St John’s, Antigua (Sporting Alert) – West Indies have won the toss and captain Denesh Ramdin decided to send England in to bat in the first Test of the series at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium at North Sound, in Antigua on Monday.
Both teams are looking to rebound from a very disappointing World Cup tournament, with the travelers starting as the favourites to win the three match series.
Ramdin says he decided to bowl first as he believes there are some moisture on the surface that he feels his seamers, Jerome Taylor and Kemar Roach can both use.
“We’re going to exploit whatever moisture there is and try to put them under pressure early,” the skipper said.
“First hour, hour and a half there should be some moisture.”
West Indies new coach Phil Simmons makes two changes from the West Indies last Test side in South Africa, as Darren Bravo and Kemar Roach both returning in place of Leon Johnson and Shannon Gabriel.
There were no places for the likes of newcomers Shai Hope and Carlos Brathwaite, as well as Devendra Bishoo.
Jonathan Trott, returning to the England setup since cutting his time short with the national team during the last Ashes series against Australia, will open the batting with captain Alastair Cook, who returns to competitive international cricket after missing the World Cup.
For England, seamer James Anderson will play in his 100th Test match for England and besides targeting a series victory, he will be looking to capture the four wickets needed to overtaking Ian Botham as the highest all-time Test wicket-taker for his country.
Anderson currently has 380 Test wickets for England.
England: Cook, Trott, Ballance, Bell, Root, Stokes, Buttler†, Jordan, Broad, Tredwell, Anderson.
West Indies: Smith, Brathwaite, DM Bravo, MN Samuels, S Chanderpaul, J Blackwood, D Ramdin*†, JO Holder, JE Taylor, KAJ Roach, SJ Benn.
Umpires: Billy Bowden & Steve Davis
TV Umpire: Bruce Oxenford
Match Referee: Andy Pycroft
Reserve Umpire: Joel Wilson