How The West Indies Rated In England

Author: Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rüdd

A seven-week tour of England, with the West Indies forced to spend time either on the pitch, pavilion or inside their hotel, came to a close with skipper Jason Holder unable to guide his 25-player squad to success in the Wisden Trophy.

The trio of Tests, all played behind closed doors because of the global coronavirus outbreak, kicked off the return of international cricket for the first time since March.

Holder’s troops began well, utilising the uneven bounce of the wicket at Hampshire CCC’s Ageas Bowl in Southampton to take the lead. But it was downhill for the tourists following their slender success on the south coast of England, and although they came within an hour of drawing the rain affected 2nd Test at Lancashire CCC’s Old Trafford ground it was the final Test at the same venue in Manchester that would determine the destination of the Wisden Trophy.

  
Holder had captained the Windies to a spectacular 2-1 series win in the Caribbean 18 months ago, but there was no repeat performance as they looked completely out-of-sorts in the 3rd Test. Only the rain would have come to their rescue, but they were pretty hopeless with both the bat and bowl to tumble to a hefty defeat in what appeared to be a boys versus men contest.

There was a large contingent of Bajans who competed on English soil, seven from Barbados including Holder, with just two players from Jamaica – namely batsman Jermaine Blackwood and John Brooks.

Here’s how, as a former fast bowler and having played cricket in the West Indies, I rate the players who faced the England attack and succumbed to defeat.

Jermaine Blackwood (Jamaica batman) | 8/10
Three Tests | 211 runs (average 35.16), two 50s, highest score 95
The 28-year-old was a stand-out player at the crease, which started with his swashbuckling knock of 95 that helped secure success in the opening Test. However, the imposing 6’5″ right-hander produced a more subdued performance in Manchester with 55, and finished off his adventure with two gritty innings in the forgettable final Test.
 
Kraigg Brathwaite (Barbados batsman) | 6/10
Three Tests | 176 runs (average 29.33), two 50s, highest score 75
A pair of half centuries indicated a return to form from the 27-year-old, who used to be one of the most consistent batsman from Barbados under compatriot Jason Holder. Cheap knocks in the final Test greatly reduced his average at the wicket.
 
Shamarh Brooks (Barbados batsman) | 6/10
Three Tests | 195 runs (average 32.50), two 50s, highest score 68
Reliable at the crease, with two half centuries in the 2nd Test, without setting the world alight. The 31-year-old has a few flaws that over time he has ironed out, but he should remain part of the Windies squad for some time as he oozes class.
 
John Campbell (Jamaica batsman) | 4/10
Three Tests | 84 runs (average 16.80), highest score 32
The Kingston-born left-hander looked dangerous at the wicket with promising knocks in the warm-up matches. But when it came to the crunch the 26-year-old, who is also a niffy right-arm off spinner, he failed to pile on the runs.

Roston Chase (Barbados all-rounder) | 8/10
Three Tests | 10 wickets (average 34.00), one five-wicket haul, 157 runs (average 26.16), one 50, highest score 51
The 28-year-old has long been a solid choice in the team despite not boasting a cavalier style like his team-mates. Took an impressive five wickets in the 2nd Test, and with the bat picked up vital runs to prove a good commodity.

Rahkeem Cornwall (Antigua all-rounder) | 2/10
One Test | 0 wickets, 12 runs (average 6.00), highest score 10
The 27-year-old 6’6″ giant nicknamed ‘Jimbo’ only had one memorable moment from his only Test in England, claiming arguably the catch of the series at first slip off Roston Chase to send Rory Burns marching back to the pavilion.

Shane Dowrich (Barbados batsman/wicketkeeper) | 6/10
Three Tests | 126 runs (average 21.00), one 50, highest score 61
Following his confident knock of 61 in the opening Test, the 27-year-old struggled in the 2nd Test. The decisive match saw him ably cope at the crease on day three with the bat to score 37, but he got a facial injury trying to gather a Shannon Gabriel short ball and was temporarily replaced behind the stumps by Joshua Da Silva (Trinidad & Tobago).

Shannon Gabriel (Trinidad & Tobago bowler) | 7/10
Three Tests | 11 wickets (average 32.27), one five-wicket haul, 4 runs (average 2.00), highest score 4
His outstanding nine-wicket haul in the opening Test was not followed up in the 2nd Test as he was carrying a slight injury and should really have been rested. But he bounced back in the decider at Old Trafford to initiate England’s first innings collapse. Hapless with the bat but the 32-year-old paceman is aggressive with the ball.

  

Jason Holder (Barbados all-rounder) | 8/10
Three Tests | 10 wickets (average 30.10), one five-wicket haul, 114 runs (average 22.80), highest score 46
The imposing 6’7″ Windies captain always leads by example, and showed in the opening match at Southampton why he is the world’s no.1 all-rounder. The 28-year-old’s decisions to field after winning the toss in the following two Tests at Old Trafford backfired, but this was because he had belief in his bowlers and not his batsmen.

Shai Hope (Barbados batsman/wicketkeeper) | 5/10
Three Tests | 105 runs (average 17.50), highest score 31
The stylish 26-year-old screamed of desperation to be recognised as part of the future with the Windies. He is undoubtably talented as he can bat, bowl and keep wicket. Thwarted the England attack with a steady knock of 31 in his final innings of the Tour, which will have been noted by compatriot and captain Jason Holder.
 
Alzarri Joseph (Antigua bowler) | 5/10
Two Tests | 3 wickets (average 60.66), 59 runs (average 19.66), highest score 32
The upcoming 23-year-old needs polishing and although he only captured a trio of wickets from his two Tests is one to watch for the future. The Windies are screaming out to add to their flailing attack, but tend to favour pace with Joseph only considered to be a medium-fast bowler.

Kemar Roach (Barbados bowler) | 7/10
Three Tests | 8 wickets (average 36.50), 15 runs (average 5.00), highest score 5
The veteran paceman, who bowled four maidens in five overs in the opening Test but failed to capture a single wicket, bounced back with aplomb in the following encounters. The 32-year-old memorably took two wickets in as many deliveries in the 2nd Test and then snatched four wickets in the first innings of the final Test.

ENGLAND WON WISDEN TROPHY TEST SERIES 2-1
8-12 July
1st Test –
West Indies won by four wickets

Ageas Bowl, Southampton
CLICK HERE FOR REPORT 

16-20 July
2nd Test – 
England won by 113 runs

Old Trafford, Manchester
CLICK HERE FOR REPORT

24-28 July
3rd Test –
England won by 269 runs 

Old Trafford, Manchester 
CLICK HERE FOR REPORT

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