England in West Indies, 2008-09 March 10, 2009

Spin the wheel, captain

How much of a gambler is Andrew Strauss
50

How much of a gambler is Andrew Strauss? The cricket world is about to find out. Will he have the nerve to set West Indies, say, 200 off 70 overs? Will he settle for, say, 240 off 60? Does he truly believe that losing 2-0 is as good (or bad) as losing 1-0? England’s final chips of the series are in the captain’s paw, the roulette wheel is spinning, Strauss is nervously twitching his bow tie, the croupier is looking at him expectantly, and Chris Gayle is puffing on a massive cigar. It has been a grindingly tedious night at the casino, but it could still end in a frenzy of excitement.

Given the state of the pitch, England’s almost Sisyphean struggle to take wickets, the increasing tendency of their best fielders to drop relatively simple catches, and the impressively decreasing tendency of the West Indies to subside at the first available opportunity, Strauss’ decision will probably make little difference – it will require a spell of Taylor-in-Jamaica inspiration from one or more of the English bowlers (most likely Anderson with the new ball, then Panesar with the old), and/or a collective choke of England-in-Jamaica proportions by the West Indian batsmen, as the fishbone of victory lodges in the oesophagus of tangibility. Neither seems likely, but either is possible.

Nevertheless, the skipper’s call will reveal much about his captaincy. Since the Sabina Park capitulation, he has batted admirably and positively, but England have consistently failed to gamble − in their batting order and declaration in Antigua, their selection in Barbados, their field placings (at times), and, arguably, in choosing to bat first in both of the last two tests – perhaps, given the state of the pitch, it could have been worth Strauss’s while to rip the Oval 1998 page from the Arjuna Ranatunga book of captaincy (one of cricket’s jauntier tomes), insert the opposition on a flat pitch, and give his bowlers maximum wicket-taking, limb-resting and conditions-and-umpire-aggravated-frustration-cooling time. Admittedly, England have no Muralitharan, but then again, they also have no Wickremasinghe, so it might have been worth a punt.

Gayle’s claim that West Indies have been trying to win throughout this match must rank as one of international cricket’s most bared-faced fibs, and congratulations to him for managing to make this outlandish statement without breaking down into a giggling fit. It might have been equalled had Douglas Jardine averred at the end of the Bodyline series that he just asked his seamers to hit a tidy line and length, or Ravi Shastri declared in his autobiography that he just wanted to entertain, and damn the consequences. However, it is now more than possible that Gayle and his team, despite doing almost everything in their power to avoid such an eventuality, may find themselves accidentally winning the match (with apologies to the unquenchable fire of Fidel Edwards).

The Confectionery Stall prediction: West Indies to close on 173-6 chasing 224 to win. Roughly. Whatever happens, it will at least give England something to focus on for the rest of the day before noticing that Australia are good again. Really good. And getting better. (And if the two series with South Africa had been counted as one six-match series, it would have been one of the great series of all time.)

Andy Zaltzman is a stand-up comedian, a regular on the BBC Radio 4, and a writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mohit on March 18, 2009, 10:01 GMT

    Hey Andy, no posts for quite some time? The English team is starting their ODI leg of the Windies tour, what are your predictions? Im looking forward to see how they fit Strauss into the ODI scheme of things considering he will be in the playing 11 as he is the captain Cheers Mohit (twitter.com/mohyt)

  • DcyL on March 18, 2009, 1:26 GMT

    It's been a week since Andy's last post, and still no new article from him... So I feel compelled to write and on behalf of your fans, ask "Andy, where are you? We always look forward to you brightening our days, weeks, months with your hilarious observations interspersed with statistical brilliance on this great game called cricket. We hope that all is well in the world of Zaltzman, and look forward to seeing you back, doing what you do best - bringing smiles to our faces and joy to our lives!"

  • Danish on March 16, 2009, 16:14 GMT

    Adil Rashid has been waiting patiently for his England debut. Now the time is ripe for him to be granted with the honour as England’s woeful winter descends further calling for a fresh and promising change. Especially with such an eventful and anticipated summer around the corner England should have no hesitation to experiment in youth and open the doors for player competition.

