February 21, 2009

England in West Indies 2008-09

Antigua's epic finale a true test of cricket's real worth

Jamie Alter

During the Antigua Test, as the locals "were drawn to the rickety stadium like pilgrims", James Lawton says that the management was told to turn off the music and increase the volume of the television commentary.Writing in the Independent, Lawton says it is a wonder that in 2009 the game in danger of death by skewered values and changed priorities should display, once again, such vital signs.

In the Daily Mail, Nasser Hussain wonders who is in charge of the leaderless England that made a mess of winning call in Antigua.

It made absolutely no sense and although it may seem like a minor detail, it cost England time and that is just what they needed more of on Thursday evening. They were effectively 300-odd for one, but still Anderson was sent out to protect Owais Shah. There was no logical explanation for it. Why on earth were the team's most fluent batsmen, Shah and Kevin Pietersen, sitting in the dressing room watching Jimmy bat? He did his best to be positive, but he is a No 9 or 10 for a reason.

The Antigua Test was a classic, says Mike Selvey in the Guardian, but England need to remember how to finish teams off.

Writing in the Mirror, Ian Botham urges England to think positive, or else the Aussies will give them an Ashes roasting.

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Jamie Alter is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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