NORTH SOUND, Antigua and Barbuda, April 13, 2015 (AFP) – West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin won the toss and put England in to bat on the opening day of the first Test of the three-match series at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua and Barbuda on Monday.
Seam bowler James Anderson plays his 100th Test match as the spearhead of the tourists’ attack and goes into the match needing four more wickets to surpass Ian Botham’s tally of 383 as the most by an England cricketer in Tests.
Eighteen months after he left the tour of Australia following the first Test due to an apparent stress-related illness, Jonathan Trott is back in the final 11 and will open the batting in his 50th Test alongside Captain Alastair Cook.
West Indies resisted the temptation to play a second spinner on a pitch noted to favour batsmen, opting for the incumbent Sulieman Benn and omitting Devendra Bishoo despite the leg-break bowler’s prolific domestic season with his native Guyana.
Batsman Shai Hope and all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite, who were both anticipating the prospects of Test debuts, are also left out.
West Indies – Denesh Ramdin (capt), Kraigg Brathwaite, Devon Smith, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Jermaine Blackwood, Jason Holder, Jerome Taylor, Kemar Roach, Sulieman Benn
England – Alastair Cook (capt), Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Gary Ballance, Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Stuart Broad, Chris Jordan, James Tredwell, James Anderson
Umpires: Billy Bowden (NZL), Steve Davis (AUS)
TV Umpire: Bruce Oxenford (AUS)
Match Referee: Andy Pycroft (ZIM)