England v West Indies, 2nd Test, Trent Bridge, 3rd day May 27, 2012

Jonny gets jumpy

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the third day at Trent Bridge
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Groan of the day

The groan of disappointment that rose from Trent Bridge told its own story: while the wicket of Kevin Pietersen ten minutes into play on the third morning represented a superb start to the day from West Indies, it came as a bitter blow to those spectators who hoped to see a Pietersen masterclass. Pietersen, playing across a straight one from the admirable Ravi Rampaul, called for a review but it was more in hope than expectation.

Significant dismissal of the day

Might the dismissal of Jonny Bairstow have uncovered a significant flaw in his game? While West Indies do not have the fearsome attack of the past, Roach still has the pace and class to trouble the best. He discomforted Bairstow a couple of times with well directed deliveries that struck the batsman on the chest and the glove and finally dismissed him with another ball, angled in to the body, that had a flustered Bairstow attempting to play off his hips and presenting a leading edge to mid-on. With a series to come against a South Africa side containing several good fast bowlers, Bairstow's dismissal will have been noted by England selectors.

Review of the day

It is rare that Aleem Dar makes an error. It is even more rare that he makes an error that can be overturned upon review. It was, therefore, a brave and astute decision from Darren Sammy to utilise the DRS when Ian Bell was struck on the pad by an inswinger from Kemar Roach. Sammy's instinct was vindicated when Dar's decision was overturned and Bell was given out lbw. It was an important wicket in the context of the game, too: the new ball was just four deliveries old and, if they were to fight their way back into the game, they needed quick wickets. Sammy proved it was no fluke, either, when he also used the DRS to overturn Asad Rauf's decision to reprieve Graeme Swann

Hiatus of the day

Only in cricket could you have a situation where tea was delayed by 30 minutes for play to then be held up for repairs to be made to the bowlers' take-off area. As the preceding over - containing two reviews - has also taken eight minutes, it meant that spectators witnessed just six deliveries in 16 minutes. Ten deliveries later, West Indies took the final England wicket and the players departed for the tea break. At least it also coincided with the break between innings.

Key moment of the day

With West Indies top order lacking experience or, perhaps, the quality required to flourish at this level, the performances of Shivnarine Chanderpaul are always ways likely to prove key to their fortunes. So when the 37-year-old, uncharacteristically nervous throughout his 15-ball stay, top edged a hook - an odd shot in the circumstances - directly to the man on the fine-leg boundary, it hammered a nail into the coffin of the tourists' hopes.

Stat of the day

The failure of both openers underlined a recurrent problem in West Indies cricket in recent years. Since the start of 2010, their opening partnerships in Test cricket averages just 19.58. That is more than 10 fewer than New Zealand (29.82) and 20 fewer than Bangladesh (39.91). England's in the same period is 38.64.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JG2704 on May 28, 2012, 20:09 GMT

    @Henrik Lovén on (May 28 2012, 09:50 AM GMT) JM has already addressed part of my answer.The other part is that KP was in such fine form which is maybe wht Strauss took the view knowing that if KP remained he would likely push the game further forward with his strike rate. My hunch is that if it was anyone else Strauss may have advised differently. Re Broad is that batting or bowling? With bowling Eng are supposed to have a system whereby they'll not review unless bowler,Strauss and Prior all think it's out

  • jmcilhinney on May 28, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    @Henrik Lovén on (May 28 2012, 09:50 AM GMT), to be fair, on this occasion it looked like Pietersen was ready to go off but Strauss told him it might be worth a review. Pietersen did confer with Strauss so I'm sure that, if the captain had told him that it looked out, he would have accepted the decision.

  • on May 28, 2012, 10:34 GMT

    @Rahulcricket007. I don't care what Yuvraj does in ODI cricket. When he gets to Test cricket, he's a liability against the short ball.

    @PunchDrunkPunter. Perhaps not but the short pitched ball has undoubtedly got him in problems in this Test. Don't forget he wore one on the chest facing his very first Test delivery. Morgan was criticised for the crouching stance getting him into bad positions and I'm not convinced Bairstow's crouch is good at international level. Again with India in mind, does he go too hard at the ball to be a success on slow Indian wickets against decent spinners?

