Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
England captain Joe Root has promised that his side will put up a better showing in the second Test against the West Indies after being annihilated by 381 runs in Barbados.
England were skittled out for 77 in their first innings, and then watched as West Indies captain Jason Holder scored a career-best 202 not out, while wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich made an unbeaten 116.
Holder and Dowrich’s knocks set England 628 to win, but the tourists were unable to get anywhere near that as they were bowled out for 246 behind Roston Chase’s career-best eight-wicket haul.
“There was a few very soft dismissals in there,” Root was quoted as saying by the International Cricket Council’s website. “In the first innings, there was a little bit of misfortune and West Indies bowled extremely well. But there wasn’t a huge amount on offer for them today. It was disappointing to see some of the dismissals.
“It is difficult to take, but just because we’ve had three bad days of cricket – and one really bad hour which swung the Test dramatically – it doesn’t mean we can’t win here. We are desperate to put it right in Antigua. At no point have we underestimated West Indies.”
While England’s team for the first Test raised some eyebrows as they opted to leave out veteran pace bowler Stuart Broad and pick two spinners in Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, Root insisted that the batsmen were to blame for the mammoth defeat.
“We looked at that wicket and we thought that was an attack that would take 20 wickets on that surface,” he said. “With the depth of that batting, you’d back them to score a lot more runs than that. You have to be realistic that when you are trying to find ways of winning away from home, which is very difficult in this modern era, you are going to get it wrong some times.
“I hold my hand up, we might have got it wrong on this occasion, but we shouldn’t be scared of trying things and finding ways of winning that we wouldn’t have done in the past.”
However, instead of dwelling on the loss in Barbados, Root pointed out that his side are eager to bounce back in the second Test in Antigua, which begins on January 31.
“We were miles off where we are as a side this week, but it’ll show our strength of character to come back from that,” he said. “That’s something we’ve never hidden away from, but we’ve got to make sure we are a far better side when we go to Antigua, and that our minds are very switched on.”