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Victory over West Indies will be perfect remedy for England’s troubled side

15 Apr | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Victory over West Indies will be perfect remedy for England’s troubled side

Victory over West Indies will be perfect remedy for England’s troubled side

This may not be the toughest test England will face in the coming months, but following such a dismal showing in the recent ICC Cricket World Cup, a return to the longer format and the three-Test trip to the West Indies is shaping up to be exactly what the doctor ordered.

A first innings total of 399 all-out has been an encouraging start for England’s beleaguered side, and while the West Indies finished day two with 155/4, this is looking likely to be a fairly routine victory at a time when a number of the current team will be wary of their place in the set-up – and rightly so.

Jonathan Trott and Gary Ballance are just two men under the spotlight – especially the former, who has returned for his first Test cap since quitting the 2013/14 Ashes Tour – and with the tourists embarking on such a hectic 17 Test campaign over the next nine months, this needs to be the cathartic experience that so many of England’s flops are crying out for.

Perhaps the most in need is captain Alastair Cook. It has been a worrying period at the crease for the skipper, with Cook having failed to register a Test century for 18 months – by far the longest spell of his international career.

His uninspiring knock of 11 during the first day’s play, before being bowled by Kamal Roach, is indicative of just where he is mentally according to former captain Michael Vaughan, and something he needs to conquer sooner rather than later.

While Vaughan was quick to point out the positives of his brief display, Cook is a man clearly still reeling over his dismissal as one-day captain back in December – despite losing six one-day series’ in a row.

The 30-year-old’s assertion that England would have performed better with him at the helm during the World Cup, paired with a continued defence of this side as still being ‘young’, smacks of a man with his mind on other matters and doesn’t reflect too well at present given his own performances.

He needs to stop trying to convince everyone that he is the best guy for the job and get on with displaying exactly what we know he’s capable of, much like James Anderson, who continues to inch closer to Sir Ian Botham’s record as England’s highest Test wicket taker.

Anderson is one of few truly world-class operators in this current set-up, and while he only managed to grab one wicket during the second day of play – his 381st, moving him within two of Botham’s tally – it will be hugely positive for English cricket to see him reach such a milestone, especially with the Ashes now firmly on the horizon.

And that, ultimately is where we are headed.

With the Australian 17-man party having already been named, this is an intriguing time for England’s selectors. While there shouldn’t be too much emphasis placed on this particular series against a West Indies team very much in transition, it does start to give a good indication of who could (and perhaps should) be used when the curtain raises in Cardiff on July 8th.

Until then, it’s time for England’s deflated troops to starting giving a proper account of themselves.

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