    Although Adil’s bowling performance in the recent practice match was nothing to write home about surely the threat and mystery of a leg spinner operating overweighs an orthodox off spinner claiming casual figures of 10-0-1-40. To consolidate my point England should plan efficiently for the future rather than focusing on short term replacements. Also Adil can bat and field very well which is factor that has to come into consideration in the limited over’s format.

    On the whole he is a unique prospect who’s got the potential to turn the tables on the fate of English cricket. Therefore I recommend the ECB and Andrew Strauss provide him with a worthwhile run in the international arena. So that’s where I stand on the Rashid situation. Yes groove him in ASAP.

  • Jk on March 11, 2009, 23:47 GMT

    "the fishbone of victory lodges in the oesophagus of tangibility" - hilarious! Anyways, coming back to Ravi Shastri, he was quite an attacking player sometimes, although I agree with Andy's overall assessment. I remember an ODI in South Africa (when India toured for the first time) when Ravi smashed Allan Donald and Craig Matthews around to take India to an unlikely ODI win...

  • Siddharth Joshi on March 11, 2009, 20:03 GMT

    I find it ridiculous that for three matches in a row, Englnad followed exactly one pattern. Bat first and score big, but then unable to get the WI out twice and win! What all the 'positive' comments above seem to miss completely, is that England bat far too slow in the first Innings! Crawling at three or less an over and as a result taking almost two full days to score 500, they never had enough time to force results. Australia, India and SA score the same runs in almost half a day less. If this is the pattern England plan to follow in the Ashes, I predict a comprehensive hammering for them! The Aussies look better than ever and will make a meal of an ultra defensive side. England's approach to Test Cricket seems to be still stuck somewhere in the 1970s!

  • Sagar on March 10, 2009, 23:52 GMT

    So, captain did spin the wheel and lost! However england need to send panesar back to county...and try adil to see if he can do better! They need a third seamer to help jimmy and broad. Harmison/Sidebottom need to bowl at each other.

  • Anonymous on March 10, 2009, 19:15 GMT

    nn,n,nljjjjjjjjjjkolllllllllllllllllllllllmbler is Andrew Strauss? The cricket world is about to find out. Will he have the nerve to set West Indies, say, 200 off 70 overs? Will he settle for, say, 240 off 60? Does he truly believe that losing 2-0 is as good (or bad) as losing 1-0? England’s final chips of the series are in the captain’s paw, the roulette wheel is spinning, Strauss is nervously twitching his bow tie, the croupier is looking at him expectantly, and Chris Gayle is puffing on a massive cigar. It has been a grindingly tedious night at the casino, but it could still end in a frenzy of excitement.

    Given the state of the pitch, England’s almost Sisyphean struggle to take wickets, the increasing tendency of their best fielders to drop relatively simple catches, and the impressively decreasing tendency of the West Indies to subside at the first available opportunity, Strauss’ decision will probably make little difference – it will require a spell of Taylor-in-Jamaica inspirati

  • mohsin raza on March 10, 2009, 17:06 GMT

    i think england made a good desicion to darw at lunch and keep WI in game. if england want to win the game then WI should remain in the match and it is one of good declrations made by strauss. well done strauss and best of luck for game.may the best playing team won the match

  • Kevin on March 10, 2009, 17:04 GMT

    I think England are going to win because save for the 1 poor performance at Jamaica, they have had a decent series. Even accepting that the West Indies matched England blow for blow, you (or at least I) couldn't help sensing that there was only 1 team really trying for a result after the 1st test. For that effort alone, England deserve a tied series and I hope they get it. :-)

  • vinod on March 10, 2009, 16:46 GMT

    i really do not know why the cricinfo commentators are making a fuss about england declaration. in case england could score 237 in less than 40 overs, why can't west indies score similar number of runs in 65 overs or so and that too on a belter of a track . well surely england would want to draw level in series, but declaring so early (as wished by cricinfo commentators, they started talking around the time when england were about 215 runs ahead) would straight away mean losing series 2-0. i imagine england batting about 4 overs more that would give windies a target of 260 from 60 overs.

