England captain Joe Root, his vice-captain Jos Buttler and his star all-rounder Ben Stokes will go into the first Test on the back of one innings apiece during the four days of match practice at the university campus of Cave Hill. James Anderson has had no innings and one day of bowling.
Such is the nature of the modern cricket tour when time is pared to the bone. To have any chance of winning a Test series, touring teams have to do most of their preparation before they get on the plane, and England have. Root’s team are looking good for what would be only England’s second Test series win in the West Indies in 50 years.
England’s XI for the first Test appears to be decided, even though it does not begin until Wednesday at Kensington Oval. Sam Curran took the new ball again, this time with Stuart Broad, and with his first ball pinned Jermaine Blackwood leg-before with a yorker which swung in on the sea-breeze.
If Chris Woakes had any lingering hope it was probably extinguished then, and barely revived when he pinned Sunil Ambris, aiming to leg, for 94 – the one innings of note in the President’s XI score of 233 for 11 wickets.