England Cricket Test Captain Alastair Cook declared that his side “take it on the chin” as West Indies claimed a five wicket victory in just three days of their five-day Test Match, It was the final contest in the three-Test series on the England tour of the West Indies, played at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados.
Just a day after a record 18 wickets fell, day three of the Third Test saw England bowlers unable to claim more than four in West Indies second innings, and it was really no contest as the Windies batsmen efficiently chased down a target of 192 to win the match on Sunday, rendering Monday and Tuesday’s sessions moot.
After a lackluster England one-day side crashed out of the ICC Cricket World Cup at the group stage in March, the three-Test tour of West Indies was seen as make or break for an England cricket program that could face a major overhaul if it continued to struggle.
And with the exception of the Second Test in Grenada, England struggled mightily against a weakened West Indies unit that was missing almost half of the stars of the West Indies World Cup edition that reached the quarterfinals of that tournament. Dwayne Bravo, Andre Russell, Chris Gayle, Sunile Narine and Lendl Simmons are all in India with their 2015 IPL teams.
After being held to a frustrating draw in the First Test in Antigua, England fell apart on day two of the Third Test, ending the day at just 39 with five wickets down.
“They put us under pressure. Not too many poor shots but good bowling,” said Cook once West Indies had overhauled England’s 191 run lead with five wickets in hand. “Defending 190 we had to take every chance and we didn’t do that, full credit to them, we take it on chin. A lot of good things in terms of development. Can’t fault the efforts of the lads. We take it on the chin.”
England’s next stop is Dublin, Ireland, where they will play a single One Day International match against a upstart Irish side who came out of the World Cup with new respect in the cricket world.
James Taylor will captain the ODI side for that May 8 match, with World Cup Captain Eoin Morgan also in India where he plays for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League.
Just 13 days after that, England greets visiting New Zealand at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London for the first of two Tests on the New Zealand Tour. The pair of Test Matches will be followed by a five-match ODI series and a single T20 match at several locations around the country, as England hopes the comforts of home will help them regroup after the frustrating West Indies Test series.
[Image: Michael Steele/Getty Images]