  • on May 28, 2012, 9:50 GMT

    Is Pietersen England's second-worst review-waster after Stuart Broad? Would be interesting to see a statistical analysis how teams have fared and which players have displayed the best/worst judgement about when to invoke a review.

  • JG2704 on May 28, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    @Meety on (May 28 2012, 00:41 AM GMT) I hear you but my main point is that our number 6 batsman has been averaging less than our number 7 and number 8 in thae last year or so. Sure we could come apart with a 5 man attack vs a better side but then did we not do that with our 6 man batting formation vs Pak and in the 1st test vs UAE. As I put to Landl47 we don't have a number 6 like Hussey and we seem to be desperately trying to find that person when we could be trying the 5 man bowling attack

  • JG2704 on May 28, 2012, 9:17 GMT

    @landl47 on (May 28 2012, 03:01 AM GMT) The way I see it is that - at the moment Bres is comfortably over 30 batting and Broad is in his late 20s. I think Prior averages in his 40s. Is that not good enough? The other thing is (and I've pointed this out in my last post) our number 6 (Bopara or Morgan) were averaging less since the start of 2011 than Prior or even Bresnan/Broad at 8. If like Australia for example we had a number 6 who was averaging like Hussey then yes but we're desperately trying to find that number 6 batsman. I'd also say that we have 2 semi all rounders in Broad and Bres and Broad (last time I looked) was averaging better than Flintoff with the bat. Also by the same token the 6th batsman should be worth his place as a batsman and surely he should be averaging more than number 7 and 8 and unless my maths are wrong that has not been the case over the last year or so.

  • Snick_To_Backward_Point on May 28, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    @demon_bowler - think all the talk about Bres justifying his place is a testimony to just how good Finn is. Bres can;t afford to go walkabouts with his bowling too often or he will lose out to Finn IMO. It's actually great we are having this debate, shows how good the talent is waiting in the wings.

  • asillypoint on May 28, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    It is a real pleasure reading interesting sensible comments. Many thanks to all for a great debate about the batting line-up.

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on May 28, 2012, 5:00 GMT

    Once Again I say: Bell is world class . Dont doubt his ability against spin> He has nimble feet. The only bowler he struggled against was ajmal and everyone knows how well ajmal 'BOWLS'?

  • landl47 on May 28, 2012, 3:01 GMT

    @JG2704: I'm all for a 5-man bowling attack, but the fifth bowler must be an all-rounder, worth his place for his batting as well. That means someone who is able to average over 30 in tests. Bresnan is doing that at the moment, but this is only his 13th test and he hasn't had many innings. If he continues to bat as he did today, however, I'd take him at #7 rather than the extra batsman. There are several good young players coming up who might fit the bill in time: Stokes, Woakes and Coles are all batsmen with at least 1 first-class hundred and useful bowlers. Woakes and Coles are primarily bowlers, Stokes is a batting all-rounder, but all do both pretty well and they're all young- Woakes just turned 23, Coles just turned 22 and Stokes 21 next week. With Broad still only 25, Finn 23 and young spinners like Briggs, Borthwick and Kerrigan, England has a lot of talent developing.

  • JG2704 on May 28, 2012, 20:09 GMT

    @Henrik Lovén on (May 28 2012, 09:50 AM GMT) JM has already addressed part of my answer.The other part is that KP was in such fine form which is maybe wht Strauss took the view knowing that if KP remained he would likely push the game further forward with his strike rate. My hunch is that if it was anyone else Strauss may have advised differently. Re Broad is that batting or bowling? With bowling Eng are supposed to have a system whereby they'll not review unless bowler,Strauss and Prior all think it's out

  • jmcilhinney on May 28, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    @Henrik Lovén on (May 28 2012, 09:50 AM GMT), to be fair, on this occasion it looked like Pietersen was ready to go off but Strauss told him it might be worth a review. Pietersen did confer with Strauss so I'm sure that, if the captain had told him that it looked out, he would have accepted the decision.

  • on May 28, 2012, 10:34 GMT

    @Rahulcricket007. I don't care what Yuvraj does in ODI cricket. When he gets to Test cricket, he's a liability against the short ball.

