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England in West Indies 2022

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Joe Root praised each the combating qualities of his England group, and the resilience proven by West Indies – specifically their indefatigable captain, Kraigg Brathwaite – because the second Take a look at in Barbados completed in stalemate on the fifth and last night.

After a feisty declaration push within the morning session, led by one other sparky cameo of 41 from 39 balls from Dan Lawrence, England briefly held out hopes of bowling West Indies out as they slipped to 65 for 3 at tea, in pursuit of a nominal goal of 282.

Nevertheless, Brathwaite picked up the place he had left off in his first-innings 160 with one other unyielding innings of 56 not out from 184 balls. In so doing, he completed the match with a tally of 216 runs from 673 balls – eclipsing the 582 balls that Brian Lara confronted in making 400 not out in 2004 because the longest any West Indian has ever spent on the crease in a single Take a look at match.

“It was annoying how good he was,” Root stated. “He played brilliantly in both innings and didn’t give us many opportunities. He ground us down. He’s an ideal player for a pitch like that. He takes it deep time and time again. He had a clear game-plan and stuck to it very well. It’s frustrating but there’s a lot of respect for the way he went about it.

“It did really feel like a new-ball wicket, you wanted to essentially make an impression whereas the ball was tougher, however after three good breakthroughs, we sadly could not fairly kick on,” Root added. “Credit score to West Indies, they fought very arduous in two good Take a look at matches, and it needs to be an excellent last one of many collection.”

Brathwaite, the player of the match, admitted he had not been aware of the scale of his achievement until he returned to the West Indies dressing-room at the end of the match, having batted for a total of 15 hours and 45 minutes across his two innings, and been on the field of play for all but 21 overs.

“I heard it after I went in, that is wonderful to listen to,” he said. “Clearly I’ve put in plenty of work over time, and to do it at house is a fairly nice feeling, particularly having household right here, so I am very blissful and grateful.”

However, when asked if West Indies might have taken a more proactive approach to their first innings, having kept England in the field for 187.5 overs, Brathwaite insisted that his team was focused on “studying on the job”, having not won a Test in ten attempts since February 2021, and that they would not necessarily look to up their tempo for next week’s series decider in Grenada.

“It was good that, after England put up 500, we as a group might battle and put 400 again,” Brathwaite said. “That is the perspective we would like, and the followers wish to see. When you repeatedly have the suitable perspective, our Take a look at [results] will go up.

“In periods we could [be more attacking], but spending time at the crease and batting through three new balls is a great start for us. We need to just learn as quick as possible on the job, and improve at different periods of the game.”

A lot the identical may very well be stated for England, who’ve themselves gained only one Take a look at out of their final 16. Nevertheless, Root believes that the group has laid down a collection of markers within the final two matches, and singled out Lawrence – who starred with the bat in each innings, in addition to with the ball and within the area – as a selected instance of the strides the group has made.

“I think he’s been wonderful,” Root stated. “One of the most pleasing things is how selfless he’s been throughout this series. He’s always tried to put the team first – again this morning, really making sure we tried to get as many as we could as quickly as we could, to give ourselves the best chance taking 10 wickets this afternoon.”

England have now made 5 centuries within the collection, with Root making his second of the collection in Barbados alongside Ben Stokes’ first for 18 months. Lawrence, nevertheless, may need added three figures of his personal on this match, had he not had a rush of blood within the last over of the primary day, when he holed out to cowl for 91.

“I don’t think it will be long if he keeps playing like that, that’s for sure,” Root stated. “He’s obviously a very talented player. He seems to be growing in confidence all the time, and the more and more he puts himself in those positions, I’m sure it won’t be long.

“It was simply actually pleasing to see us make a considerable first-innings complete for the primary time in a very long time,” Root added, after England had declared on 507 for 9. “So lengthy could that proceed. The blokes have gained plenty of confidence from it and hopefully we are able to replicate it once more, and once more, and once more.”

Root also had a word of praise for England’s two debutant seamers, Matt Fisher and Saqib Mahmood, who stuck to their tasks well across both innings. In the first, Fisher had the euphoria of a wicket with his second ball when John Campbell edged to the keeper, and though Mahmood missed out on his moment due to a costly no-ball, he atoned with four in the match, including two in the second innings to lift England’s victory hopes.

“I feel they had been good,” Root said. “The 2 wickets that we have performed on haven’t been probably the most receptive for seam bowlers, however the two lads have proven nice dedication, nice dedication, nice ability ranges – and a special sort of ability degree to what they’re used to in England, to carry a recreation and create stress. It was nice to see the delight on their faces once they each picked these first wickets up.”

The unresponsive nature of the surfaces could tempt England into a fourth debutant of the series, if the legspinner Matt Parkinson comes into the side in Grenada. Root, however, insisted that their incumbent spinner, Jack Leach, had done everything asked of him in ploughing through for the remarkable match figures of 94.5-40-154-5, the heaviest workload by an England bowler in 60 years.

“We’ll need to see what sort of wicket we get, and weigh what we expect is one of the simplest ways to take 20 wickets,” Root said. “Nevertheless it’s actually pleasing to see Jack play the way in which he has. You may see how a lot he is having fun with himself on the market, bowling with nice management, wanting very threatening on a regular basis. And it is nice to see him actually begin to discover his ft and look very snug at this degree.”

After consecutive declarations, England have twice run out of overs in which to turn the screw on West Indies. And Root conceded he “might have been braver” about the equation he left in Barbados, of 282 runs in 65 overs.

“It is at all times a difficult one is not it?” he said. “You are at all times attempting to weigh that up, however I feel with how small this floor is, and the way robust the wind was, you do not wish to make it too shut. It is simple to look again in hindsight and say, you already know, might we now have pulled out 10 overs earlier, however in the long run, would it not have made a lot distinction?”

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. @miller_cricket

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