England vs. West Indies, 3rd Test, The finale

At around 4pm today, England’s Test Summer finished in a rather anticlimactic yet wholly predictable way. The West Indies, unable to repeat their astonishing batting performance at Headingley, were simply blown away by England’s bowlers on what was a pretty good deck, once the overhead gloom gave way to bright sunshine. This of course, is not to take anything away from England’s bowlers who bowled fantastically in both innings, with Stokes in the first innings and Jimmy in the 2nd innings, producing wonderful spells of old fashioned swing bowling. If the English bowlers had one wish, they would probably like to take those overhead conditions, wrap them up and take them on tour with them to Australia!

Much will be made of Jimmy Anderson’s achievements, and rightly so, he has been a brilliant servant for English cricket over the last 14 years or so and to take 500 wickets is an absolutely phenomenal achievement (I remember attending his Test debut at Lords in 2003 and watched him destroy a fairly ordinary Zimbabwe side, yet even back then, you tell he was a proper talent). There will always be a heated discussion around how world class Jimmy actually is, with some in the pro camp pointing towards the number of wickets that he has taken and the fact that he has led the England attack for 10 years plus; however there are also plenty more (mainly Australian is has to be said) that point to his record away from England and feel that he is simply overrated. I’m not going to get into this discussion myself, but what I do know that in English conditions with a duke ball in his hand, he is one of the best English bowlers I have seen in my lifetime. England’s bowling attack will look much less potent when Jimmy finally decides to hang his boots up.

As for the game itself, Broad’s little cameo with the bat on Day 2 probably was the main difference between the two sides. In what was a low scoring game, a lead of 70 was always going to priceless, especially given the overhead conditions last night and England’s potency with the new ball. It was somewhat disappointing to see the West Indies cave in this morning, as the pitch looked pretty flat when the sun came out; however sometimes you also must give credit to the bowlers, with Anderson in particular bowling some absolute jaffas (who knows, after the shenanigans and arguments with Marais Erasmus last night, Anderson might have found the end better suited to his bowling at Lords after all these years.) With the West Indies skittled for a pretty sub par total, all that remained was for England to knock off the 107 runs required without any scares if possible. Despite losing Cook to a decent ball from Bishoo, Stoneman and Westley knocked off the remaining runs in super quick time without any further scares. Whether this was enough for either player to secure his seat on the plane to Australia remains to be seen; my hunch is that Stoneman will go and Westley will not, but that is just my personal opinion, though quite who is out there to replace him is a very moot point.

So with England victorious in both series this summer, there should be a feel good factor for the winter ahead, yet I genuinely don’t see this from anyone but the most ardent one-eyed English fan. The same questions that have haunted England for the past few years have all raised their head this summer. Where can we find a decent opener, number 3 and number 5 from? Will Moeen be able to produce good spells of spin bowling consistently rather than being great one day and atrocious the next? Will there be a series when England don’t get complacent for a game and then get their asses handed to them, normally after a big victory? It certainly feels like we’re in some sort of Groundhog Day movie, as these things have consistently been a thorn in our side for the past 3 years. The selectors have tried round pegs, square pegs even triangular pegs, yet the same issues still remain and looking forward to a winter away with half a batting line up doesn’t exactly fill me with joy. As for the West Indies, there are a few chinks of light amongst the doom and gloom. Shai Hope looks like a proper Test Match player, Brathwaite looks like an obstinate figure at the top of the order and a fast bowling attack of Holder, Gabriel and a fit again Kemar Roach will cause difficulty for most international batting line ups. Yes the West Indies are still miles away from climbing up to the Summit that they once proudly owned during the 70’s & 80’s, but equally they aren’t in the death. Spiral that many of us thought coming into the series. Every cricket fan around the world yearns for a strong West Indian team, perhaps in the years to come, we might finally get to see it.

So with the Test Summer done and the Ashes on the horizon, we naturally move on to a meaningless 5 ODI and 1 T20 series stretching to the end of September. I’m not sure about anyone else, but this doesn’t enthuse me in the slightest. I more than got my fill of the white ball stuff with the champions trophy earlier in the Summer, yet the ECB have coffers to fill and players to break, so we have to pretend that this is anything but worthless. I’m waiting with baited breath for Director comma to revive the Super Series on account of it’s success last time! For those on here that do enjoy the white ball stuff, then I hope the series is what you were looking for, as for me and some of the other editors, then i’m not sure how much we’re going to cover of it, as site views tend to shoot through the floor once the main event is over and none of us are massive white ball fans.