    @PunchDrunkPunter. Perhaps not but the short pitched ball has undoubtedly got him in problems in this Test. Don't forget he wore one on the chest facing his very first Test delivery. Morgan was criticised for the crouching stance getting him into bad positions and I'm not convinced Bairstow's crouch is good at international level. Again with India in mind, does he go too hard at the ball to be a success on slow Indian wickets against decent spinners?

  • on May 28, 2012, 9:50 GMT

    Is Pietersen England's second-worst review-waster after Stuart Broad? Would be interesting to see a statistical analysis how teams have fared and which players have displayed the best/worst judgement about when to invoke a review.

  • JG2704 on May 28, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    @Meety on (May 28 2012, 00:41 AM GMT) I hear you but my main point is that our number 6 batsman has been averaging less than our number 7 and number 8 in thae last year or so. Sure we could come apart with a 5 man attack vs a better side but then did we not do that with our 6 man batting formation vs Pak and in the 1st test vs UAE. As I put to Landl47 we don't have a number 6 like Hussey and we seem to be desperately trying to find that person when we could be trying the 5 man bowling attack

  • JG2704 on May 28, 2012, 9:17 GMT

    @landl47 on (May 28 2012, 03:01 AM GMT) The way I see it is that - at the moment Bres is comfortably over 30 batting and Broad is in his late 20s. I think Prior averages in his 40s. Is that not good enough? The other thing is (and I've pointed this out in my last post) our number 6 (Bopara or Morgan) were averaging less since the start of 2011 than Prior or even Bresnan/Broad at 8. If like Australia for example we had a number 6 who was averaging like Hussey then yes but we're desperately trying to find that number 6 batsman. I'd also say that we have 2 semi all rounders in Broad and Bres and Broad (last time I looked) was averaging better than Flintoff with the bat. Also by the same token the 6th batsman should be worth his place as a batsman and surely he should be averaging more than number 7 and 8 and unless my maths are wrong that has not been the case over the last year or so.

  • Snick_To_Backward_Point on May 28, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    @demon_bowler - think all the talk about Bres justifying his place is a testimony to just how good Finn is. Bres can;t afford to go walkabouts with his bowling too often or he will lose out to Finn IMO. It's actually great we are having this debate, shows how good the talent is waiting in the wings.

  • asillypoint on May 28, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    It is a real pleasure reading interesting sensible comments. Many thanks to all for a great debate about the batting line-up.

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on May 28, 2012, 5:00 GMT

    Once Again I say: Bell is world class . Dont doubt his ability against spin> He has nimble feet. The only bowler he struggled against was ajmal and everyone knows how well ajmal 'BOWLS'?

  • landl47 on May 28, 2012, 3:01 GMT

    @JG2704: I'm all for a 5-man bowling attack, but the fifth bowler must be an all-rounder, worth his place for his batting as well. That means someone who is able to average over 30 in tests. Bresnan is doing that at the moment, but this is only his 13th test and he hasn't had many innings. If he continues to bat as he did today, however, I'd take him at #7 rather than the extra batsman. There are several good young players coming up who might fit the bill in time: Stokes, Woakes and Coles are all batsmen with at least 1 first-class hundred and useful bowlers. Woakes and Coles are primarily bowlers, Stokes is a batting all-rounder, but all do both pretty well and they're all young- Woakes just turned 23, Coles just turned 22 and Stokes 21 next week. With Broad still only 25, Finn 23 and young spinners like Briggs, Borthwick and Kerrigan, England has a lot of talent developing.

  • on May 28, 2012, 0:47 GMT

    @Legend_963. If you are glad that Chanderpaul did not make any runs in order to show up Gibson and the WICB then we must assume that you were extremely sad when Samuals and Sammy both made centuries.

  • MattyP1979 on May 28, 2012, 0:45 GMT

    If Eng can find a number six thats ready we might see them top of the tree for a few more years. Good fight shown by WI here but perhaps too much to ask them to beat Eng at home. All they need is an uncapped one day spin bowler who finds success 5000 miles away on dustbowls to come in and everything will be fine.

  • Meety on May 28, 2012, 0:41 GMT

    @JG2704 - honestly I think the "5-man" attack will come undone against yop notch teams. The 5-man approach can work against SL, who have a relatively weak attack, & the same could be said for matches against say Zimbabwe & Bangladesh. I thiink against a quality bowling line up like Sth Africa. == == == WI have showed again that they can compete for long periods, but are still lacking the professional ability to minimise the impact of a poor session. Their 3rd innings fade outs are really hurting them. If they could of knuckled down, there was a genuine opportunity to bat deep into Day 4, for a lead in the mid 200s, which is a tough ask to get in a 4th innings run chase. Another opportunity lost by the WI, should end up being a comfortable Eng win. Any money on Sammy making twin 100s????????

  • rahulcricket007 on May 28, 2012, 0:14 GMT

    @ANDY PLOWRIGHT . SURESH RAINA IS HADICAOPPED AGAINST SHORT PITCH BALL . I AGREE WITH THAT POINT . HE CAN ONLY PLAY FULL LENGHT DELEVERIS . BUT DON'T INCLUDE YUVRAJ IN THE SAME LEAGUE AS RAINA . YUVRAJ HAS BRILLINAT ODI PERFORMANCES IN VARIOUS COUNTIRES INCLUDING ENGLAND ALSO . YOU SHOULD TAKE A LOKK AT YUVRAJ ' SOME POWER HITTING INNINGS WHERE HE THAS THRASHED THE LIKES OF BRETT LEE 'S SHPRT PITCH DELEVERRIES TO SIXES .

  • on May 27, 2012, 21:42 GMT

    NB: Blame mid-afternoon sleepies. Roach has got Bairstow twice in 3 knocks.

    England do have a problem in the middle order. Ian Bell will be fine against South Africa but the Indian tour throws up more queries of his ability against spin. This winter will decide whether Bell is a real top notch batsman or one who was just a little short of the mark. So if he is to bat at 5 against India, who comes in 6? Nothing I saw of Bairstow in India for the ODI series said he was someone to take that role. Morgan had a chance and looked all at sea against Ajmal and Rehman. To my mind, I'd like someone who can drop anchor and stay there. The India-WI series was attritional cricket, the sort tailor-made for the Dravids and Chanderpauls of this world. I'd give Nick Compton a shot, see what he's made of. Then come India, we have might go with the usual top 4, Compton at 5, Prior at 6, and play five bowlers.

  • JG2704 on May 27, 2012, 21:33 GMT

    I see I now have a couple more allies in my views re the 5 man bowling attack.I do feel that we are looking to hard to fill the number 6 batting slot and it seems criminal that we have proven quality in the likes of Finn and Onions and Tremlett (when fit) who can't get a game. Would having Prior at 6,Bres at 7,Broad 8 and Swann 9 really be that bad if it means we could have bowling attack of Broad , Jimmy ,Finn,Bres and Swann?Now I've also done a little maths and (purely by writin down the figures of the England number 6 7 and 8 in completed inns and dividing the totals by the number of inns - minusing not outs - from the beginning of 2011 to now.I have also not included the tests where Prior batted at 6 and where a nightwatchman has come in I have taken the stats of 7,8 and 9 and I made it that the number 6(Bopara/Morgan) has averaged 23.4,number 7(Prior)29.9 and number 8 (Broad/Bres)36.16 these are rough stas which I might be slighlty wrong on but you can see where I'm coming from

  • on May 27, 2012, 21:24 GMT

    I strongly doubt even if WICB does offer Narine a contract he will sign it. He wont want to miss out on all the money he will be getting after this outstanding IPL performance he has provided for KKR. It would not be a bad idea to play 4 spinners vs New Zealand in the tests come July / August & Give the fast bowlers a rest. Benn, Bishoo, Narine & Shillingford could possibly be the next mystical four like Venkat, Prassana, Bedi & Chandrasekar. A spin version of Garner, Croft, Holding & Roberts no other team has ever produced a four man , spin & pace attack with such potential.

  • legend_963 on May 27, 2012, 21:21 GMT

    Though its sad im glad chanderpaul got out now we will see who gibson will blame for the collapse certainly can't be the seniors because there aren't any in the team ,this is what you get when youre a coach that got a big mouth and thinks he can run cricket all by himself and also the wicb we'll see who they blame, i'll give you a hint you have no one to blame but yourselves.

  • Patchmaster on May 27, 2012, 21:20 GMT

    Prior up to six, Finn into the side. That's the perfect side, Bresnan can bat, as he showed again, and Prior is world class at Number 6, so lets get another paceman in there and we have a ferocious looking attack and balanced batting.

