Joe Root remained defiant as England Test skipper after claiming his defeated team were making progress after overseeing an 11th defeat in 13 months.
A 1-0 loss to the West Indies confirmed England’s spot rooted to the bottom of the World Test Championship and a fifth successive series without a win for the first time in their history. But the 31-year-old insisted his side were in better shape now than at the end of the 4-0 Ashes thrashing.
“I think the team is in a better place than in Hobart,” said Root. “There are so many things we’ve done well in a short period that prove that. A number of batters have stepped up and shown they are capable of doing special things at Test level, they’ve just got to do it more frequently and when the pressure is really on.
“The attitude of the whole group, the way we stood up for long periods of time and didn't waver, we kept throwing everything we could, will give us hope for the summer. It is a punch to take because for the majority of this series we have played so much good cricket. Some poor decision-making and, at times, a lack of skill, has probably just let us down when we really needed to stand up. It is a bitter pill to swallow.”
Here are the England player ratings…
Alex Lees – 5
Got over a difficult debut to post four successive double figure scores, facing plenty of balls, but a limited return for the effort.
Zak Crawley – 4
Gave another glimpse of his potential with a hundred in Antigua, but proceeded to fall back into bad old habits thereafter.
Joe Root – 6
Still a world class batsman, but struggling as a captain. He and his team were found wanting when it mattered.
Dan Lawrence – 6
Played with vim and vigour when things were in his favour and batted selflessly for the team, but cracked under pressure.
Ben Stokes – 7
Showed a strong return to form with bat and ball across first two Tests, but struggled physically in the third with poor shot selections.
Jonny Bairstow – 6
Continued his good form from Australia in the first two Tests but with a chance to turn the tide in Grenada he fluffed his lines.
Ben Foakes – 4
Missed out on a great chance to go big in Antigua and showed poor game awareness in Grenada. Keeping was solid if unspectacular.
Chris Woakes – 4
It was a lot to ask Woakes to lead the attack away from home and despite runs with the bat he struggled with the ball.
Craig Overton – 2
Gave it his best shot but after one docile surface, failed to make an impact on a pitch that offered more help.
Jack Leach – 6
Bowled his heart out over after over and showed tremendous character with the bat too. Would have hoped for more wickets though.
Saqib Mahmood – 7
Took to Test cricket well even though his first wicket was chalked off. Has pace and skill and should be a big part of the future.
Matt Fisher – 4
Did well to claim a first Test wicket early on in Barbados, but faded on an unhelpful surface. Looks like home conditions will suit.
Mark Wood – 2
Came into the series complaining of an elbow problem but still took the field until he could no longer bowl. Huge blow.
Source: Read Full Article