Joe Root, the England skipper, admitted his team was “outplayed and outperformed” by West Indies in the second Test in Antigua. With a 10-wicket win, the hosts have taken a 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
“It’s very disappointing,” Root said after the game on Saturday, 2 February. “We came here wanting to win this series and find ourselves with a game to go and being out of it, it’s hard to take. We’ve been outplayed, we’ve been outperformed, we have to take that on the chin as a side and we’ve got to learn some lessons.
“You won’t win many games scoring less than 200 twice. It was a very challenging pitch – you wouldn’t say it was a fair contest between bat and ball – but both sides are playing on it and West Indies deserve credit for finding ways to manage the surface.”
“We started the day with a daunting task, trying to push on the lead, and then we got the news about Alzarri’s mum passing away so we all rallied around one another and we wanted to do it for her.”https://t.co/cBrmQvCS6f
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) February 3, 2019
The hosts won the toss and in a crucial call, chose to bowl first on a tricky surface. England failed to adjust to the pitch, capitulating to totals of 189 and 132 respectively. West Indies, on the other hand, posted a decisive 306 in their first hit.
Root, who said he would have bowled first as well, added, “Ultimately West Indies had that opportunity and exploited it.
“The way they’ve gone about stuff in certain areas has been very skilful. They got themselves to a very good score on that surface.”
Historic scenes in Antigua.
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) February 2, 2019
England still have a chance to take something out of the series by winning the third and final Test, which begins in St Lucia from 9 February. Root wants his team to dish out a strong performance in that game to “right some wrongs”.
“We need to make sure we put in a good performance and win that game, it’s as simple as that,” he insisted. “It’s been disappointing with the bat here and last week, so it’s a great chance for us to right some wrongs.”
“I think we have got to be better at what we do, or maybe do things slightly differently. The choice comes down to the individual. I can’t bat for 11 guys, neither can Trevor [Bayliss, the coach] or Ramps [Mark Ramprakash, the batting coach]. The responsibility is down to the individual. But we will stick together and work on it as a group and try and come back with a really strong response in St Lucia.”