Sports Writer George Garrett discusses England’s woeful performance against the West Indies
There are many words that could be used to describe English Cricket’s performances in the West Indies over the last few weeks. ‘Woeful’, ‘abysmal’ or even ‘spineless’ are insults that have been thrown in the direction of the ECB. All proving it has been nothing short of a horror show for the English in the Caribbean.
Before the series began, the English totally underestimated this West Indian outfit. Only playing two, two-day warm up games against mediocre opposition for a three match Test series tells a story in itself. A complete lack of suitable preparation for the conditions that they were soon to suffer in.
The same could be said of England’s selection. Picking Adil Rashid ahead of Stuart Broad in the first Test match, leaving out a man with 433 in test wickets to his name, was an ill-fated decision founded on fantasy. Rashid went on to take no wickets in 26 overs, and England would go on to lose by 381 runs… meanwhile Broad was on the beach.
Likewise, England’s batting performance illustrated how they were incapable at leaving the ball, not playing the ball on merit. Instead, they looked to flash at balls that weren’t there to score from, gift away wickets when they had to dig in, suffering collapse after collapse. They have failed to adapt- not playing the conditions, nor the scoreboard.
Questions should be asked of this England side and the ECB’s preparation for this series. They need to wake up and smell the coffee: play the situation, bat long, bat smart and prepare properly.
Take nothing away from this West Indies side who have applied themselves throughout, playing with swagger and flare- they have been brilliant.
However England need to learn, stop blaming county cricket for poor performances, and start to play the task at hand when it really matters.