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Law warns England not to 'underestimate' West Indies
England in West Indies

Law warns England not to 'underestimate' West Indies

Former West Indies coach Stuart Law warned England not to “underestimate” the hosts during their three-match Test series in the Caribbean.

Law accepted England will be "red-hot favourites" to win the series that starts next week in Barbados.

Now the Middlesex coach, having stepped down from his West Indies post after Bangladesh tour last year, Law was in charge when the tourists stunned England to win the second Test at Headingley two years ago soon after being thrashed inside three days at Edgbaston in the inaugural day/night Test in Britain.

"Don't underestimate the home team," said Law on Wednesday.

"A lot of that group played in that Test match at Headingley, so if England aren't on their game, West Indies have got the team to make an upset."

The 50-year-old added: "It should be reasonably comfortable for England on paper but out on the ground, there’s a few guys there with a point to prove and opportunities to cement a place for a long time in the West Indies set-up, so I wouldn't discount them."

Read: Law tips Shai Hope as a future 'great'

In 2017, Shai Hope became the first cricketer to score hundred in both innings of a first-class match at Headingley – with team-mate Kraigg Brathwaite just five runs short of achieving the same feat – as the tourists won by five wickets.

Victory saw the West Indies level a three-match series at 1-1, a matter of days after an innings and 209 run hammering by Root's men in Birmingham.

England won the third Test at Lord's by nine wickets to complete a 2-1 series win but the West Indies had defied many pundits' predictions by avoiding a whitewash.

"I think the euphoria of a first Test win in England for 17 years was something I think that's still celebrated in the Caribbean," recalled Law."

"But some of the kids who stuck their hand up in that match, they really gained a lot.

"Jason Holder and Shannon Gabriel – those guys bowled their hearts out."

Read: England's 2019 starts with 'once in generation' opportunity against West Indies

There were just four days between the end of West Indies' embarrassing display at Edgbaston and the start of their Headingley triumph, with Law insisting he hadn't done a lot to revive their spirits.

"I didn’t have to say much," he recalled. "We sat down in the dressing room on ‘day five’, the Test match had ended on day three, day two really.

"They (the players) just had it out, they had a meeting.

"They all gave a very honest account of where they were during that Test match.

"They got abuse from back home – you should have read some of the social media posts. It was tough for them.

"I didn't have to say too much, point them in the right direction, tell them you can either go one of two ways – 'we can lose the series 3-0 or we can stand up and fight. What do you want to do?' And fight they did."