As ever, any comments on this Test or the English summer are welcome below..

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33 thoughts on “England vs. West Indies, 3rd Test, The finale

  1. metatone September 9, 2017 / 4:43 pm

    Good piece. I really don’t have much to add.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. alecpaton September 9, 2017 / 5:04 pm

    Reckon England are gonna get humped in Australia. Not to the extent that they were last time around but they need either a potent left armer, an out-and-out speedster, or a 2nd spinner who can relieve Moeen from bearing the weight of filling in overs on those long, hot Australian days.

    I will say this of today however: I was sad to miss Blofeld’s final stint as a TMS broadcaster. I was tempted to seize control of the car stereo for 20 minutes or so to listen to the end of an extraordinary career but ultimately I decided that I felt that while a certain member of their staff remains on their payroll I could not be a listener.

    Anyway, I am looking forward to the T20 and ODIs (as much for my own reasons as anything else) but I entirely understand and sympathise with others’ apathy (or antipathy).

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus September 9, 2017 / 5:52 pm

      I am off work that week and will possibly come back into the writing fold for the start of the ODI series. But then again, I’m still not particularly ready to take up the burden of managing the site. My thanks to Chris, Sean and Danny for carrying this passenger for the last fortnight or so.

      Just for a laugh.

      Kraigg Brathwaite – 6 hundreds in his 76 test innings.

      Cookie – 6 hundreds in his last 103 innings.

      I thank you.

      Liked by 3 people

      • alecpaton September 9, 2017 / 6:37 pm

        Looking forward to seeing your posts back on the site.

        Like

      • BoredInAustria September 10, 2017 / 5:40 am

        Peter, I was waiting for that stat and you had me worried for a bit there..
        Hope to see you coming off your long run again soon!

        Like

  3. Deep Purple Fred September 9, 2017 / 9:00 pm

    ” I’m not going to get into this discussion myself, but what I do know that in English conditions with a duke ball in his hand, he is one of the best English bowlers I have seen in my lifetime.”
    For someone who’s not getting into the discussion, there’s a whole lotta qualifying going on in that sentence!

    Anyone notice Cummins the last few weeks in Bangladesh? A few batsmen seriously bothered by his pace and bounce. The Englsih will be better positioned than the Bangladesh to cope with it I guess, but it’s going to be interesting. I haven’t seen heads snap back like that since MJ was rampaging.

    Like

    • Sean B September 9, 2017 / 9:05 pm

      Hi Fred, I think you’ve probably misunderstood my sentence. I do think Jimmy is a fantastic international bowler, the wickets column shows that.

      Do I think he’ll be remembered as one of the greats such as McGrath, Walsh, Akram, Donald etc, then no, I don’t think he is on their level.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Adam H September 9, 2017 / 10:17 pm

        Jimmy is not on the same level as McGrath, Steyn, Akram and Donald. But he’s certainly just as good or better than Walsh. And he had far more longevity than likes of Donald, which means he’s up there with any fast bowler in history barring McGrath and Steyn.

        Like

        • Sean B September 9, 2017 / 10:36 pm

          And this is why I said I wasn’t going to get into this discussion 😆

          Like

        • nonoxcol September 9, 2017 / 11:38 pm

          There’s a jump the size of the Grand Canyon in the middle of that comment.

          Richard Hadlee, Malcolm Marshall, oh sure, they stand alongside “Jimmy”, with their lengthy careers that also included hundreds of first-class matches “Jimmy” never had to bother himself with, and their far superior averages in *all* conditions.

          Know much about “history” before the late 80s at all? It’s kind of a big word to use.

          Like

          • Deep Purple Fred September 10, 2017 / 12:16 am

            Anderson of course is a very good bowler, but it was also quite fitting that he hit his 500 landmark in the gloaming at Lords in September, and also got “grumpy” with the umpire.

