Last week I wrote Test Cricket wasn’t in the DNA of this West Indies Cricket team. Since that article the team offered up yet another insipid display to lose the three-match Test series against England 2-1 and the Wisden Trophy forever.

 And of course, the typical excuses have come from all quarters. “These were difficult conditions to play in”, because Test cricket usually is like a game of Pictionary I presume. “Decisions didn’t go our way”, “luck wasn’t on our side” were some of the other gems passed around. And of course there was the obligatory “taking the positives” statement which comes with every post mortem of a series.

And frankly I’m tired of all of it.

I was a supporter of West Indies cricket long before I became a journalist 17 years ago, and I’ve heard these excuses before. And back then we actually had superstars like Brian Lara, Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh in the team.

Now, we were told, we have a group of guys that will fight and show grit, even though the talent isn’t quite there. But the DNA results came in, and proved that that was a lie. The capitulation I saw was typical of the Caribbean team of recent years gone by. And frankly, if this team doesn’t have fight and fortitude, it has nothing.

Before the start of the series, there was a point of view that if the players were acclimatized in these conditions and if their minds were solely on cricket and they had no distractions because of the fact they were in a bubble brought on by covid19 restrictions, that maybe we would see the best that West Indies had to offer.

And we were well on our way after a very good, if not convincing performance in the opening Test at Headingley. But it all went downhill after that. And yes, of course, we had our moments in the game, but every Test playing team has their moments, so that shouldn’t be the standard.

Last week I pointedly stated that our batsmen were more likely to win a T20 game than a Test match, citing the different approaches required for victory. We had a day to navigate at Old Trafford on a pitch which had no terrors and we lasted 37.1 overs.

Yes, we succumbed to defeat a mere half an hour before the heavy rains returned which would have surely washed out the remainder of play. All this after day 4 was also washed out. But this is where we are again as West Indies supporters, doing rain dances under mango trees to hide the ineptitude.

 West Indies had only one century partnership in the entire series. England had four. Our best batsman Jermaine Blackwood averaged 35.16 in the series, and Shannon Gabriel took the most wickets (11) at 32.27 apiece. This is ordinary.

 And now the team is playing on the heart strings of the world. We are using our players to beg the likes of England and India to play us at home in order to help with our coffers which have taken a further hit due to the pandemic. And the reason why this appeal is necessary is because as a performing team we can’t attract the teams or the sponsors and the television demand. Where is our superstar to help fill up a stadium? At least Lara was able to break a Test record once or twice.

My friend and co-worker Ricardo Chambers disagrees with me when I say Test Cricket isn’t in the DNA of this West Indies cricket team, not that his point of view comes with any ray of hope. He believes there is little talent on the batting side of things, and has pointed to the fact there is no batting superstar in the team. And some have pointed out to me that that was the difference between the teams and not necessarily the fact our boys simply cannot play Test cricket.

However, having Test Cricket in your DNA doesn’t mean you have to be a superstar or the best in the world. It just means you have to be efficient in carrying out tasks like batting for half an hour to save a Test match. I’m hardpressed to find the characters. Because I once thought we had fight in us, at the very least.

Donald Oliver is a football and cricket commentator and a senior producer at SportsMax. Learn more about him at www.thedonaldoliver.com or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Considered the greatest T20 batsman in history, Chris Gayle has been a dominant force in the format for more than a decade.

He is the proud holder of many records in T20 cricket including most centuries (22), fastest T20 century, most sixes, and highest individual score in a T20 match. He was also the first cricketer to score a century in all three formats of the game – Tests, ODIs and T20.

In 404 T20 matches, Gayle has scored 13,296 at an average of 38.20 with a fantastic strike rate of 146.94. In addition to his 22 centuries, Gayle has also score a whopping 82 50s as well.

The closest batsman to Gayle’s record of centuries in Twenty20 cricket (22) is Brendon McCullum who has 7 and 15 of his 22 T20 centuries have been not out.

Gayle’s success can be attributed in large part to his outstanding hand-eye coordination, which allows him to regularly hit even good-length deliveries for boundaries. No batsman has taken to the 20-over format like he has. He showed early signs of his liking for that format by smashing the first century in Twenty20 internationals - a 57-ball 117 against South Africa in the World Twenty20 in 2007 - and when Twenty20 leagues mushroomed the world over and sought international stars, Gayle was the biggest beneficiary.

