January 31, 2019 / 2:06 PM / in 6 months

Cricket-West Indies win toss, send England in to bat in Antigua

Jan 31 (Reuters) - West Indies captain Jason Holder won the toss and elected to bowl in the second test against England in Antigua on Thursday, after naming an unchanged side from the one that trounced the visitors by 381 runs in the series opener.

Holder backed his bowlers to make the most of the grassy surface after watching them scuttle England for 77 in the first innings in Barbados before part-time spinner Roston Chase took eight wickets to secure victory.

“We’re going to try to make first use of the pitch,” Holder said. “A bit more grass cover so hopefully our fast bowlers can take some early wickets.”

England skipper Joe Root said he would have sent West Indies in to bat if he had won the toss, but called on his team to prove their character in adverse circumstances.

“We would have bowled first as well but it’s an opportunity to make a big first-innings score. One of our big strengths is strength of character. This is another opportunity to prove that,” Root said.

Root axed opener Keaton Jennings after his underwhelming performances in the first test and handed a first test cap to 32-year-old Joe Denly.

He also called up experienced pace bowler Stuart Broad in place of Adil Rashid, who has flown back to Britain for the birth of his second child.

West Indies XI: Kraigg Brathwaite, John Campbell, Shai Hope, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Shimron Hetmyer, Shane Dowrich (wicketkeeper), Jason Holder (captain), Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph, Shannon Gabriel

England XI: Rory Burns, Joe Denly, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root (captain), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Ben Foakes (wicketkeeper), Sam Curran, Stuart Broad, James Anderson (Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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