Sunday, 26 April 2015

2nd Test, Grenada

England won the toss and asked West Indies to bat in overcast conditions.  With a century from Samuels WI made 299 but most observers thought England could have done better and the score was about 60 runs more than they should have scored.  Broad took four good wickets and the rest were shared.  In reply England had a solid start with Cook and Trott both passing 50.  Ballance also made a half century but the stand out batsman was Joe Root with an unbeaten 182 leading England to 464.  Anderson struck early but West Indies battled hard with Brathwaite making a ton and by the end of day four the score was 202-2 and another draw looked certain.  There were grumblings about the lifeless pitch and no one expected anything other than a dull fifth day and a match that went nowhere.
Enter Jimmy Anderson with the new bowl and an inspired spell sparked a collapse from West Indies.  Jimmy also held two catches and ran out Holder with a direct hit, (England fielding was superb throughout).  Moeen took 3 wickets and WI were all out for 307 and the match was there for the taking.  Trotty was out for a three ball duck then Cook and Balance both scored their second fifties of the match and England had won by nine wickets. 

This was a really good performance from England who worked hard in tough conditions to record a really good win.  Despite this I really think England need to make a few changes.  As much as I like Trott I think Adam Lyth deserves a chance to show what he can do opening the innings.  Also our attack looks too similar.  Jordan and Stokes both offer pretty much the same thing and England don’t need both in the same side.  I’d leave out Stokes and give either Plunkett or Wood a chance.  The England management like Moeen Ali but Root can give us a bit of off spin so why not give Adil Rashid a chance?

West Indies always look like they are on the verge of being competitive, when they play England at least and they do have some promising players.  All of them lack consistency and as a batting line up are prone to collapse which has been their downfall again and again in recent times.

The pitch in Barbados is likely to be the most sporting we’ve seen in this series but I still expect it to favour the batsmen.  I also expect England to win, no matter which XI they put on the field.

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