  • Mohit on March 18, 2009, 10:01 GMT

    Hey Andy, no posts for quite some time? The English team is starting their ODI leg of the Windies tour, what are your predictions? Im looking forward to see how they fit Strauss into the ODI scheme of things considering he will be in the playing 11 as he is the captain Cheers Mohit (twitter.com/mohyt)

  • DcyL on March 18, 2009, 1:26 GMT

    It's been a week since Andy's last post, and still no new article from him... So I feel compelled to write and on behalf of your fans, ask "Andy, where are you? We always look forward to you brightening our days, weeks, months with your hilarious observations interspersed with statistical brilliance on this great game called cricket. We hope that all is well in the world of Zaltzman, and look forward to seeing you back, doing what you do best - bringing smiles to our faces and joy to our lives!"

  • Danish on March 16, 2009, 16:14 GMT

    Adil Rashid has been waiting patiently for his England debut. Now the time is ripe for him to be granted with the honour as England’s woeful winter descends further calling for a fresh and promising change. Especially with such an eventful and anticipated summer around the corner England should have no hesitation to experiment in youth and open the doors for player competition.

    Although Adil’s bowling performance in the recent practice match was nothing to write home about surely the threat and mystery of a leg spinner operating overweighs an orthodox off spinner claiming casual figures of 10-0-1-40. To consolidate my point England should plan efficiently for the future rather than focusing on short term replacements. Also Adil can bat and field very well which is factor that has to come into consideration in the limited over’s format.

    On the whole he is a unique prospect who’s got the potential to turn the tables on the fate of English cricket. Therefore I recommend the ECB and Andrew Strauss provide him with a worthwhile run in the international arena. So that’s where I stand on the Rashid situation. Yes groove him in ASAP.

  • Jk on March 11, 2009, 23:47 GMT

    "the fishbone of victory lodges in the oesophagus of tangibility" - hilarious! Anyways, coming back to Ravi Shastri, he was quite an attacking player sometimes, although I agree with Andy's overall assessment. I remember an ODI in South Africa (when India toured for the first time) when Ravi smashed Allan Donald and Craig Matthews around to take India to an unlikely ODI win...

  • Siddharth Joshi on March 11, 2009, 20:03 GMT

    I find it ridiculous that for three matches in a row, Englnad followed exactly one pattern. Bat first and score big, but then unable to get the WI out twice and win! What all the 'positive' comments above seem to miss completely, is that England bat far too slow in the first Innings! Crawling at three or less an over and as a result taking almost two full days to score 500, they never had enough time to force results. Australia, India and SA score the same runs in almost half a day less. If this is the pattern England plan to follow in the Ashes, I predict a comprehensive hammering for them! The Aussies look better than ever and will make a meal of an ultra defensive side. England's approach to Test Cricket seems to be still stuck somewhere in the 1970s!

  • Sagar on March 10, 2009, 23:52 GMT

    So, captain did spin the wheel and lost! However england need to send panesar back to county...and try adil to see if he can do better! They need a third seamer to help jimmy and broad. Harmison/Sidebottom need to bowl at each other.

  • Anonymous on March 10, 2009, 19:15 GMT

    nn,n,nljjjjjjjjjjkolllllllllllllllllllllllmbler is Andrew Strauss? The cricket world is about to find out. Will he have the nerve to set West Indies, say, 200 off 70 overs? Will he settle for, say, 240 off 60? Does he truly believe that losing 2-0 is as good (or bad) as losing 1-0? England’s final chips of the series are in the captain’s paw, the roulette wheel is spinning, Strauss is nervously twitching his bow tie, the croupier is looking at him expectantly, and Chris Gayle is puffing on a massive cigar. It has been a grindingly tedious night at the casino, but it could still end in a frenzy of excitement.

    Given the state of the pitch, England’s almost Sisyphean struggle to take wickets, the increasing tendency of their best fielders to drop relatively simple catches, and the impressively decreasing tendency of the West Indies to subside at the first available opportunity, Strauss’ decision will probably make little difference – it will require a spell of Taylor-in-Jamaica inspirati

  • mohsin raza on March 10, 2009, 17:06 GMT

    i think england made a good desicion to darw at lunch and keep WI in game. if england want to win the game then WI should remain in the match and it is one of good declrations made by strauss. well done strauss and best of luck for game.may the best playing team won the match

