After facing a defeat in the first Test against West Indies at Ageas Bowl in Southampton, England came back strongly and thrashed Windies in the second Test at Old Trafford in Manchester by 113 runs. With the victory, the hosts have also levelled the three-match series 1-1.
England performed outstandingly well in all departments of the game and completely outshined the Caribbeans. The tourists, who showed grit and immense skills in both bowling and batting in the series opener, failed to replicate the same in the Manchester Test.
The batting unit of West Indies looked clueless in the second Test. On the one hand, English batters scored a mountain of runs thanks to centurions Dom Sibley (120) and Ben Stokes (176), Windies batsmen couldn’t even go past the individual figure of 80 runs.
Visitors coach Phil Simmons has bewailed his batsmen for their failure to convert promising starts into significant scores. He has also warned of possible top-order changes for the series finale, beginning from July 24 at the Old Trafford.
“They haven’t fired, so we’ve got to take that into consideration over the next couple of days,” said Simmons.
It is expected that reserve wicketkeeper Joshua da Silva, who smashed an unbeaten century in the second intra-squad warm-up match, could now come into consideration, along with back-up opener Shayne Moseley.
There were also lots of expectations from Shai Hope, whose two career Test centuries came against the same opposition during their last visit in 2017, but his lousy form has disappointed quite a few fans. In both Tests, Hope has scores of 16, 9, 25, and 7. Coach Simmons is also concerned about Hope’s current form.
“Yes, I am concerned. He’s gone four innings without a score (in this series) — in contrast to how we played over the last five or six months in the other formats, I am concerned now about his form,” added Simmons.
Another frustration for Simmons during the second Test was that four batsmen – Kraigg Brathwaite (75), Roston Chase (51), Jermaine Blackwood (55) and Shamarh Brooks (68 and 62) all passed fifty, but were unable to register a three-figure score.
“We’ve had five or six fifties, and no one has converted to a hundred. It’s something that we’ve been talking about a lot, and no one has taken up that opportunity in this game yet again, so it is disappointing. I think our batsmen must carry on and make big hundreds. Our batsmen need to make hundreds because our bowlers have been doing their jobs,” the Trinidadian added further.
The former West Indies cricketer also gave credit to veteran England pacer Stuart Broad for his magical spell.
“For me, we lost control of the game in five or six overs with the new ball yesterday (Sunday) evening in a place where we were in a good position to bat through the day and then some of today and close out the game. But the spell from Broad is where I think we lost the game,” concluded Simmons.