  • toxic1007 on May 27, 2012, 21:07 GMT

    Everyone was calling for Ramdin... know everyone see why he was drop. Total Garbage... No words to describe the top order... OTIS -SAMMY what happen to the work ethic and discipline.. I know you telling the #1 batsman in the world he should never play that hook shot. I recommended WICB take his match fee... Shillingford is not impressive he is worst than Samuels get him out of the team and bring Big Benn , Miller back or the mystery man. IPL is over and England already won the series . I m praying for rain

  • JG2704 on May 27, 2012, 21:06 GMT

    Well , in some ways it was a far worse day than I expected for England and in some it was far better. All in all it was probably better because the game has moved on at such a pace but I did expect us to build a bigger 1st inns lead.KPs early dismissal set the tone for the day batting wise and I think Strauss and KP wished Saturday didn't end so soon as KP went so quickly and Strauss was nowhere near as fluent. Bres proved what an all round useful cricketer he is both with bat and ball. Plenty were calling for Finn to replace him but he is a nagging bowler who has a habbit of taking wkts without folk even noticing.As I put before and Demon_Bowler has just concurred he has a very healthy bowling average and very respectable batting average. I too was thinking that maybe Finn would do a better job after day 1 but had Bres not polished off the WI tail so quickly we may even have trailed in the 1st inns.

  • jmcilhinney on May 27, 2012, 21:03 GMT

    It's hard to say whether this Bairstow short ball thing is early career nerves or a genuine issue, but it's definitely something he needs to get worked out ASAP. Roach is fast but he's not tall. Maybe that's part of the problem for Bairstow, who is not sure of how far the ball is going to get up based on the length. Steyn and Morkel are a challenge at the best of times but they are both tall and fast, so would definitely be a handful for someone who has issues with the short ball. At this stage though, I'm still fairly confident that Bairstow can settle in and retain that #6 spot for some time. If not, he certainly wouldn't be the first player to play a few games without great success but come back later with added maturity and a better idea of what to expect.

  • PunchDrunkPunter on May 27, 2012, 21:02 GMT

    Bairstow didn't even get out to a short pitched ball? Just back of a length ball which got stuck in the pitch. Seen Cook get out in similar fashion 2 or 3 times. Sure he didn't look comfortable, but he's yet to be dismissed by a bouncer yet. Unlike Chanderpaul......

  • jmcilhinney on May 27, 2012, 20:48 GMT

    I certainly expected England to build a bigger lead than they did but, with 14 wickets falling today after 6 each of the first two days, maybe it's not the batsman's paradise out there that we expected. Then again, maybe it was just really good bowling. The England bowlers didn't seem to manage a great deal of movement during WI first innings and it did seem that WI managed more, with Rampaul swinging the ball consistently and Roach doing a bit with the new ball. I only saw the highlights of the final session but it didn't seem that the wickets that feel were due to any extravagant movement either. One may have kept a little low but the rest was just good, accurate bowling and some poor batting.

  • jmcilhinney on May 27, 2012, 20:40 GMT

    You have to feel a bit sorry for Kirk Edwards. His place in the team was on the line and he had to come in when he was in no fit state to bat. He was probably lucky to make it to that second ball. Had WI managed to make it to stumps then he would have had the extra night to recover a little. That said, there's no guarantee that his health would have improved and, given his form so far, there's no guarantee that he would have scored any more runs anyway. With a tour game scheduled between the second and third Tests, he will have plenty of time to recover but it's hard to see WI not play Fudadin in that tour match with a view to his replacing Edwards for the third Test. The top three are all suffering poor form but at least Powell and Barath have both played at least one good innings each. Unless someone like Gayle is going to come back for the final Test though, they can probably only replace one of the top three. Maybe drop Powell and play Deonarine with the others moving up one spot.

  • landl47 on May 27, 2012, 20:39 GMT

    The day belonged to Bresnan- helping England to a lead of 58, then slicing through the WI middle order. I thought Finn should have been in the side, but Bresnan has proved me wrong. Not so Bairstow, who I suggested was not ready for test cricket and who isn't. Either go with Bresnan at #7 in the next test and bring in Finn, or give a chance to a more experienced batsman such as Compton, Carberry or Hildreth. An inability to play quick, short-pitched bowling isn't going to cut it against Steyn and Morkel, and you can bet they'll have been taking notes.