  • Kevin on March 10, 2009, 17:04 GMT

    I think England are going to win because save for the 1 poor performance at Jamaica, they have had a decent series. Even accepting that the West Indies matched England blow for blow, you (or at least I) couldn't help sensing that there was only 1 team really trying for a result after the 1st test. For that effort alone, England deserve a tied series and I hope they get it. :-)

  • vinod on March 10, 2009, 16:46 GMT

    i really do not know why the cricinfo commentators are making a fuss about england declaration. in case england could score 237 in less than 40 overs, why can't west indies score similar number of runs in 65 overs or so and that too on a belter of a track . well surely england would want to draw level in series, but declaring so early (as wished by cricinfo commentators, they started talking around the time when england were about 215 runs ahead) would straight away mean losing series 2-0. i imagine england batting about 4 overs more that would give windies a target of 260 from 60 overs.

  • WI fan on March 10, 2009, 16:37 GMT

    i must admit i'm a but nervous abt WI chasing that small total!

  • Furqan on March 10, 2009, 16:36 GMT

    Looks like it's going to be a tough nut for the WI if England do declare and set hem 240 to win from 2 sessions. There are going to be a lot of nerves I think, esp as this is their first real chance of winning both a test series and the Wisden Cup.

    Those nerves, plus the swing of Anderson, and possibly Khan make cause a few mistakes and you never know what could happen then. To be fair, in this test match I think the England bowlers have bowled better then they have all series, and better than the WI - a lot of movement was seen yesterday with the old ball.

    I'm gunning for WI though - I think they deserve a series win, but we will have to see how well WI handle the new ball and what their position is at tea.

  • Adrian on March 10, 2009, 16:34 GMT

    If england really wanted to win they would have delcared at the end of day one. If they had done that then gambling would not be an option. The present score is about 4 runs per over, surley gettable on this pitch. I dont think he'll declare

  • Darleen on March 10, 2009, 16:32 GMT

    I think Andrew Strauss will make his decision to declare sometime during lunch. I also think that they are playing for a draw. There is no way England will get 10 wickets in these sessions and we all know Windies will not make score past 180 runs today :)

  • Faucher on March 10, 2009, 16:29 GMT

    England never made discisions that would allow them to win a test match.In the second test down 1-0 i would enforce the follow on and give my side time to bowl west indies out.England bowling is weak yet the continously batted first automatically reducing on the time they had to bowl to west indies.Thank Strauss for your continued poor captaincy & WEST INDIES SERIES VICTORY.England will lose Ashes badly against Aussies.

  • Peter Scott on March 10, 2009, 16:20 GMT

    If he does declare at lunch or soon after, Andrew Strauss, who is already the greatest England Double-Declaring captain, will have declared the England innings TEN times in his TEN (including the ten-ball test which hardly counts) Tests as captain. And of course in each of his first three innings as Capt.

    And even more remarkably, FOUR doubles (ie in both innings of same match): only Ted Dexter having even done it even twice before him.

  • Shaaz on March 10, 2009, 16:19 GMT

    Riiiight, so England will be declaring 239 in front n with 66 overs for WI to get it in..nicely balanced, coz anything is possible although a draw is the most likely result. Wonder what Chris Gayle will be thinking., Oh, and nice move by Strauss to bat till lunch. Since WI were bowling their overs real slow, he batted till lunch, and wont lose the 2 overs they require for change of innings, and still have 66 overs to try to bowl them out.. These last 2 sessions will hopefully be more fun then the other 4 days combined, fingers crossed. After all it is England and the West Indies playing.

  • Sreek on March 10, 2009, 16:16 GMT

    280 off 60 would be interesting esp if Gayle can give WI a flier

  • Larry Ghanny (Trinidad) on March 10, 2009, 16:04 GMT

    It does not matter what total he declares at. Most of our West Indies batsmen have been showing real discipline at the crease lately and I know our guys will adjust to suite. If the total is gettable they will get a 2-0 spanking for sure if not fine we will settle with a 1-0. I will be very happy for our boys and westindies cricket and I would like to remind Mr. Boycott of his comments before the series start saying: "England will walk all over West Indies" watch out Boycott you will have to eat those words because we coming in England also in May to seal it off.

