#BetYourWay builder: England v West Indies first Test tips
These five tips can help you build your #BetYourWay as cricket returns with the first Test match between England and West Indies at the Ageas Bowl.
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Highest first-innings opening partnership: England
For the first time in years, we can be confident that, barring injury, England’s opening partnership will last the summer.
Rory Burns missed most of the tour of South Africa in the winter, but walks back into the team after hitting at least one half-century in six of his last eight Tests.
Dom Sibley scored his first Test century in South Africa and has a proven track record of scoring big runs on home soil, while the pair may not need too many runs to win this bet considering the quality of England’s new-ball bowlers.
Ollie Pope to score 50+ in the first innings
Pope played two home Tests in the summer of 2018, but looked totally at home on his return to the team in November 2019.
The 22-year-old has scored a 50 in the first innings of all of his last four Tests, including 135* in the third match against South Africa. He is a great bet to repeat the trick here and could dominate England’s middle-order for several years to come.
West Indies’ top first-innings run-scorer: Jason Holder
West Indies’ top order looks distinctly shaky, so it is worth a punt on their skipper bailing them out of serious trouble after a few early wickets.
Holder has hit two of his three Test hundreds against England, including 202* against them in January 2019. His batting is underrated – he has reached 30+ in seven of his last 13 first innings, with four of them being scores of 40+.
The 28-year-old is a proud captain, who will know his batting might be crucial in keeping his team competitive in these matches.
West Indies’ top first-innings wicket-taker: Alzarri Joseph
Injuries have prevented Joseph from playing a Test match since England’s tour of West Indies in 2019, when he bowled outstandingly.
The 23-year-old took two wickets in the first innings in each of those matches and his pace could make him the biggest threat in the tourists’ team if, as expected, the saliva ban prevents the ball from swinging much.
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