When did England last win in the West Indies? History not on England’s side as they plot Ashes comeback
England took the first steps to move on from their Ashes horror show when they got a three-match Test series in the West Indies underway on Tuesday afternoon.
Durham batsmen Alex Lees was handed a test debut as he opened the battling alongside Zak Crawley to become the 700th man to play test cricket for England.
Ollie Robinson missed out with back issues, Ben Foakes took the wicket-keeping gloves, while Craig Overton and Mark Wood were chosen to lead the attack as England look to secure their first Test series win in five attempts.
History, as you will see, is not on their side:
What happened the last time England toured in the West Indies?
It is three years since Joe Root took his England side to the West Indies for a Test series.
The first Test exposed many of the batting frailties that still hamper England’s progress in the Test arena as the likes of Rory Burns, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes and Root himself all failed to fire in their first innings Bridgetown.
Their hosts had battled their way to 240-5, with Roston Chase and Shimron Hetmyer all passing the half-century mark - but England roared back with Stokes and Anderson reducing the Windies to 289 all out.
England failed with the bat and they were skittled for just 77, leaving them with an uphill task as a double century from Jason Holder and a further 116 from Shane Dowrich saw the hosts declare on 415/6 - leaving England to chase 628 in the final innings of the test.
Improvement - albeit from a fairly low base - was made with Burns battling his way to 84 and Bairstow, Stokes and Jos Buttler all getting solid starts without converting them into big scores.
Ultimately, they were all out for 246 as the Windies sealed a first test win by a mammoth 381 runs.
Further pain was to follow as the hosts wrapped up the series with another dominant display in the second Test at North Sound.
Once again, England failed to pass 200 in their first innings with half-centuries from Bairstow and Moeen Alli contributing well over half of their 187 runs.
The Windies made a positive start as top three Kraigg Brathwaite, John Campbell and Shai Hope all fell narrowly short of half-centuries before Darren Bravo reached that mark at number four.
The innings came to a close at 306 all-out, and that was not far short of helping Jason Holder’s men secure an innings win as an inspired Kemar Roach produced bowling figures of 4-52 to limit England to 132 in their second innings.
Openers Brathwaite and Campbell eased to the 17 runs without loss to wrap up a win by ten wickets and secure a series win.
There was some positive moments for England during the third and final Test as Root hit a second innings century and Joe Denly and Buttler scored half-centuries as England passed 250 in both innings for the first time in the tour.
The bowling of Mark Wood helped England finally secure a win as the Durham quickie secured match figures of 6-93 to see Root’s men win by 232 runs.
When did England last win a series in the West Indies?
You would have to go back to Spring 2004 to find the last time England won at Test series in the Windies.
The first Test at Sabina Park will always be remembered for one of the greatest spells of bowling by an England player as Steve Harmison’s inspired 7-12 reduced the hosts to 47 all-out in their second innings.
Mark Butcher and Nasser Hussain both hit 50s as England racked up a narrow 18 run lead in the first innings - but Harmison’s devastating spell gave them a comfortable 20-run target in their second innings, which was wrapped up without loss by openers Marcus Trescothick and Michael Vaughan.
Harmison’s impressive form continued in the second test at Port of Spain as the Durham bowler produced match figures of 7-101 as the Windies crept past 200 in both of their innings.
A first-innings 90 from Graham Thorpe and a second-innings 46 from Mark Butcher laid the foundations for a seven-wicket England win.
The series was wrapped up in Bridgetown as a fifer from Andrew Flintoff and - unsurprisingly - match figures of 6/76 from Harmison put England on their way.
An unbeaten 119 from Graham Thorpe in the first innings and a disciplined 42 from Trescothick gave England an eight-wicket win.
History was made in the fourth and final Test at St John’s - although it was not the clean sweep England had hoped for as one of world cricket’s greatest batsmen came to the fore.
Brian Lara had long been a menace for England bowlers and he was at his very best as he struck a stunning world record 400 off 582 balls to put the Windies on their way to a mammoth 751/5 declared in the first innings.
Flintoff hit a century as England were forced to follow-on after reaching 285 but a dogged 140 from Michael Vaughan and half-centuries from Trescothick and Hussain helped Vaughan’s side earn a draw and end the series unbeaten.
What is England’s overall record in the West Indies?
It is just under a century since the likes of Douglas Jardine and Wally Hammond inspired England to a 3-0 win in their first ever Test series against the West Indies.
That came with wins on home soil at Lords, the Oval and in Manchester during the summer of 1928 - but the Windies battled back in the first test series in the Caribbean two years later.
The first Test in Bridgetown was drawn with Windies opener Clifford Roach and England counterpart Andy Sandham both hitting tons for their respective sides.
The second Test went the way of England with a double century from Patsy Hendren and match figures of 11-149 from left-arm bowler Bill Voce helping them to a win by 167 runs.
The Windies hit back in the third Test in Georgetown with Clifford Roach crashing his way to a double century in their first innings to lay the foundations for a comfortable 289-run win.
The series would be drawn after the fourth and final Test failed to produce a result, although it is remembered for a stunning 325 from England opener Andy Sandham during the first innings.
Since the maiden visit to the West Indies, it took England 30 years and four more series to claim a series triumph with a 1-0 win in a five-match series in 1960.
Another 1-0 win in 1968 and the aforementioned 3-0 win in 2003 remain England’s only other series wins in the Caribbean.
Of the 16 Test series in the West Indies, the hosts have claimed the honours in 11 and four have been drawn.