            Like

          • Sean B September 10, 2017 / 12:28 am

            I’ve only commented on the bowlers I’ve seen watching cricket live. Sure I’ve read about Hadlee, Marshall, Holding etc, but as I was born in the 80’s I never got to see them bowl.

            I think that’s a pretty cheap shot Aaron if I’m honest.

            Like

          • Benny September 10, 2017 / 12:43 am

            Always troubles me when history gets mentioned. I never saw Larwood, Bedser, Tyson but I did see Fiery Fred (my favourite), Snow and Botham (imho underrated). Thought Anderson was a breath of fresh air when he started and delighted he’s rescued England many times.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Deep Purple Fred September 10, 2017 / 11:07 am

            I suspect his comment was directed to Adam and not you, Sean. Adam seemed to place Anderson at a certain level and in the next sentence have him at all time historical heights. I read his comment as pointing out that apparent disconnect in those two sentences, not questioning your historical knowledge.

            Like

          • nonoxcol September 10, 2017 / 10:56 pm

            Fred is completely correct about my intentions: the comment was a reply to Adam.

            I was fascinated by how you can go from saying that someone is NOT at the same level as four all-time great bowlers, and then suddenly write one of the four (Donald) off on the grounds of longevity, apparently forget another completely (Akram), and suddenly decide that this means Anderson is below only McGrath and Steyn in HISTORY, as if those four are the only ones worth considering in the entire history of Test or first-class cricket. That is a big jump. That is Evel Knievel at work.

            I view Anderson much the same way as I view Cook: in the second rank of all-time greats. However, as we know, this isn’t rarified enough for some people. I’m fairly certain that 99.94% of people making elevated claims for Cooky and Jimmy are English, and that overseas observers generally have a more realistic view of their place in the pantheon (cue Fred…).

            I gave Hadlee and Marshall as examples because I believe that they were historically magnificent, and given the opportunities and advantages afforded to English/Big 3 Test players these days, they would each have 600-700 wickets at a McGrath-like average.

            Check the stats here, for example:

            http://www.talkcricket.co.uk/guides/cricket_legends_sir_richard_hadlee.html

            http://www.talkcricket.co.uk/guides/malcolm_marshall.html

            Like

        • LordCanisLupus September 10, 2017 / 8:12 am

          “He’s certainly just as good or better than Walsh.”

          Courtney gets a bloody raw deal for his career. He has played three more test matches than Jimmy and has 13 more wickets. This with the real competition for wickets with the legends of the 80s at the start, and Curtly throughout the 90s. Anderson has had Broad and a revolving door at the other end.

          Courtney’s 519 came at 24.4 with an economy rate of 2.53 runs per over. He has bowled 2000 or so more deliveries than Anderson, so strike rate is a little inferior, but economy and workhorse stats show that he has conceded 1200 runs fewer than Jimmy has in his career. Jimmy averages 27.39. To match Walsh’s average he’d need to take 68 wickets for no runs. If he gets to 600, he would need to concede just 780 runs to match Courtney’s average.

          Courtney Walsh is an all-time great, just as Jimmy is, but to me he is also a reminder to all those Cook adherents. Walsh may not be in the top 5 West Indian quicks that I have seen. I’d put Marshall, Holding, Garner and Curtly above him, with Wes Hall and Andy Roberts also there or thereabouts (both largely pre-date me). Yet he has more wickets than any of those greats. Longevity does not mean greatest ever. Anderson and Walsh’s careers are pretty similar, but Courtney never gets the love he deserves, in my opinion. Check out his average against India, in India.

          Liked by 2 people

          • quebecer September 11, 2017 / 12:45 am

            Courtney also had to deal with being the fourth seamer for a fair chunk of his career.

            Like

          • LordCanisLupus September 11, 2017 / 6:40 am

            Indeed, and to a degree Jimmy was third or fourth wheel until 2007. I still say that for 9 months Steve Harmison was the best bowler we had. But just our luck that he couldn’t last long for various reasons.

            Like

        • SimonH September 10, 2017 / 8:22 am

          “he had far more longevity than likes of Donald”.

