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England vs West Indies tips and predictions: James Anderson to bow out with a flourish

England kick off their Test summer as they face West Indies at Lord's in the first of a three-match series on Wednesday (1100 BST) and it'll be the curtain call for one of the greatest of all time.

The 22nd May 2003...Tony Blair was Prime Minister, Justified by Justin Timberlake was the number one album and a young man named James Anderson was named in England's Test XI for the first time as England took on Zimbabwe at Lord's. 

At that same ground over 21 years later Anderson's legendary career will come to an end, as his side kick off a new era with a Test series against the West Indies. 

So much of the build up to the first Test of the English summer has been dominated by Anderson's retirement that some of you may be surprised that there is a game on.

The man himself returned to action last week for Lancashire with magnificent figures of 7/35 and you wouldn't back against the 41-year-old being England's biggest threat with the ball to give him the perfect farewell. 

England's batting line up had a mixed experience in the India series, with big scores for the likes of Ben Duckett and Ollie Pope, but they lacked consistency so that's an issue they will want to address this summer. 

One batter who has become England's Mr Consistent is Zak Crawley, often a scapegoat for the bulk of his early career, the Kent man elevated his game in the series against Australia and India. 

He picked up over 400 runs in both of them series and proved himself against the world's best bowling attacks and we think he'll top score again here, while forming a big partnership with fellow opener Duckett.

The West Indies are the tourists and pulled off a remarkable win in Australia in the winter, with their bowling attack grabbing the headlines including the impressive Shamar Joseph. 

With English conditions typically favouring the bowlers, Joseph will likely have a chance of more wickets and we're backing him to be the visitors' top wicket taker. 

Despite an exciting bowling attack, there are concerns about the West Indies batting line up, with Jason Holder coming in at six there's a long tail and the top order is inexperienced and may struggled to cope with the England pace attack that is made up of Anderson, Chris Woakes, newboy Gus Atkinson and Ben Stokes. 

We think that Anderson will bow out with a convincing win over a battling West Indies side. 

 

Suggested bets

England to win

James Anderson England highest 1st innings wicket taker

Zak Crawley England highest 1st innings run scorer

Shamar Joseph West Indies highest 1st innings wicket taker

England first wicket over 36.5 runs

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