March 21 2018

England vs West Indies day-night Test at Edgbaston

March 21 2018, 12:40 | Irvin Gilbert

Shannon Gabriel had no-ball troubles in the Windies tour match against Derbyshire / Getty

Shannon Gabriel had no-ball troubles in the Windies tour match against Derbyshire / Getty

While this will be England's first taste of day-night Test cricket, the same can't be said about the West Indies as they played a day-night Test match against Pakistan in Dubai last October.

Players featured for their county teams during a round of day-night Championship matches in June, when Westley's title-chasing Essex beat Middlesex at Chelmsford, but there are concerns among some about using the pink ball. Play will begin at 2pm, the action won't finish until 9:30pm and a pink ball will be utilised under the Edgbaston floodlights. It makes me wonder what's going on in county cricket - these things should be spotted before a player gets to the highest level.

The fifth ever day-night test and the first in England, played with an unfamiliar pink ball, was expected to offer the touring side their best chance to upset England.

Smith, no doubt with severely-chewed nails, gave day-night Tests the thumbs up: "It was a great spectacle, a great innovation, and to get 123,000 people through the gates in three days is absolutely unbelievable".

"I don't think there's anything to spark that", said Holder, whose squad remain without several star names - the legacy of a bitter dispute with Caribbean cricket chiefs.

West Indies may be wise to take heed, although Woakes notes the task facing Stoneman has already confounded a team full of previous contenders.

"I just don't know what to expect".

Cook, however, handed out a fair few lessons of his own in the course of his 31st Test century, and first since his return to the ranks against South Africa in July.

He comes into the side for Keaton Jennings, the South Africa born opener discarded after averaging just 15.87 across the four-Test series.

"Whenever you play at Edgbaston it's always brilliant", Woakes said.

Virat Kohli's India solidified its position as the world's No. 1 Test nation by completing a three-Test series sweep over Sri Lanka, its first on foreign soil. The fact that, according to Warwickshire's database, 40 per cent of the tickets sold were to people who had not attended a Test at the ground before was encouraging given the main aim of this new concept is to attract a new audience to sport's oldest format.

"Shannon Gabriel has had a pretty decent year; I haven't been doing too badly, and we've got young Alzarri Joseph and Miguel Cummins".

He was on strike for the second delivery of the match, after Cook pushed the first with the pink ball to cover for a single off Kemar Roach.

"It was very odd [preparing for a Test with a 2pm start]", said Root. This is a great opportunity for him (Stoneman) to go out and show everyone how good a player he is'. Indeed, many will be disappointed if England don't cruise to a comfortable victory.

"At no point is it feasible for us to take our eyes off this Test series because if we do we can see how quickly the game can change".

Roberts was critical of the amount of time players spend in the gym and suggested they should spend more time in the nets.

'He is tough to bowl at, but I think the fact he is Alastair Cook's 12th opening partner since Andrew Strauss goes to prove just how hard it is and how good Cooky has been.

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