ENG vs WI 1st Test Day 1 match prediction 8 Jul 2020

Test-International
Match date • 8 Jul 2020 • 15:30 IST

Good news for fans as international cricket moves to get started again after the nightmare of the coronavirus lockdown.

England will face off against West Indies on 8 July at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton - the first of a three-Test series that will replace the postponed schedule that was initially meant to run from 4-29 June.

Home advantage for England will surely be reduced with the matches taking place without fans, but the hosts have an impressive record on home soil against the Windies. They have lost just one of the last 20 Tests and look in pole position to continue that brilliant run.

The tourists have also lost three and drawn one of the last four Tests at Manchester - the venue for the final two Tests.

In the back of English minds, though, will be the demoralising 2-1 series defeat to these opponents in the Caribbean in January 2019, which included a chastening 10-wicket loss.

What can we expect from the first Test? How fit and ready will the players be after an enforced break? Should we anticipate loose bowling and rash batting?

Check out our best three bets for the 8 July fixture, selected by our cricket tipping experts and backed up by our powerful cricket prediction software!

Fit-again James Anderson to shine with the ball

England's all-time leading wicket-taker in Test cricket has said the break from cricket because of coronavirus could allow him to stay at the top of his game for another two years.

The 37-year-old is reportedly at near full fitness after an injury-plagued few months that saw him miss much of last summer's Ashes and winter tours of South Africa and New Zealand.

One of 55 players that the England Cricket Board (ECB) wanted back in training, Anderson's pacy deliveries should be a major asset against rusty Windies batsmen.

Last time he faced off against these opponents in 2019, he recorded the 27th five-wicket haul of his career in the first innings at the Kensington Oval, Barbados.

He remains fourth in the all-time Test records for most wickets taken with 584 and will be relishing the chance to add to that total after the disappointment of missing so much top-class action with his recent rib injury.

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Ben Stokes to raise the roof once again

Joe Root is currently the highest-ranked English batsman in the Test rankings at number eight, but Ben Stokes is just two places behind and looks set for another profitable year with the bat.

It looks likely Root will miss the first Test to be at the birth of his second child, but he has already publicly backed Stokes to rise to the challenge of being captain should that happen.

Stokes has become England's biggest star with standout performances in the 2019 World Cup, and an unbeaten 135 which helped his side pull off an unlikely draw in the last Ashes.

He carried that sensational form at the end of the year into tours against New Zealand and South Africa, being named player of the series in the latter.

Expect big-hitting Stokes to punish any wayward Windies bowling and add to his record of 21 Test 50s.

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Roach to test English batters

Kemar Roach was in fine form when taking 18 wickets in his team’s surprise 2-1 series win over England in early 2019.

His best bowling performances are saved for Tests, and his extreme pace has notably unsettled Jonny Bairstow among others in the past.

A record of 42 wickets in 10 Tests versus England - at an average of 26.59 - means he looks set to be a tricky thorn in his rivals' side once more.

Extra motivation will come from the fact Roach has publicly stated he is looking to reach 200 Test wickets on the tour.

CricketPrediction.com sees Roach as the biggest danger in the Windies attack and anticipate the 31-year-old taking the most England batting scalps during the first Test.

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