Birmingham - West Indies coach Stuart Law hopes his side can
"rewrite history" during a Test series in England.
The first of a three-match campaign gets underway at
Edgbaston on Thursday with the inaugural day/night Test ever staged in England.
Much of the pre-match build-up has focused on how Joe Root's
men will cope with their first tasted of pink ball international cricket.
Also, given this is England's last Test series before they
tour Australia, there has been much speculation as to what the composition of
this side could mean in terms of their Ashes defence 'Down Under'.
That England, fresh from a 3-1 home success against South
Africa, will win their series against the West Indies is almost taken as read,
something unthinkable when the men from the Caribbean were dominating Test
cricket in the 1970s and 1980s.
Yet a sign of how far the West Indies have slipped from
those heights is that they have gone 17 matches without a Test win in England,
losing 14 and drawing the other three.
Although an end now appears in sight to a bitter dispute
between players and officials, the West Indies have still arrived in England
without several star names for a series that is, to the dismay of
traditionalists, taking place at the same time as the lucrative Caribbean
Premier League Twenty20 competition.
Yet the West Indies did draw their last Test series against
England in the Caribbean two years ago - despite being labelled a
"mediocre" side by England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin
Jason Holder, the captain for that series, is still the West
Indies skipper and Law is confident the all-rounder remains the right man for
"He takes it with a pinch of salt, the things said
about him and this team and uses it to drive him and them forward," Law
told reporters at Edgbaston on Tuesday.
"It is a lot of responsibility, and he does it with
fantastic integrity," added former batsman Law, who made just one Test
appearance for Australia such was their top-order strength in the 1990s.
Law knows English cricket well from his successful playing
stints with county sides Essex and Lancashire.
England may have overwhelmed South Africa but doubts about
their top-order batting remain.
The Edgbaston Test will see Mark Stoneman become Alastair
Cook's 12th England opening partner in the five years since Andrew Strauss
Meanwhile Tom Westley and Dawid Malan have yet to nail down
their places at numbers three and five respectively.
West Indies' pace attack, which includes Shannon Gabriel and
20-year-old Alzarri Joseph, could pose problems for an England top order often
overly-reliant on Cook and Root.
"You always look at any little crack you can
find," said Law.
"With a couple of new guys to the fore in Test cricket,
that's an opportunity for our bowlers," he added.
"There's been a lot said about this (West Indies)
cricket team, and that is motivation for them," Law explained.
"We're looking forward - let's rewrite that
But the West Indies, for all that Shai Hope and Roston Chase
scored centuries in a warm-up match against Derbyshire last week, have their
own top-order concerns.
For many of their young batsmen, this will be the first time
they have played Test cricket in English conditions.
And if that were not enough of a problem, the West Indies
will now be facing one of England's greatest new-ball duos in James Anderson
and Stuart Broad.
But Broad, whose father Chris was a member of the England
side 'blackwashed' by a brilliant West Indies team in 1984, was taking nothing
"We've got a huge amount of respect for the way the
West Indies play," said Broad, who needs just five more wickets to
overtake Ian Botham and go second behind Anderson in England's all-time list of
leading Test wicket-takers.
"The West Indies as they are on this England tour are
going to be hugely keen to prove themselves," he added.