  • vasu on March 10, 2009, 16:01 GMT

    may be hez lookin at 250 as a target

  • Greypatch on March 10, 2009, 16:00 GMT

    ENG 229/5 KP on 100* and still no declaration

  • Mahsam on March 10, 2009, 15:55 GMT

    I think England wont be batting after the lunch interval. It will be a real test for England bowlers to bowl them out for 200 odd runs on a flat wicket. But I think we have a game here and its gonna go to the wire (atleast that iswhat i am hoping for)

  • David on March 10, 2009, 15:48 GMT

    This series has been spoilt by so called good pitches not giving the bowlers a chance. Up till now this has been a test of patience for viewers and listeners not a test of cricket but these last three sessions might produce a good finish to a series best forgotten

  • Hawke on March 10, 2009, 15:38 GMT

    To Chris: England has no where outplayed the West Indies.Whereever England though they have outplayed the Windies,the Windies fought back harder than England would have imagined.England are cry babies.When they score centuries they stay quiet and when West Indies score centuries anmd avoid follow-on England come forward asa cry babies and show disgust at the pitch.Baby Broad is following the footsteps of his dad,complaining even when not needed.ENGLAND don;t forget Taylor isn't playing this match.Have you forgotton 51 all out. West Indies need to win the series as they have come back fighting with strong character unlike English cry babies

  • Robert on March 10, 2009, 15:21 GMT

    I am sure that the series would have been different if the umpiring was better. I do not agree that one team has outplayed the other. this has been a close series and Isay too close to have been marred by several questionable reesults of the referral system.

  • NZ fan on March 10, 2009, 14:53 GMT

    What?! How can you guys say England have outplayed the Windies. It's a game of two things - batting and bowling. Batting for 10 years and getting lots of runs doesn't a winner make. You've got to BOWL THE OTHER SIDE OUT TOO, twice, don't forget... England have, at times, played just as negatively as the Windies have.

  • jonas on March 10, 2009, 14:53 GMT

    Westindies was the better team thats why they are leading the series and you should learn to live with that.

  • Sup3rsapien on March 10, 2009, 14:50 GMT

    England outplayed Windies??? what series r u watching? Which team is ahead or behind in the series or has no chance of winning or losing this series? I agree that England has posted some impressive innings, but the Windies has matched them blow for blow. In fact at the close of first innings the Windies had a higher team batting average.

  • Mohamed Z. Rahaman (Breado) on March 10, 2009, 14:48 GMT

    Chris... you cry baby, how can you say England outplayed WI in this series? Truth is West Indies answered every challenge England threw their way. In the Antigua match, you can argue that Eng. should have won, but several WI batsmen got bad decisions, including Chanderpaul. Last match, WI responded with an even bigger score. It was England, I remind you that made 51 all out in the 3rd. innings of the 1st test. About declaring, well Mr. Strauss may not have to, because WI may well bowl them out and win this game outright.

  • cletus on March 10, 2009, 14:43 GMT

    i'm sorry true that ENG did well but they never outplayed WI... do not get stucvk in ur gut feelings

  • Pietro on March 10, 2009, 14:37 GMT

    Who cares. The issue are the boring games not manufacturing a meaningless result. There's a big kerfuffle when a wicket is underprepared - why not when there's a plumb wicket like these WI ones. Make all the test matches timeless and that would soon solve the problem [and encourage spinners] by ensuring pitches were prepared for 5 days. 10 days play for 500 hundred spectators a day, all the costs for the ground and lost revenue for postponed ODI's and TT would quickly solve the problem.

  • cletus on March 10, 2009, 14:35 GMT

    Its true the ENG has done well with the bat,, but WI need another Taylor spell to put ENG back into the shell. Afetr that lights of Gayle will do the rest !!!!

  • cortwright Christian, kingston Ontario on March 10, 2009, 14:31 GMT

    I saw the game in Antigua, that was the sure win for England, and as I told the English crowd that I sat with in the south stand, had England follow on they would have equalled the series, sorry but now they go home, two down or atleast winless. I did not know then, and still cannot comprihend why England threw away their chance at success, it was the worst Cricketing decision I have seen since forever.

  • waqar on March 10, 2009, 14:29 GMT

    i think that england bowling has been weak throughout the series resulting the captain having no confidence do declare with lower totals or even giving more time to the bolewrs to bowl out WI. Englan should have put WI to bat first in the last 2 tests to force WI to think what to set. Also england having to bat fourth with batting being their strength (except for the 1st test disaster) could have things different at this stage of the series, whereas WI are now almost sure of a draw if not a win in the last test.

