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West Indies were the last team to beat England in a Test series - a hard-earned 1-0 win in the Wisden Trophy in 2009. So why are England, then fifth on the ICC Test ratings, now within one match of rising to No.1, while the West Indies are stuck at No.7, asks Tony Cozier, writing in the Nation News.
... money is not the only, not even the primary, reason. More significant is the stability that has underpinned England’s rise as opposed to the perpetual, self-inflicted chaos keeping the West Indies where they have been for so long. England’s consistency that has carried them towards the pinnacle they have not reached since the 1950s is revealed in the composition of the XI blown away for 51 by Jerome Taylor at Sabina Park two years ago and those who humiliated India, the present No.1, in the second Test at Trent Bridge last week.
Eight of those devastated in the debacle of Kingston (Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior and Stuart Broad of the playing XI, James Anderson and Graeme Swann temporarily in the reserves) were among the jubilant victors in Nottingham. On the other side, only two of the triumphant West Indians (the evergreen Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Fidel Edwards) were still around for the recent final Test against India.