History beckons for West Indies

Letters to the Editor

History beckons for West Indies

Thursday, July 16, 2020

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Dear Editor,

On Sunday, July 12, 2020, on the back of a career-defining innings from Jermaine Blackwood, West Indies did the unexpected and defeated England in the first Test of a three-Test series in England. A victory made outstanding by the fact that it was a hard-fought contest throughout; it was no fluke. The West Indies showed fight and, just when we thought England had the upper hand and would begin to cement their dominance, like a boxer who is behind on the scorecard, the West Indies came roaring back.

This is a three-match Test series, the celebrations and excitement from Sunday's victory should be behind them and they should now be fully focused on trying to replicate the feat in this second Test to take the series victory and, by extension, retain the Wisden Trophy. However, England should still be hurting and wounded from the unexpected loss. “Beware of a wounded animal,” is the saying. West Indies had better be prepared for a strong response from the English.

In the first Test the bowling unit did well; however, there were points in the match, notably in England's second innings, in which it seemed the bowlers and the captain were just allowing the match to drift, waiting for England to make the mistake. England had written off the deficit and, in the process of building a potentially strong total, the Windies still had the advantage but seemed to be just going along with things and waiting for the set English batsmen to make a mistake. This is an area the coach and captain need to address — allowing the game to drift is a dangerous ploy, especially when you're in the ascendency. We need to see these moments as opportunities and take the bull by the horn, apply some short spells of chin music just to ruffle and unsettle the batsmen.

Jofra Archer's spell to Blackwood and Roston Chase on the final day is a fine example, also we've seen how Joseph almost got the better of Stokes only for the catch to dropped at fine leg just by using the short ball effectively.

The batting unit is still an area of concern; however, what West Indies have shown us is that there is no standout batter but a team in which all the batters can chip in and, once we are able to score 300 runs consistently, then we'll remain in the game.

The second Test starts this morning and, like a shark smelling blood, the West Indies should be eager to pounce on this wounded England team. Victory in the first Test was unexpected, but can this West Indies team do the unthinkable, the unimaginable, and complete a series victory in England for the first time since 1988? The next five days will provide the answer. I'll be tuned in, will you?

Kemar Bogle


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