  • stewart on March 10, 2009, 14:23 GMT

    lets do the maths. 90 overs at 4 an over (say). 360 runs plus the 80 lead from overnight gives 440. Divide by 2 to give a target of 220 in about 55 overs. But I suspect Strauss wont be so generous and a draw will result. He'll wait until the lead is 250 "so he can set attacking fields". Better to tempt the batsmen to play attacking shots, in my view.

  • chris on March 10, 2009, 14:17 GMT

    Truth be told, England outplayed the Windies and deserve this series. For the most part they've put up big numbers that the Windies could only try to equal, but both teams have benefited, or suffered by the referral system. If a few of those decisions had gone the other way We might be looking at a very desperate West Indies team now.

  • chris on March 10, 2009, 14:12 GMT

    It's not inconceivable that Strauss will put the Windies in to chase 220 or so. It might be unfair to compare that to the Sobers declaration against these same English in 1968. Turn this into a one-day game with all to play for.

  • vivek acharya on March 10, 2009, 14:10 GMT

    wat abt ravi shastri....i cudnt get it.....was he tat borin a player :)

  • Jawad Masood on March 10, 2009, 14:08 GMT

    Hmmmm... 180 off 70+ Overs....something mouth watering for the windies to come out of their shell...

  • Michael on March 10, 2009, 14:03 GMT

    Has anyone in the team or management actually SAID that there's no real difference between losing 1-0 or 2-0. I think England could face coming back with a 1-0 win as they'll blame the freakish 51 and the flat pitches and, as usual, "take the positives"!!! They will be scared to death of coming back with a 2-0 defeat.

    Strauss will not offer WI a real chance of winningt hope for a WI unfocussed crumble.

  • Mehran on March 10, 2009, 14:00 GMT

    It will be interesting to see how England play in the first session.The first session will actually tell us everything about the intentions of England.With Pietersen at the crease and Collingwood with him England can go on the attck but the problem is they don't have any wickets left.I would reckon they will be looking to score around 270+.That would be wise as it will give them a chance to have a crack on the game and the test series but I have a feeling that England's batting is going to collapse and they won't score more that 170 runs.The question is can the Windies win the match from their or will they crash as well. Fingures crossed let the game Begin.

  • Mike Skinner on March 10, 2009, 13:59 GMT

    there are still FOUR possible results as you mentioned earlier,including a tie

  • Flymo on March 10, 2009, 13:54 GMT

    would be great to see englandhave a dash and then pull off the improbable to square the series, and my biased heart says that they are equally if not more deserving of success in this series than Windies. And who knows what would have happened with livelier pitches. But the fact of the matter is that Windies have been the better team simplt because they have not hd that weak moment, that horror session/day like England did. A couple of years ago they would have offered probably one oppurtunity a game, but in this series there have been none. England have always offered one, every series, and they need to cut it out as the Windies have done here.

    You cant be perfect all the time people say. Well, im afraid that to win a test series on modern pitches these days, you do. And the this would be so much clearer to the England camp once they ignore the poor umpiring and other excuses.

  • Andrew R on March 10, 2009, 13:50 GMT

    Why wasn't stuart broad fined like monty or reprimanded? Is it because his father is an ICC match referee? If he wasnt fined neither should have been monty

  • jay on March 10, 2009, 13:45 GMT

    You are dealing with England here! Anything can happen!!!

  • Nick Cardinez on March 10, 2009, 13:45 GMT

    Pre-lunch events mean that England will come out after lunch batting to save the game, which they will do.

  • slacker on March 10, 2009, 13:40 GMT

    Well said Andy! I agree with your forecast for the end if Strauss has balls he'll give the WI something in the range of 4 an over to chase and test the temperament of this WI team...that's a gettable rate and will test the composure of every WI batsman except Chanders and Nash. He needs to remember though that the WI are showing that we've got the bats for any of Strauss' balls or bowlers. Well done WI!

  • Colin Cousins on March 10, 2009, 13:35 GMT

    Englang currently are scared of the WI, they know that WI have a number of hard hitters and will only make a declaration when they have a comfortable total of 270 with less than 50 overs remaining.

