MANCHESTER: When the West Indies arrived in England for a three-Test sequence, many observers puzzled if their batsmen might give a proficient assault sufficient runs to play with.
In the tip it was a job that proved past the vacationers’ top-order throughout a 2-1 reverse that noticed England regain the Wisden Trophy.
The Caribbean aspect struck first, profitable the primary Test at Southampton by 4 wickets, with Jermaine Blackwood’s 95 anchoring their spectacular run-chase within the fourth innings of the match.
But it was a unique story within the subsequent two matches at Old Trafford, the place a fired-up Stuart Broad, controversially omitted from the sequence opener, took 16 wickets — together with his 500th in Tests.
Facing Broad in English circumstances, the place he repeatedly makes the ball transfer off an excellent size, is one in all world cricket’s more difficult assignments.
But whereas the West Indies survived for 70.1 overs within the second innings of the second Test, they had been all out in a mere 37.1 overs as England accomplished a 269-run win in Manchester on Tuesday.
Broad was reunited with new-ball companion James Anderson, England’s all-time main wicket-taker, within the third Test and West Indies coach Phil Simmons mentioned that gave his aspect a tough job.
“Wherever you go it’s going to be tough, in England’s it’s going to be toughest with two bowlers (Anderson and Broad), one there in 600, one there in 500 wickets,” he mentioned.
Blackwood, Kraigg Brathwaite and Shamarh Brooks all twice reached fifty however none went on to achieve three figures. In distinction, Ben Stokes and Dom Sibley scored important a whole bunch for the house aspect.
For all England’s excellence with the ball, there have been a number of self-inflicted wounds.
Shai Hope, who scored his solely two Test a whole bunch in opposition to England at Headingley three years in the past, gave his wicket away on Tuesday by mistiming a pull off Chris Woakes to mid-on — an attacking shot when the West Indies had been batting for a draw.
Batsmen Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer each declined invites to tour for a sequence going down in opposition to the backdrop of the coronavirus.
– Schedule stress –
Even earlier than COVID-19, trendy schedules had tremendously lowered the variety of warm-up matches that enabled touring sides to regulate to native circumstances.
This time round, the West Indies needed to make do with a few intra-squad video games as an alternative.
The rise of profitable franchise Twenty20 tournaments imply a number of main West Indies cricketers now play little first-class cricket exterior the Test area.
But it’s nonetheless solely a yr in the past since West Indies captain Jason Holder, an all-rounder, made an unbeaten double century and shared a stand of 295 with wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich throughout a 381-run win over England in Barbados.
When West Indies had been Test cricket’s dominant drive within the 1970s and 1980s, a lot of their gamers had been additionally English county regulars.
Opener Gordon Greenidge and quick bowler Malcolm Marshall confronted Test team-mates Viv Richards, one in all cricket’s biggest batsmen, and large fast Joel Garner when Hampshire performed Somerset.
An rising variety of worldwide matches and adjustments in rules led to restrictions on abroad stars, however from subsequent season the 18 first-class counties will once more be allowed to discipline two per aspect.
“That would definitely help and give our players exposure,” mentioned Holder of the prospect of renewed West Indian involvement in county cricket.
“At the second the (visa) guidelines for abroad gamers are stringent — it’s important to play worldwide cricket to qualify as an abroad participant.
“But if we get more players over here it would put us in better stead.”