ENG vs WI, 1st Test, Southampton Live Score, Day 1

International cricket resumes today in extraordinary circumstances with changes that would have been deemed unrealistic just a few months back. England and West Indies cricketers will be the first to step into the unknown, following the strict heath guidelines and protocols necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The focus will not just be on the cricket actin but also on the extent to which players can adhere to the ‘new normal’. Breaking old habits something they have cultivated since the time they first held a cricket bat or ball will surely not be an easy task.

Nor will be it easy to not hug a teammate or indulge in high-fives after uprooting the middle stump or completing century. Applying saliva is a thing of the past, for the time being. There will be breaks for cleaning stumps and bails. Cricketers cannot share water bottles, towels and other things.

But the more visible change will be the empty stadiums. No spectators will be allowed inside the venue. Only cricketers and match officials apart from broadcasters and media will be permitted.

While cricketers have accepted it will be strange to play under such circumstances, they will get used to the new situation.

The series will also lay down the marker for other cricket tournaments. Some have termed it as the litmus test.

Squads

West Indies: John Campbell, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shai Hope, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Jason Holder (captain), Shane Dowrich (wk), Rahkeem Cornwall, Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel, Chemar Holder, Nkrumah Bonner, Raymon Reifer, Jermaine Blackwood

England: Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Joe Denly, Zak Crawley, Ben Stokes (captain), Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (wk), Dominic Bess, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood