England's warm-up game against a St Kitts & Nevis Invitation XI descended into farce today, as three England batsmen were picked in the home batting lineup - and one was dismissed by Jimmy Anderson for no runs.
Gary Ballance, Jonny Bairstow and Jonathan Trott, who is making his return to the Test side following more than a year out with a stress-related illness, all batted for St Kitts, with Trott opening.
Ballance occupied his usual England spot of No 3, while Bairstow will bat at No 4, in a situation that further calls into question the usefulness of these warm-up games.
WICKET! Anderson dismisses Trott for a duck, edge to slips. #EngvSKNXI— England Cricket (@ECB_cricket) April 8, 2015
That was further made manifest when Trott was caught at slip off Anderson for a duck - and England's sense of malaise was compounded minutes later, when Stuart Broad was forced to leave the field having slipped on a loose wicket when running in.
Then again, the 'match' was already farcical, with the agreement already in place for England to bowl 90 overs today, even if the home side are all out.
Unfortunately Broad has been forced to limp off after slipping on loose wicket when running in. Updates to follow. pic.twitter.com/m9BVm94CDc— England Cricket (@ECB_cricket) April 8, 2015
England will then bat for 90 overs on day two, no matter how many wickets they lose, in a move designed to give them extra time in the middle.
Alastair Cook's men have not played a Test since facing India in August, though they will face an equally undercooked West Indies, shorn of several senior players, in the 1st Test at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua in five days' time.
The real test will come in a month's time, with the visit of a dangerous and powerful New Zealand, followed by the Ashes.
Cook will hope that the shambolic start to this tour is but a fading memory by the time Michael Clarke's bruisers roll into town.