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Thoughtless cricket reporting

England were thrashed by Windies (an abbreviation I abhor) in Barbados. Then came the post mortems. Most agreed that leaving Stuart Broad in the dressing room was a mistake. So far so good. Some even mentioned that, with the exception of James Anderson, our bowlers had performed below par. But they were not saying THAT at the end of the first day when the West Indians lost a number of wickets cheaply. Then the scribes went on to castigate the England batting - in both innings.
None mentioned the fact that the pitch and weather conditions combined made batting extremely taxing on the second day. Roach was bowling fast, lifting off-breaks from round the wicket to our left handers, Burns, Jennings, Stokes, Curran, Moeen and Anderson. It was hardly less taxing to the right handers, Bairstow, Root, Butler, Foakes and Rashid.
Being bowled our for 70 ish was the game loser which no amount of Boycott grit and determination was going to fix.
By the time Holder started his epic innings, the pitch was flat with no turn or swing: his team was already way in front allowing the batsmen all the freedom in the world.
In our second innings we fared much better while the quick bowlers were on, with Roach a far more straightforward proposition. Burns showed he could more than just defend against pace and gave as good as he got More in hope than anything Holder switched to his one part-time spinner. and this is where England made the one key error. They failed to attack the slower bowling and got winkled out. Of course Holder still held the whip hand because no amount of fours and sixes was going to make him start to defend given England' huge deficit.
I firmly believe that, had we played Broad and won the toss, the result would have been reversed. But fate has a way of ensuring that small mistakes are punished doubly and trebly.
I am reminded of the Australian team in 2005, when the great McGgrath trod on a ball in the warm up on the first day at Edgbaston when they had already decided to put England in to bat. Rashly they proceeded to bowl first despite being without their trump card - and the whole of the Series was turned England’s way.
And talking about good days to bat or field. Only recently at Lord’s there were the most difficult batting conditions throughout the match with heavy overcast EXCEPT one glorious sunny afternoon when all-rounder Woakes cruised to a delightful century in the easiest conditions of the match. England will do a lot better in West Indies when conditions are fair to both teams.


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