          Number of f/c matches:
          Donald 316
          Anderson 216

          Number of f/c deliveries:
          Donald 58.8k
          Anderson 43.6k

          Number of List A matches:
          Donald 458
          Anderson 255

          Number of List A deliveries:
          Donald 22.8k
          Anderson 12.4k

          Some countries and some eras were not set up to maximise the number of Test matches players could play. Donald had to play season after season of CC to earn a living that would still have been a fraction of what a centrally contracted England player now earns.

          Like

          • LordCanisLupus September 10, 2017 / 8:50 am

            Reminds me, Courtney Walsh took nearly 1000 more first class wickets than Jimmy Anderson (1807 to 837). Different eras, different treatment of players. It’s why I think the downplaying of just how good Walsh was is sad to me. He was 38 when he retired from tests. In modern era years, that’s about 80 with his workload.

            Like

          • d'Arthez September 10, 2017 / 1:59 pm

            Exactly. For all the talk of Anderson being so fit and all that, he has not had the heaviest workload, to say the least. Trueman bowled about 100 000 balls in FC cricket in his career. Somehow I doubt that Jimmy will get close to that figure.

            And with the money the ECB has as its disposal, it is fairly easy for the ECB to make certain that he will only bowl when they want him to. Unlike the “mercenaries” from all but 3 cricket playing nations in the world.

            Like

    • Quebecer September 9, 2017 / 10:34 pm

      Did I notice? I imagined myself Verbal Kint from The Usual Subjects:

      Dave Kujan: Do you believe in him, Verbal?

      Verbal: Keaton always said, “I don’t believe in God, but I’m afraid of him.” Well I believe in God, and the only thing that scares me is Keyser Soze.

      For ‘Keyser Soze’, please read ‘Pat Cummins’.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Sean B September 9, 2017 / 10:40 pm

        That is one of my most favourite films…

        Like

      • Deep Purple Fred September 10, 2017 / 12:00 am

        Ha, typical. A flash of some real talent, and Quebecer is on to it, like a pig snuffling out the truffles.
        The Soze reference is good, these mythical fast bowlers that Australia has have only been glimpsed, and sometimes you wonder if they really exist. But this one does. He looks like a man now too, not a boy.

        Like

    • Deep Purple Fred September 9, 2017 / 11:52 pm

      I didn’t misunderstand your sentence, and I’m not expressing any opinion on Anderson. I was just enjoying the way you chose to construct your comment.

      Like

  4. SimonH September 10, 2017 / 9:24 am

    It’s the time of year when minds start wandering on to questions of winter tour parties so here’s some stat analysis on how players have been performing in the CC. I’m not arguing selections should be based just on this (Australia would drop Nathan Lyon on those grounds with his averaging nearly 70 with the ball in D2). However, for what they’re worth, here they are:

    There are most question marks about the batting so starting there with the top eights (six for D2) who are qualified for England….

    D1 Most Runs
    Trott 878
    Burns 847
    Stoneman 828
    Ballance 827
    Browne 792
    Davies 761
    Eskinazi 751 (is he Engand-qualified?)
    Robson 681

    D1 Best Average
    Ballance 91.9
    Stoneman 59.1
    Westley 53.1
    Burns 52.9
    Livingstone 52.0
    Robson 48.6
    Browne 46.6
    Davies 44.8

    D1 Best Outlier
    Roy 42.8 average (only played 5 matches and no century though)

    D2 Most Runs
    Mitchell 1056
    Collingwood 1011
    Denly 956
    Northeast 945
    S. Patel 847
    Wells 840

    D2 Best Average
    S. Patel 60.5
    Wells 60.0
    Collingwood 56.2
    Northeast 55.6
    Denly 53.1
    Mitchell 52.8

    D2 Best Outlier
    Joe Clarke just missed both cut-offs (as Shiny Toy would require me to point out after selecting Clarke for the 2017 Ashes squad back in 2015!)

    Some random other averages:
    Dawson 25.3
    Hameed 28.1
    Buttler 17.2 (only played four matches – what’s going on with him?)
    Gubbins 24.2
    Hildreth 29.9
    Borthwick 25.8
    Bell 22.9
    Hain 16.8 (remember when he was the great hope of England batting?)
    Lyth 24.9
    Lees 22.1 (remember when he was the great hope of England batting, part 2?)
    Jennings 29.7
    Bell-Drummond 25.6
    Duckett 47.7
    Hales 47.1 (one double-century and then one fifty in 8 other innings #Rootmaths)

    Bowling to follow….

