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Test cricket is back, but the spectators aren’t

After a long gap of more than 100 days, the test cricket is set to resume with England taking on West Indies in the highly anticipated match since the worldwide lockdown. However, the match will be played behind the closed doors, marking a new beginning in the history of cricket. The spectators won’t be allowed to watch the contest inside the stadium, although the match will be telecasted live on television all across the globe.

The enthusiasm of cricket lovers hasn’t taken a back seat even with the growing concern of the Covid-19 pandemic. They are gearing up to see their heroes in action and enjoy the purest form of cricket to lift the spirits. The players will also be itching to don the jersey and head back to the ground as soon as possible.

Coming back to the contest, England will bank on the familiar conditions and experience to overcome the mercurial West Indies team. On the other hand, the latter would look to topple the English side by playing better cricket throughout the course of the test match. Skipper Jason Holder backed his team to give a tough fight to England, while downplaying the advantage of massive experience in the opposite camp. “Anderson, Broad have the numbers, we have the form,” said Jason Holder, while talking about the chances of West Indies toppling England in their own backyard.

On the other hand, the English side is not short of match winners. With Ben Stokes leading the brigade, the team is not short of the confidence either. The likes of Jofra Archer, James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes himself can send chills down the spine of any batting line-up, especially under the hostile conditions. On the batting front, England is relying on Jos Butler, Joe Denly and Stokes to do the bulk of scoring, while Ollie Pope and Rory Burns have got a fantastic opportunity to showcase their prowess upfront and stake their claim on the given spots.

West Indies may not be carrying many big names in their squad, but they still have a formidable team to pull off a few games, or even the series for that matter. Shannon Gabriel, Alzarri Joseph and Kemar Roach have the potential to wear down any batting line-up on their day. Jason Holder’s accuracy cannot be undermined under the swinging conditions. The batting line-up may seem unexperienced, but the youngsters like Shai Hope, Shane Dowrich and Roston Chase have proved their mettle on more than one occasion.

The test match is set to garner a lot of interest, as it will be played with new set of laws in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic. The players will be required to adjust quickly and avoid the use of saliva to shine the ball. The bowlers will need to keep their caps, sweater and other gears outside the playing area. It will be interesting to see how the players and officials will manage things, but the fans are eagerly waiting for the action to begin and hoping for cricket to take the centre stage yet again.

 

Abhilasa Verma

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