England in West Indies: Joe Root admits he could have been ‘a little bolder’ with statement

Captain and rookie Brathwaite (second from right) broke the record for most balls faced by a West Indian batter in a Test (673).

Joe Root admitted that he could have been “a little bolder” in his statement after England had to settle for another draw in the second Test against the West Indies.

Ruth left his team for two sessions to take 10 wickets on the final day, setting up 282 points from the hosts over 65 overs.

But the West Indies made no attempt at a chase, captain Craig Brathwaite didn’t hit 56 as they fought for a draw.

“It’s a shame not to win, but the way we played was a brilliant effort on a very calm surface,” Ruth said.

“Maybe we could be a little bolder with the statement, but here it looks like we’re scoring points faster,” added England captain Ruth.

“I thought they might [at chasing]but it wasn’t like that.”

England took three early wickets and Jack Leach won two more after tea, but England were hampered by a 184-ball Brathwaite strike that followed his 11-hour century in the first innings and the hosts finished 135–5.

In a similar situation in the first Test, Ruth announced that he had set the West Indies 286 for 71 overs only to keep his bowlers short of six wickets, but in Barbados he waited even longer to call his team.

The inability to sack the hosts, albeit on a slow pitch and against Brathwaite’s springy shot, means England’s winless streak stretches to seven Tests.

“We might have pulled 10 overs early, but defending 240 for 70 overs could be a big problem for either side at this wicket,” Ruth said.

“We weren’t trying to get a magical 30 over win by making sure we had 340 on the board, but I guess the more confident you get, the bolder you can act on those decisions.

“The most important thing is to keep finding ways to give ourselves a chance to win Tests because we find positions where we are at the top and run the game.”

“I can’t ask for a band anymore”

A series of three 0-0 Tests ahead of the final match starting Thursday in Grenada follows England’s humiliating 4-0 loss to the Ashes.

Despite the result, Ruth said he “couldn’t ask for more of the band”.

Root scored 153 in the first innings, while the all-rounder had a dashing Ben Stokes 120 and Dan Lawrence 91. Jack Leach hit 94.5 overs in the Test, taking six wickets, while Saqib Mahmood scored a respectable 4-79 on his debut.

England also went 507-9 in the first inning – the first time they’ve topped 500 since February 2021.

“In terms of where we’ve been this winter and where we’re starting to see improvements, that’s a really promising thing on our end,” Ruth added.

“If we continue to put ourselves in these positions, we will soon see that we win the Test match here.

“The batting group is slowly regaining confidence and getting somewhere where we need to be in this format.”

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