    Liked by 2 people

    • SimonH September 10, 2017 / 10:14 am

      I should have added above that batting averages had a five match minimum requirement.

      Bowling in the CC this year (20 wkt minimum for averages):

      D1 Wickets
      Porter 57
      Coad 43
      C Overton 37
      Leach 33
      Bess 28
      Dawson 27
      TRJ 26
      T Curran 24

      D1 Average
      Porter 18.3
      Sidebottom 18.8
      Coad 19.3
      Bess 20.0
      C Overton 22.6
      Gregory 23.0
      Dawson 26.0
      Footitt 29.8

      D2 Wickets
      Leach 58
      Norwell 56
      Archer 56
      Stevens 49
      Tongue 41
      Barnard 40

      D2 Average
      Mullaney 15.6
      Norwell16.0
      Stevens 18.3
      Onions 19.9
      Leach 20.1
      Buck 20.5

      Some random others:
      Crane 16 wkts at 40.3
      Topley 2 at 89 (another stress fracture and he looks another for the Tymal Mills route)
      Livingstone 1 at 266
      Finn 22 at 36.9
      Rayner 17 at 43.2
      J Overton 12 at 26.0
      S Curran 19 at 46.1
      Willey 4 at 37 (only played 2 matches – what’s going on?)
      Rashid 10 at 50
      Plunkett 6 at 22.7 (also only played 2 matches – what’s going on, part 2?)
      Kerrigan 10 at 512 (including spell on loan – what’s going on, part 3?)
      Riley 0 at 0.0 (not played a single CC game – what’s going on, part 4?)

      I’m not drawing any conclusions – except that being labelled the next great hope of English spin bowling is a label to be avoided!.

      Like

    • Mark September 10, 2017 / 10:56 am

      End of season rant. And soon to be end of cricket for me…….

      So two of the the top players from div 1 and div 2 for runs scored are Trott and Collingwood. Both Well past their test match best. The top 3 averages in div 1 are Balance…… who has already been rejected by England…..then Stoneman, and then Westley…….who are in the England team already, but are under pressure.

      And people try to tell me the standard of test cricket is as good as it has ever been. Yesterday another test match ended in well under 3 days. Never mind getting rid of 5 day cricket, we don’t even have 4 day test cricket at Lords now.

      But Mark I hear you say…..remember Leeds a week ago? Well that was a blip, and was proved yesterday. Normal service resumed for the last 3 days. I have watched non of it. Completely predictable. What Leeds showed was when pitches flatten out England are not that good. Which is why England don’t produce flat pitches any more. They dominate with the duke ball in manufactured conditions on green seamers. They have done this for the last few seasons. When the pitch is flat England are very average.

      I find that Anderson and Broad who now sit a top the most wicket takers in English history a farce. A glorified monument to the financial doping of test cricket by the big 3, and the creation of helpful conditions at home. Fools gold.

      The coming Ashes for me is the last of test cricket I will bother with. A farewell to a sport I no longer love or enjoy. Both India and Australia will be here next year as if to make my point. That’s how desperate the administrators are. I don’t like being sold a pile of dog shite with lipstick on it. It’s a fraud.

      I am an old duffer who’s opinion is irelevent. So it means nothing. Instead the paid charlatans of the cricket media like the fraudulent Tailors who spun the Emperors new cloths, will go on lying about what you are watching. Pretending that it’s the finest golden thread you can buy. It’s all bullshit. The Emperor has no cloths. Jimmys going to go on until he’s 40 apparently on manicured green seamers served up by the governing body. Heck, he will probably get 1000 wickets. 2000 wickets?

      My views will be dismissed as the rantings of a loon wailing at the moon, but it’s my moon… so I will wail how I like. I do not care one jot that I will be in a minority of one. I am happy to be there. Far happier than wasting £100s on a ticket for the Lords test match in September. Yo can keep it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Prime.Evil September 10, 2017 / 12:06 pm

        In the words of Charlie Brown: Good grief!

