriel for four in West Indies’ intra-squad warm-up game.
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) June 23, 2020
“Has to help when you’ve had your preparation time at a venue, been practising on the wickets,” Vaughan said on Cricbuzz. “The wickets at the back of the stands there, at the nets, are very similar to the ones in the middle. They’ve had a couple of warm-up games out in the middle at Old Trafford. So they have got the upper hand, not only in the series in terms of being 1-0, but the upper hand in the advantage they have had [with] probably six days of cricket already at Old Trafford.
“That is why it is a tall order for England, something I expect them to come back from. I think England will have enough to force the West Indies on the backfoot again this week. And I think they’ll be better to take the chances for the week’s cricket that they have had in Southampton.
Could this be a way to counter home advantage?https://t.co/JRNMyWvQ8y
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) July 14, 2020
“But it’s not going to be easy, really isn’t because this West Indies team, they have a good bowling attack and I have to say Jermaine Blackwood surprised me immensely. I thought he completely bluffed England. Blackwood is all-in, in terms of a poker player, he just goes all-in every time he goes out to bat.
“But he didn’t, he bluffed them and he played a little bit of a blind for a while and knocked them around, and they spread the field and he just said, ‘Thank you very much, I’ll take the ones and twos,’ which was clever on his behalf. West Indies are a matured team, very, very well-lead, well-coached by Phil Simmons and they will make it very difficult for England.”