The first Test between England and West Indies at Ageas Bowl in Southampton witnessed the resumption of international cricket post-four-month long COVID-19 hiatus.
The hosts were surprised by the visitors who displayed tremendous character in all five days of the game, coming out triumphant by four-wickets.
England had to answer to incisive spells from captain Jason Holder and Shannon Gabriel as well as the resolute of Jermaine Blackwood who scored a dazzling 95.
The match also saw Ben Stokes being appointed as the 81st captain of the England Test squad.
Stokes was nominated as the stand-in captain in place of Joe Root, who had to miss out the first Test, due to the birth of his second child.
Moreover, Root is all set to return for the second Test match at Old Trafford in Manchester, starting July 16.
“We’re all desperate to see Joe do really well. But obviously he’s under pressure a little bit,” England head coach Chris Silverwood said.
Joe Denly will likely face the axe with Zak Crawley’s impressive performance in the second inning of the Southampton Test.
“Zak is improving constantly. I think he certainly showed maturity and the innings he played was very good,” Silverwood added.
During the match, Stokes and Co. made an interesting selection decision by leaving out Stuart Broad.
Also, the think tank’s affinity to give repeated opportunities to Jos Buttler, despite a slump in form, has been put under the scanner.
“First and foremost we want to give Jos the best opportunity to succeed. He just needs to go and make those big scores now doesn’t he? He knows that as well.” Silverwood concluded.
England is scheduled to host a three-match Test series against Pakistan following the Windies tour.