  • slacker on March 10, 2009, 13:34 GMT

    Well said Andy! I agree with your forecast for the end if Strauss has balls he'll give the WI something in the range of 4 an over to chase and test the temperament of this WI team...that's a gettable rate and will test the composure of every WI batsman except Chanders and Nash. He needs to remember though that the WI are showing that we've got the bats for any of Strauss' balls or bowlers. Well done WI!

  • condell maurice on March 10, 2009, 13:32 GMT

    Strauss never learns. you are 1-0 down in the series and the pitch is flat. do not bat at 2.5 runs an over and tell us you want to win the series. do not post 550 plus runs on the board on a flat pitch and tell us you want to win the series. he had to gamble. bat faster and hope for something. The west indies batting line up is too strong for his bowlers and he was playing right into their hands. england was just not good enough accept that. they have not been outplayed(neither side has) but they have not shown any ability to win it.

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  • condell maurice on March 10, 2009, 13:32 GMT

    Strauss never learns. you are 1-0 down in the series and the pitch is flat. do not bat at 2.5 runs an over and tell us you want to win the series. do not post 550 plus runs on the board on a flat pitch and tell us you want to win the series. he had to gamble. bat faster and hope for something. The west indies batting line up is too strong for his bowlers and he was playing right into their hands. england was just not good enough accept that. they have not been outplayed(neither side has) but they have not shown any ability to win it.

  • slacker on March 10, 2009, 13:34 GMT

    Well said Andy! I agree with your forecast for the end if Strauss has balls he'll give the WI something in the range of 4 an over to chase and test the temperament of this WI team...that's a gettable rate and will test the composure of every WI batsman except Chanders and Nash. He needs to remember though that the WI are showing that we've got the bats for any of Strauss' balls or bowlers. Well done WI!

  • Colin Cousins on March 10, 2009, 13:35 GMT

    Englang currently are scared of the WI, they know that WI have a number of hard hitters and will only make a declaration when they have a comfortable total of 270 with less than 50 overs remaining.

  • slacker on March 10, 2009, 13:40 GMT

    Well said Andy! I agree with your forecast for the end if Strauss has balls he'll give the WI something in the range of 4 an over to chase and test the temperament of this WI team...that's a gettable rate and will test the composure of every WI batsman except Chanders and Nash. He needs to remember though that the WI are showing that we've got the bats for any of Strauss' balls or bowlers. Well done WI!

  • Nick Cardinez on March 10, 2009, 13:45 GMT

    Pre-lunch events mean that England will come out after lunch batting to save the game, which they will do.

  • jay on March 10, 2009, 13:45 GMT

    You are dealing with England here! Anything can happen!!!

  • Andrew R on March 10, 2009, 13:50 GMT

    Why wasn't stuart broad fined like monty or reprimanded? Is it because his father is an ICC match referee? If he wasnt fined neither should have been monty

  • Flymo on March 10, 2009, 13:54 GMT

    would be great to see englandhave a dash and then pull off the improbable to square the series, and my biased heart says that they are equally if not more deserving of success in this series than Windies. And who knows what would have happened with livelier pitches. But the fact of the matter is that Windies have been the better team simplt because they have not hd that weak moment, that horror session/day like England did. A couple of years ago they would have offered probably one oppurtunity a game, but in this series there have been none. England have always offered one, every series, and they need to cut it out as the Windies have done here.

    You cant be perfect all the time people say. Well, im afraid that to win a test series on modern pitches these days, you do. And the this would be so much clearer to the England camp once they ignore the poor umpiring and other excuses.

  • Mike Skinner on March 10, 2009, 13:59 GMT

    there are still FOUR possible results as you mentioned earlier,including a tie

  • Mehran on March 10, 2009, 14:00 GMT

    It will be interesting to see how England play in the first session.The first session will actually tell us everything about the intentions of England.With Pietersen at the crease and Collingwood with him England can go on the attck but the problem is they don't have any wickets left.I would reckon they will be looking to score around 270+.That would be wise as it will give them a chance to have a crack on the game and the test series but I have a feeling that England's batting is going to collapse and they won't score more that 170 runs.The question is can the Windies win the match from their or will they crash as well. Fingures crossed let the game Begin.