Well, that was a bit of a shock.
No, no. Not the fact we lost the Test series. No, that can happen at any time to an England side; especially away from Blighty. But even for an England Test cricket XI, losing a Test series in six days and just under 12 sessions is something of a low.
There will be inquests, naturally. Most importantly there’s about to be one here, too. Just for you. So, shall we begin?
I kind of feel like we’ve been here before, but are you still telling me there are no better opening bat options than Keaton Jennings, Joe Denly and Rory Burns? None at all? Well, I guess there actually can’t be as Alastair Cook has batted with pretty much every English qualified opening batsman playing professional cricket. To sum up none have stuck.
Moreover, I thought Cook had retired to take a break from the game? Yet, Sir Alastair was there commentating on England’s shambles. After that did anyone ask him if he fancied a game? That would have been proper forward thinking selection by Ed Smith.
Secondly, selection really has let us down in this series. Where Smith et al were full of maverick brilliance in the summer, they were full of something else in the Windies. Keaton Jennings came and went and was replaced by Joe Denly who, as the previous paragraph probably suggested, didn’t exactly take his chance.
It was quite obvious after about 20 overs of the 1st Test that Sam Curran was not a bowler for these Caribbean conditions, yet there he was full of youthful exuberance in the 2nd Test. And, shock, he didn’t get much of a bowl because he was there to be hit. Mind you, he’s not the only English bowler to have got a bit of tap this series.
That said, England beat the bat 103 times on Day Two. 103 times! The problem is, beating the bat doesn’t equal wickets. The Windies bowlers opted to hit the bat (and various body parts) quite hard and tore through the England batting lineup four times quite nicely thank you.
Stop trying to beat the bat, that would be my advice. Try bowling wicket to wicket.
It turns out that Ben Foakes isn’t the greatest cricketer that ever lived. Jonny Bairstow has managed to find some doubt again over the number three slot. If Moeen Ali had batted like Moeen Ali typically bats then he wouldn’t be in the Ashes squad this coming summer.
And our catching, boy was our catching terrible. You get the feeling that once Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad finally hang up their bowling boots they are going to have a fine old time recalling every single dropped catch off their bowling. And, shockingly, there’s probably been more drops than wickets and we all know how many wickets these two have. You don’t? Trust me, it’s a lot.
England went to the Windies expecting to rock up and win. Actually, we all expected England to rock up and win.
Hats off to Jason Holder’s men, they played much better than Joe Root’s rabble.
Now, can they go on and do it again and again? We shall see.
As for England, they have a dead Test to get some pride back and for at least ten of them to do enough not to get dropped for Australia.