        Not many drams left in your bottle I take it. 😉

        Nothing wrong with howling at the moon.

        Being honest is better than sprinkling lavender on crap. Respect.

        But don’t walk away from cricket. Let’s not let the suits win.

        Have a 100 up votes.

        Like

  5. dannycricket September 10, 2017 / 12:38 pm

    According to Trevor Bayliss, he only expects players who have played for England in the last 18 months to be selected with no one else from outside that group. A quick look on Statsguru shows that the list of candidates for the top 5 are therefore as follows: Ballance, Compton, Duckett, Hales, Hameed, Jennings, Malan, Stoneman, Vince and Westley.

    For a start, let’s just take a moment a realise that England have played 10 players in three slots over the last 18 months. Hameed is the only one who wasn’t dropped so much as he had an unfortunate injury. However, he hasn’t played particularly well since he came back either.

    If I absolutely had to pick 3 players from this list, I’d go with Hameed, Duckett and Hales. I really don’t feel great about this selection, but I also don’t know enough about county cricket to accurately judge any county players either. Of course, I have this in common with Trevor Bayliss and a significant proportion of cricket journalists and pundits…

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus September 10, 2017 / 1:09 pm

      This seems nonsensical to me from Bayliss. Why pick proven failures, because in all truth, that would be what we are doing with, )in ranking order, Westley, Malan, Stoneman (bit of a toss up between the last two) from the current team), when someone might show some promise, some good form, towards the end of the season? If I were to have a punt at one of the dropped lot, it would be Duckett. He failed on ragging turners, which he won’t get in Australia. I think Stoneman would do OK in Australia – Carberry OK – but we seem to want a lot more when nothing seems to be there.

      Like

  6. Prime.Evil September 10, 2017 / 1:34 pm

    Well played England, thought it might be 3-0 weather allowing.

    I’m glad the Windies won the second test, England underestimated them a tad – who wouldn’t after the first test. They are not that bad if they get their act together. The batting is more than reasonable, the bowling average – ignoring the wicket-taking no-balls (yes I know our man Morkel likes taking wickets with no-balls, also Shaun Pollock must get a mention). The poor fielding though takes the cake. This they really need to improve. These days a cavalier approach to fielding will cost you many a game.

    The Joe Root declaration in the second test was fair, I would have batted on a bit. Understandable after the first test and looking at the opposition. I would have dunked the opposition’s head under the water and not given them a chance to gulp some air first. It’s better to polish them off and not have to worry that they will stab us in the back some time later. Nasty and unforgiving I am – the Clive Rice way.

    Jimmy Anderson vs The Rest of the World, Tendulkar vs Lara vs Bradman.

    Why must a screw driver be better than a hammer? Hopefully when a captain opens the toolbox the right tool is there to do the job.

    I’m no fan of Anderson but he certainly is an ace in English conditions. So what he’s a bit of a dud in SA, Aus and India. Not his fault. Again, the right tool for the right job. Fair enough, Aus and SA bowlers might be better in most conditions or take more wickets in “foreign” conditions. Broad might be better in SA and Aus than he is England. Imagine Churchill tossing Alan Turing into the trenches against Hitler. The trick is to know which person to throw at the enemy’s machine-gun nest and who’s going to figure out the ins-and-outs of the Enigma-machine.

    Congratulations to Jimmy Anderson for getting 500 wickets. It’s an achievement. But please, grow up. Stuart Broad did. You want posterity to remember you as a fine bowler who took 500 wickets. Not a petulant child tossing your toys out the cot because Mommy didn’t want to buy you an ice-cream. Having said that, there is nothing wrong with fire-in-the-belly bowlers. It just has to be directed the right way. Fighting with the umpires or referees is pointless.

    Like

  7. S. Sudarshanan September 10, 2017 / 3:06 pm

    The positive thing about this series is that the Windies did compete. Almost till the last one and a half to two days, the winner wasn’t an easy pick.
    As for the English side, unless some personnel at the top of the order are changed, the Ashes could be hard for them. The top order gets blown away easily most of the times. I would like to see Haseeb Hameed at the top and Root at 3!
    Well written article though.

    P.S. I too blog about cricket. Following and sharing my posts and commenting on them would also be welcome.

    Like

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