England once again at the cliff edge vs West Indies – look ahead to day four of the third Test

With the sides locked at 0-0 after drawn Tests in Antigua and Barbados, the tourists crumpled under pressure at the crucial moment of a tight series

Rory Dollard
Sunday 27 March 2022 04:30
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England’s Jonny Bairstow plays a shot against West Indies during day three of their third Test cricket match at the National Cricket Stadium in St. George, Grenada (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
England’s Jonny Bairstow plays a shot against West Indies during day three of their third Test cricket match at the National Cricket Stadium in St. George, Grenada (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

England’s tour of the West Indies looks doomed to end in familiar disappointment after an abject performance on day three in Grenada left them at the cliff edge.

With the sides locked at 0-0 after drawn Tests in Antigua and Barbados, the tourists crumpled under pressure at the crucial moment of a tight series.

After England’s flimsy batting proved too fragile to cope with the glare of the Ashes, there had been signs of improvement on friendlier Caribbean pitches. But old problems came back to haunt the tourists as they responded to a first-innings deficit of 93 by falling in a heap.

At stumps they were 103 for eight, relying on Chris Woakes, Jack Leach and Saqib Mahmood to pull off a miracle.

Root faces a fight

England captain Joe Root is in a tight spot (Ricardo Mazalan/AP)

Joe Root held on to the England captaincy after this winter’s 4-0 Ashes humiliation, insisting he was the right man to lead the team forward and putting himself forward as the long-term solution. But with head coach Chris Silverwood, right-hand man Graham Thorpe and director of cricket Ashley Giles all losing their jobs after the difficulties Down Under, Root is the most obvious target for any fresh heat. He will now need to make his case once again, to the team, the wider public and, most pertinently, to the incoming head coach.

England’s infamous five

Root’s side are set to become the first English outfit to put together a run of five winless series in a row. Things have been on the slide ever since they completed a creditable away win in Sri Lanka at the start of 2021 and, with reigning World Test champions New Zealand next up, things are not about to get easier.

  • India 3 England 1
  • England 0 New Zealand 1
  • England 1 India 2 (with one to play)
  • Australia 4 England 0

View from the dressing room

It's easy to throw the baby out with the bath water. We believe as coaching staff and players in that dressing room that we've made strides as a team. We've had one bad day today and over the course of the series this is the first bad day we've had.

England’s batting coach Marcus Trescothick had a tough job defending the work of his side at the close of play. He made a game attempt to frame Saturday’s events as an aberration in an otherwise positive trip, but it all seemed like scrambling for crumbs from the table given the way the West Indies stood up when it mattered most.

Numbers game

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