Star batsman Joe Root missed England's four-wicket defeat. File photo
Star batsman Root missed England's four-wicket defeat at Southampton in international cricket's return from lockdown last week after attending the birth of his second child.
He has now rejoined the squad, with West Indies needing just one win from the two remaining Tests of the campaign at Old Trafford to clinch a first series win in England for 32 years.
Although all three fixtures are being played behind closed doors because of the coronavirus outbreak, Root will be in a familiar situation.
England have now lost the opening match of a series for the eighth time in ten campaigns, a run dating back to the 2017/18 Ashes in Australia.
Most recently in South Africa they did recover from a heavy defeat in the first Test to win that series 3-1.
But now at 1-0 down with just two to play, there is far less margin for error.
Joe Denly appears to be the most likely candidate to make way for Root.
Denly was twice out cheaply at Southampton, with fellow batsman Zak Crawley making 76 in a second innings where England's loss of five wickets for 30 runs proved more pivotal to the result than their controversial decision to omit veteran paceman Stuart Broad.
"We're all desperate to see Joe do really well," said England coach Chris Silverwood. "But obviously he's under pressure a little bit."
"Zak is improving constantly. I think he certainly showed maturity and the innings he played was very good."
England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler dropped Jermaine Blackwood early in the West Indies' batsman's match-clinching innings of 95 on Sunday's final day at Southampton.
And another pair of low scores left Buttler with a Test average of just 23.22 since the start of 2019 and now only one hundred in 75 innings.
But even though England have gifted gloveman Ben Foakes waiting in the wings, Silverwood said: "First and foremost we want to give Jos the best opportunity to succeed.
"He just needs to go and make those big scores now doesn't he? He knows that as well."Agence France-Presse
All eyes will be on all-rounders Ben Stokes and Jason Holder in Southampton as they will lead their respective teams on the pitch at Ageas Bowl to mark the beginning of this historic series.
The England selectors have big decisions to make after again losing the game with the bat rather than the ball despite the controversial omission of Stuart Broad.
Reigning champions Australia made one change after a surprise 10-run defeat by South Africa at Old Trafford, with the recently called-up Peter Handscomb replacing injured batsman Usman Khawaja.
The 35-year-old climbed to his player's box afterwards to embrace his mother and broke down in uncontrollable tears, collapsing to the ground sobbing.
The team kept their leading streak until halftime with a comfortable 5-goal lead. The Dubai Wolves by Cafu redeemed themselves in the succeeding chukkers with a flurry of goals from Carlos Ulloa and threatened to steal the victory with a last-second penalty.
Latifa of Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club, clocked a winning time of 47.00 seconds while Mia Noor Annelie of Al Forsan Sports Resort and Hessa Al Haram — FBMA Rider, finished second and third.
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