Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo
An overcast day. Ball swinging even when 30 overs old. You didn't need to be a cricket pundit to know it might be England's day, especially when their four best fast bowlers were operating in tandem.
Yet it was the West Indies batsmen that made it England's day. By showing a total lack of intent. By getting intimidated in their minds even before the ball had pitched. By falling into the trap set. By forgetting they had a bat in hand to defend and strike with intent.
West Indies' batting unit is not the first one to buckle in such conditions. James Anderson can make even a Virat Kohli look like a mug. Stuart Broad can eyeball you and then send you to hell with his nip-backers. Jofra Archer, the smiling assassin, can rip you and snip you to pieces. Chris Woakes can look generous, but kill you softly with his swing.
As a batsman, mentally, you are already thinking all that before you take guard. But the good and the best play the ball, not the man. That is why there are only a few greats. Steven Smith and Kohli, two modern greats, have built their aura by fighting off the mental demons. They have been vulnerable, but they have also improvised quickly.
Last year Archer concussed Smith. The Australian finished the Ashes as the best batsman. It takes more than guts to succeed. It takes presence of mind.
Most West Indies batsmen on day two at Old Trafford were neither bold, nor wise. Kraigg Brathwaite might have started the series playing the ball late, but here he went chasing a ball that was in the channel. John Campbell shrugged off an early mistake when he poked at a full away-swinging delivery from Anderson, but survived only because Ben Stokes spilled the catch.
Campbell has had no forward stride into his strokes so far in the series. In the first two Tests, Campbell had been rooted to his crease and playing with his hands, even to fuller balls that shaped away. Broad said that he was happy because he knew he could easily lure Campbell, something he did successfully in the second Test.
Campbell looked to score which allowed him to regain confidence. But as soon as Archer attacked him, Campbell succumbed meekly. Overall, of the nine balls that Archer bowled to Campbell, four were on a length, three full, one short-of-good length, and one short.
That last one was the perfect short-pitched delivery, heading for Campbell's throat when he least expected. The previous five deliveries Campbell dealt with confidently, moving towards the pitch and playing with the full face. Archer left Campbell off balance with the short delivery, just like he had opened up Roston Chase in the second innings in Southampton with a similar nasty delivery.
The biggest disappointment though has been Shai Hope, recognised by none lesser than Brian Lara as one of the best talents in the Caribbean. Hope has shown no back bone in the series and he became more and more tentative and negative during his 64-ball stay, the longest by a visiting batsman. Despite standing way out of his crease, Hope rarely showed any intent. His diffidence only created an impression as if he was being suffocated by the discipline of England's bowling. As the runs dried up, Hope's body language became defensive and he was eventually gobbled up by and Anderson outswinger.
Hope's struggles have only created more pressure for the middle order. Even Chase, who had looked the strongest mentally, stayed rooted in the crease to a Broad delivery which he should have ideally played on the front foot, but instead ended up being caught plumb.
The naturally aggressive Jermaine Blackwood paid the price for a scrambled mindset. Coming from wide of the crease, Woakes seamed in a fuller delivery on the middle stump. Blackwood, standing on leg stump, played from the crease instead of taking a forward stride and covering the line of stumps. The ball beat his flourishing bat swing to uproot middle.
Late in the day, with the light weakening, Archer placed Ollie Pope at short leg in addition to the leg slip. Shane Dowrich looked nervous. Archer was intent on taking a wicket and banged a short delivery.
Dowrich, slouching low, was already playing the short ball in his mind even before it had been pitched. Barring the first innings in Southampton, Dowrich has remained susceptible to the short delivery throughout the series.
This ball did not even rise to his waist, but Dowrich had already closed his eyes, turned his face away and attempted to fend the ball one-handed. Luckily for him the leading edge flew high over Rory Burns at short gully. Archer smiled sarcastically in disbelief.
To a large extent, West Indies' batsmen have stayed rooted to the crease, worried by Archer's short deliveries. This series Archer has got two wickets - Chase and Campbell - with that type of the delivery. As per ESPNcricinfo's ball-by-ball data, Archer has delivered 49 short-pitched balls giving away just 13 runs. In contrast, during last year's Ashes, of the 172 short deliveries, Archer earned just one Australian wicket. Smith may have been concussed at Lord's, but he showed positive intent and was not once dismissed by Archer (as he liked to point out).
When West Indies did play with intent, as Jason Holder showed eventually, the pressure was on the bowler. Having been hit for three successive fours by the West Indies captain, Archer sprayed wide or over-pitched. Holder showed the value of playing bold. Archer did not like it, and between smiles exchanged a few words with the fellow Barbadian.
Overall, though, West Indies batsmen did not dare on Saturday. The price could be the Wisden Trophy.