  • on May 27, 2012, 19:43 GMT

    @Andy Ploweight: Can't understand why there's even a 'number 6' debate. Just get Prior in at 6. Bresnan, Broad and Swann look much better at 7,8,9 than at 8,9,10.

  • on May 27, 2012, 19:36 GMT

    Just when it seems like the Windies have turned the corner, we see yet another dramatic batting collapse. The hard work of the bowlers now all but squandered down the drain. The selectors have no choice but to make changes for the final Test---Kirk Edwards is of no help to the team. Barrath and Bravo need to be rested. Bring in the old stars on the sidelines--Gayle and Sarwan. The fans deserve better! Barring an improbable fight back, this match will be over in the first session tomorrow, disappointingly

  • SirDallas on May 27, 2012, 19:30 GMT

    I know the Wi have shown signs of improvement but as the article says, this top 3 is some way out at sea. As i have thought about before, Lendl Simmons can keep and he opens the batting ( a fairly good batsman too). That will mean that the side could always play and extra bowler or batsman which should add depth is whatever department. I mean... why not go for it Otis and the WICB????

  • mikey76 on May 27, 2012, 18:17 GMT

    Nice to see Bresnan return to form. He's an underated cricketer who just gives the team such good balance. A more than handy bat, excellent fielder and a bowler who just keeps running in and hitting the bat hard. his reverse swing will be very handy in India. Still would like to see Finn in the side, maybe time for Prior to move to six?

  • demon_bowler on May 27, 2012, 18:15 GMT

    Tim Bresnan now has 51 wickets in not quite 13 test matches. He has taken them at an average of 25.43 and a strike rate of 54.4. Those stats are even more remarkable if you bear in mind that in his first test he was given only seven overs in the entire match, that two of those tests were on the flattest of Bangladeshi wickets, and that in most of his career so far he's been third or fourth bowler. Add to that he has a batting average of over 40. And yet some pundits are still questioning his place in the side.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on May 27, 2012, 18:13 GMT

    The Yorkshire Lad Bresnan showed his class today. As a heat wave has swept the UK leaving an un-typically dry and dead Trent Bridge pitch, England showed yet again as they have time and time before the last three years that each of their bowling unit threatens constantly to get wickets. Some good bowling by Roach with the new ball made for an exciting couple of hours, but England have played like champions this afternoon.

  • on May 27, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    Bairstow was always likely to be found out with that wide stance in my opinion. He looks very stiff at the crease, someone who goes quite hard at the ball, and I'm not convinced that the crouch helps him. The puzzling thing is that in such a short international career so far of 8 innings (two Tests and six ODI games), he's only fallen victim to two bowlers. Jadeja got him 4 times in India, Roach is 3 from 3 here in England. Given that Roach bowls into the body (right arm over and wide on the crease) and Jadeja from memory got Bairstow bowling left arm around, is there the possibility that Bairstow doesn't like the ball angling into him?

    His performance in this Test does make this quote from Stephen Fay of the Independent seem massively premature:

    "He is a good candidate for a decade at No 6."

    If he doesn't sort out the short pitched ball, then Dale, Morne, Marchant and Vernon will have a field day this summer. It'll be like watching Suresh and Yuvraj last year...

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  • on May 27, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    Bairstow was always likely to be found out with that wide stance in my opinion. He looks very stiff at the crease, someone who goes quite hard at the ball, and I'm not convinced that the crouch helps him. The puzzling thing is that in such a short international career so far of 8 innings (two Tests and six ODI games), he's only fallen victim to two bowlers. Jadeja got him 4 times in India, Roach is 3 from 3 here in England. Given that Roach bowls into the body (right arm over and wide on the crease) and Jadeja from memory got Bairstow bowling left arm around, is there the possibility that Bairstow doesn't like the ball angling into him?

    His performance in this Test does make this quote from Stephen Fay of the Independent seem massively premature:

    "He is a good candidate for a decade at No 6."

    If he doesn't sort out the short pitched ball, then Dale, Morne, Marchant and Vernon will have a field day this summer. It'll be like watching Suresh and Yuvraj last year...

