West Indies v England: Talking points as Cook’s men make slow start
Three talking points as England finish day one on 341-5
Trott endures torrid return to international cricket as top order falter
Having left the England set up so dramatically during the last Ashes series, Jonathan Trott would have wanted a quiet return and start to his 50th Test. Instead, he endured the worst possible start as he fell for a third-ball duck in the first over of the match. Having not got his feet moving properly, he was caught feeling at a gentle out-swinger from Jerome Taylor, before nicking to Darren Bravo at slip. There is no doubting Trott’s credentials in international cricket, but with each additional failure will bring yet more pressure on the batsman. It wasn’t just Trott who struggled on the first day. Captain Alastair Cook also looked a bit out of nick, scratching around for his 11 from 28 ball before being bowled by Kemar Roach coming around the wicket. Garry Ballance also added to England’s woes, perhaps showing his relative inexperience to chase after a wide one from Jason Holder to leave England struggling at 34-3.
Bell and Root show their class to get England back on track
With England in turmoil at 34-3, two of England’s form players Ian Bell and Joe Root came together at the crease with the sole job of getting England out of difficulty and create a platform from which their side can build. They made it to lunch 49-3 before taking the attack to the bowlers, with Sulieman Benn in particular not being allowed to settle in the afternoon. It was not without a scare as Bell edged through a fortunately vacant third slip region, before Benn put down a regulation chance off Root, allowing the pair to bring up their 150 partnership from 242 balls. The experienced England batsman went on to secure his century before he was ousted in the penultimate over on 143.
Fitness concerns for both players after topsy-turvy first day
On a day where both sides had control at one point or another, both dressing rooms will have been left with cause for concern with injuries to key players from both sides. First the leader of the West Indies attack Jerome Taylor spent a significant amount of time getting treatment, which is an ominous sign given the fast bowler’s fitness record. Joe Root was the the focus of some rather intensive physio treatment for what looked to be back trouble. Both will no doubt be monitored overnight and throughout the first Test match.