Joe Root wants his England side to back up their series win in Sri Lanka and lay down a marker in the West Indies.
England’s first Test of 2019 begins on Wednesday 23 January in Barbados, live on Sky Sports Cricket, with Root hoping to lead his side to back-to-back series wins away from home.
The England captain hit 87 in the first warm-up game and called on his team-mates to show where they are as a side.
It’s going to take some really good cricket, Root said. We’ve seen on previous tours that guys have come here and found it very hard work to win in these conditions against the West Indies, who have a very good record at home.
So even though we are playing extremely well and have had a really good tour in Sri Lanka, we know that this will pose different challenges.
We’ll have to play slightly differently on these surfaces and it will be a great marker of where we are as a side.
We’ve gone to Sri Lanka and performed well in those conditions, but can we back it up in different conditions?
And can we show that we are versatile and that we are adaptable and growing all the time?
It will be a great measure of where we are and there’s no reason why we can’t do that, but we’ll have to play consistently well for three games.
One player who has already laid down a marker is Stuart Broad, who took a hat-trick in England’s warm-up game in Barbados.
The fast bowler was left out of the first Test in Sri Lanka, but will be hoping to start in Barbados against the West Indies.
Fellow fast bowler Olly Stone was ruled out of the tour on Wednesday, following a stress fracture of the lower back, but Broad said England still had an abundance of options.
It’s quite exciting coming on a tour where, and I don’t want us to sound arrogant a team, but we feel like we’ve got a lot of bases covered, Broad said.
If the pitches do turn, we’ve got three spinners who were successful in Sri Lanka.
We’ve got almost one too many talented batsmen to fit in a line-up of seven, and we’ve got a variety of bowlers who can do different things on different pitches, tall bowlers, swing bowlers.
So it’s an exciting place to be as a player, but tough as a selector because we’ve got a lot of players to squeeze into the 11.