I didn’t think England should have left Stuart Broad out last week – and he proved at Emirates Old Trafford that they shouldn’t leave him out, as long as he’s fit and available.
If you talk the talk, you have to go out there and walk the walk and Broad did that admirably. He was brilliant from first ball to the last.
At teatime on day four, West Indies were only four down – and my feeling was that, as long as they were still batting the next day, the Wisden Trophy would be safe.
But they lost six wickets quickly after tea and, from Jason Holder’s point of view, the question would be whether they gifted it to England and let them back in the game – or whether it was ripped away from them with magical new-ball bowling.
England vs W Indies
July 24, 2020, 10:30am
I would actually say Broad’s spell, when he took three wickets for one run with that new ball, got the initiative back and gave England the platform to go on and win the match.
With those bowlers they’ve got, it’ll be interesting to see who plays now in the series decider – are you going to tell Jofra Archer and Mark Wood they’re not playing?
Does Jimmy Anderson miss out again at his home ground? This game will have taken a lot out of the bowlers and it’s back to back to back – so I would probably go with rotation again.
It’s a difficult one – Sam Curran always nips in with vital wickets, as does Ben Stokes, who is such a phenomenal cricketer. Any side in the world would want him.
Just when they desperately needed to get Shamarh Brooks out, Curran found a way. There’s a stat I saw that, out of 18 Tests Curran has been involved in, England have won 13.
I was also really pleased for Dom Bess to get two of the last three wickets after the seamers had set it up. Right at the end, he found that line.
Rob Key made the point in the morning that England needed to bowl him from the James Anderson End. The problem was all the seamers were queuing up to bowl from that end because it was doing more and the breeze was taking it away.
So Bess had to wait his turn patiently, finally he got to the right end and it was nice for him to get the wicket that won the match.
He’s still learning his trade and he’s learning it in front of the Sky cameras, trying to help England win a Test series.
For me, if there was one real highlight of the whole Test, it was to see England put runs on the board in the first innings.
I think that’s one thing they were desperate to put right. Once they do it, they’ve got the bowling attack – whoever’s injured or rested – to take 20 wickets.
Stokes showed he can play any way he wants to, contrasting the style of his two innings – but Dom Sibley also played a big part with his first-innings hundred.
He may not be overly pleasing on the eye, but he’s very pleasing on the scoreboard. The bowlers are always grateful for an opening batsman who bats time and lets them sit and watch.
Pakistan will have quality spinners when they come here next month and Sibley’s going to have to work out a way of rotating the strike against them, but he will develop and get better at that.
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