England seek Caribbean cure
So much has happened over the past few weeks that it will be a relief for everyone involved with England to see the cricketers back on the field again.
Andrew Strauss - a calm, phlegmatic man - is the ideal character to heal wounds, and he will have been cheered by a light-hearted and impromptu moment in his press conference when he stumbled repeatedly over the word "ship-shape", which he was using to describe the result of his efforts to restore team unity.
Hoots of laughter immediately erupted from the back of the room at the captain's embarrassment.
The culprits? Flintoff, Harmison and, yes, Pietersen. Humour within the ranks appears to have been restored.
There are still issues, though. Morale in the camp is not high. That has little to do with the cricket, but off the field, peripheral issues that hang over this game.
The players say it will not be a distraction, but can that really be the case when life-changing amounts of money might be made or lost? And what will the reaction be of those not lucky or good enough to be involved? Will it really be magnanimous?
Then there's the unhappiness at the 10% levy the counties have charged the players for going to India.
I am less sympathetic with Owais Shah, who is not on a central contract, and is paid by Middlesex. He, in my view, should pay compensation for having to be replaced for the time he is away.
But I do find it hard to see how Hampshire can really claim £45,000 from Kevin Pietersen, for example, for missing possibly only one match!
Victories will help reduce the chuntering, of course, and the recent record of the West Indies is so bad as to be almost unbelievable - just two wins and 19 defeats from their last 30 Tests.
Like England, they have not named their final XI in advance, but with Flintoff almost certain to return, Strauss's first overseas team will probably include Bell, Sidebottom and Panesar, and exclude Shah, Anderson and Swann.
This match is England's first under the experimental referral system in which bowlers and batsmen can appeal against the umpire's decisions. Only two incorrect referrals are allowed - and following this series, the ICC will decide whether or not to implement the system throughout Test cricket.