England Crumble to Chase in… Chase!

A massive well done to West Indies on comprehensively and deservedly defeating England in the first Test.

We could talk about selection until the cows come home but can’t you always?

There’s no doubt that England’s preparation was pathetic. These everybody has a bat affairs don’t promote competitiveness. It would be far better to have a couple of eleven-a-side First Class fixtures, actually breed some competition between the players and put some pressure on them for their place, as there should be in Test Cricket. There’s value in the new buzzword, destigmatising being dropped but some intensity between teammates is needed in order to be successful. There is of course an argument about volume of cricket and time with family but maybe this highlights the need for different squads for different formats and the longer form almost becoming a completely separate sport.

As is typical with English pundits, a player who took an eight-wicket haul still got criticised and derided for being nothing more than a village cricketer. Maybe England should select some village cricketers. If so, I’m available!

The selection of Darren Bravo doesn’t say a lot about the state of willow wielders in West Indies cricket. He was selected based on history but wasn’t primed to perform given how little regional four-day cricket he’s played in recent times. Having said that, it’s probably a bit rich for an England supporter to be criticising the home team’s batting. He’ll likely score a ton now in the second Test. What a Test match for debutant John Campbell to be part of too!

It’s hard to see Adil Rashid playing in the next Test and Sam Curran might be struggling too but please don’t write him off. Please don’t lump him in the “Only good in home conditions” category, after one underwhelming performance.

Keaton Jennings will probably survive as Joe Denly has hardly made a case…

… and the likelihood of Moeen Ali being promoted to open after a pair is slim. Rory Burns did at least make strides and can hopefully back that up during the rest of the tour.

Fingers crossed for a couple more fascinating Test matches in the Caribbean. Oh, should probably mention Jason Holder too… well batted!

Can Campbell Buck the Trend?

Rajendra Chandrika, Kyle Hope, Vishaul Singh… remember them? Nope. Fair enough.

Not only did those named above disappear from international cricket quicker than a balaclava clad criminal from a crime scene but in the cases of Chandrika and Hope, they dropped off the radar altogether. They have recently re-emerged on the domestic scene whilst Singh has been back in the A-Team. I actually thought that Singh (At 6) and Hetmyer (At 3) were the wrong way around when they debuted. Clearly Hetmyer is some talent though and one to watch come the World Cup.

Back to Jamaican John Campbell. Only three hundreds and an average of barely thirty, does make you wonder whether or not he’s actually qualified to open the batting against Jimmy Anderson. Let’s remember though, an absurd amount of spin bowlers on the domestic circuit in the Caribbean average about fifteen with the ball. Maybe a batting average of thirty in the West Indies is equivalent to an average of forty in England.

Congratulations to Campbell on becoming West Indian Test cricketer number 317.

I’ll be following on TalkSport having not had the opportunity to listen to the Sri Lanka tour. It can’t be worse than BBC Test Match Special!