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on May 27, 2012, 18:13 GMT

    The Yorkshire Lad Bresnan showed his class today. As a heat wave has swept the UK leaving an un-typically dry and dead Trent Bridge pitch, England showed yet again as they have time and time before the last three years that each of their bowling unit threatens constantly to get wickets. Some good bowling by Roach with the new ball made for an exciting couple of hours, but England have played like champions this afternoon.

  • demon_bowler on May 27, 2012, 18:15 GMT

    Tim Bresnan now has 51 wickets in not quite 13 test matches. He has taken them at an average of 25.43 and a strike rate of 54.4. Those stats are even more remarkable if you bear in mind that in his first test he was given only seven overs in the entire match, that two of those tests were on the flattest of Bangladeshi wickets, and that in most of his career so far he's been third or fourth bowler. Add to that he has a batting average of over 40. And yet some pundits are still questioning his place in the side.

  • mikey76 on May 27, 2012, 18:17 GMT

    Nice to see Bresnan return to form. He's an underated cricketer who just gives the team such good balance. A more than handy bat, excellent fielder and a bowler who just keeps running in and hitting the bat hard. his reverse swing will be very handy in India. Still would like to see Finn in the side, maybe time for Prior to move to six?

  • SirDallas on May 27, 2012, 19:30 GMT

    I know the Wi have shown signs of improvement but as the article says, this top 3 is some way out at sea. As i have thought about before, Lendl Simmons can keep and he opens the batting ( a fairly good batsman too). That will mean that the side could always play and extra bowler or batsman which should add depth is whatever department. I mean... why not go for it Otis and the WICB????

  • on May 27, 2012, 19:36 GMT

    Just when it seems like the Windies have turned the corner, we see yet another dramatic batting collapse. The hard work of the bowlers now all but squandered down the drain. The selectors have no choice but to make changes for the final Test---Kirk Edwards is of no help to the team. Barrath and Bravo need to be rested. Bring in the old stars on the sidelines--Gayle and Sarwan. The fans deserve better! Barring an improbable fight back, this match will be over in the first session tomorrow, disappointingly

  • on May 27, 2012, 19:43 GMT

    @Andy Ploweight: Can't understand why there's even a 'number 6' debate. Just get Prior in at 6. Bresnan, Broad and Swann look much better at 7,8,9 than at 8,9,10.

  • landl47 on May 27, 2012, 20:39 GMT

    The day belonged to Bresnan- helping England to a lead of 58, then slicing through the WI middle order. I thought Finn should have been in the side, but Bresnan has proved me wrong. Not so Bairstow, who I suggested was not ready for test cricket and who isn't. Either go with Bresnan at #7 in the next test and bring in Finn, or give a chance to a more experienced batsman such as Compton, Carberry or Hildreth. An inability to play quick, short-pitched bowling isn't going to cut it against Steyn and Morkel, and you can bet they'll have been taking notes.

  • jmcilhinney on May 27, 2012, 20:40 GMT

    You have to feel a bit sorry for Kirk Edwards. His place in the team was on the line and he had to come in when he was in no fit state to bat. He was probably lucky to make it to that second ball. Had WI managed to make it to stumps then he would have had the extra night to recover a little. That said, there's no guarantee that his health would have improved and, given his form so far, there's no guarantee that he would have scored any more runs anyway. With a tour game scheduled between the second and third Tests, he will have plenty of time to recover but it's hard to see WI not play Fudadin in that tour match with a view to his replacing Edwards for the third Test. The top three are all suffering poor form but at least Powell and Barath have both played at least one good innings each. Unless someone like Gayle is going to come back for the final Test though, they can probably only replace one of the top three. Maybe drop Powell and play Deonarine with the others moving up one spot.

  • jmcilhinney on May 27, 2012, 20:48 GMT

    I certainly expected England to build a bigger lead than they did but, with 14 wickets falling today after 6 each of the first two days, maybe it's not the batsman's paradise out there that we expected. Then again, maybe it was just really good bowling. The England bowlers didn't seem to manage a great deal of movement during WI first innings and it did seem that WI managed more, with Rampaul swinging the ball consistently and Roach doing a bit with the new ball. I only saw the highlights of the final session but it didn't seem that the wickets that feel were due to any extravagant movement either. One may have kept a little low but the rest was just good, accurate bowling and some poor batting.