Over two seasons - 2011 and 2012 - of the IPL, he became easily the most feared batsman of the league, smashing more hundreds and sixes than any other, by far. When he carted Pune Warriors all over the ground to score an unbeaten 175 in IPL 2013, it felt right that he should finally own the record for highest individual score, fastest century, and most sixes in a Twenty20 innings, because no batsman has dominated Twenty20 cricket like he has.

 

Career statistics (2005-present)

Full Name: Christopher Henry Gayle

Born: September 21, 1979, Kingston, Jamaica (40)

Major teams:  West Indies, Balkh Legends, Barisal Burners, Chattogram Challengers, Chittagong Vikings, D Ganga's XI, Dhaka Gladiators, Dolphins, Hooper XI, ICC World XI, Jacobs XI, Jacques Kallis Invitational XI, Jamaica, Jamaica Tallawahs, Jozi Stars, Karachi Kings, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, Lahore Qalandars, Lions, Marylebone Cricket Club, Matabeleland Tuskers, Melbourne Renegades, Rangpur Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore, RR Sarwan's XI, Somerset, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, Stanford Superstars, Sydney Thunder, Vancouver Knights, West Indies Under-19s, Western Australia, Worcestershire.

Batting style: Left-hand bat

 

T20I Career (West Indies)

Mat        Inns        NO         Runs      HS          Ave        BF           SR           100        50         

58           54           4             1627      117        32.54     1139      142.84   2            13

 

T20 Career

Mat        Inns        NO         Runs      HS          Ave        BF           SR           100        50         

404        396        48           13296    175*      38.20     9048      146.94   22          82

Career highlights:

  • Most runs in T20 cricket (13,296 at 38.20)
  • Most runs by a West Indian in T20Is (1627r- avg. 32.54)
  • Most centuries in T20 cricket (22)
  • Most runs in a T20 match innings (175*)
  • Fastest century in any official format of the game (30 balls)
  • IPL player of the tournament 2011
  • IPL Orange cap winner for most runs 2011 & 12
  • Has scored a century in all 3 formats of the game (two T20I tons)

The West Indies failed to retain the Wisden Trophy after going to England to take part in the first-ever bio-secure Test event, the #raisethebat series.  

From the jump, even playing against their own, it was clear something was amiss with the visitor’s batting but a win in the first encounter at Southampton provided hope that the usual collapses and an apparent inability to cope with good bowling were behind them, it wasn’t.

Now a win or loss happens as a team and there is never usually any particular person to blame, though many, suffering from the pain of loss may search one.

But, on the way to 113-run and 269-run defeats, there must have been a number of persons who failed to perform at the level they should, even against obviously superior opposition.

So let’s grade this team and how they performed, beginning with the selectors.

I’ve decided to make each individual’s score out of 30, 10 marks for each Test. The grading scheme may be a little harsh as there will be no As, Bs, or Cs. This is strictly pass or fail and the pass mark is 66%, meaning you can only consider yourself passing if you played well enough to in, at least, two of three Tests or 2/3rds of the time. 

West Indies selectors

The team of Roger Harper, Hendy Wallace, Lockhart Sebastien, Miles Bascombe, Phil Simmons and Jason Holder are the selectors who picked the team for the #raisethebat series and they got some things right when they picked a four-pronged pace attack for the first match in Southampton while ensuring a longer batting line-up with Jason Holder coming all the way down at number eight. Picking the same team again for the second Test was also the right call even if it didn’t quite work the same way. In that second Test, the team could have drawn or won the game had a few things gone their way. Where I find fault with the selectors, is not seeking to fix what appeared the most glaring problem. The batting. Instead, they chose to tinker with the bowling line-up in a game the West Indies could ill-afford to lose. Dropping Alzarri Joseph for the spin of Rahkeem Cornwall was an error. This was an error, especially given the success Roston Chase had been having bowling at the English. There was also the fact that they didn’t think to tinker with a misfiring top order. For the first two games, I will give the selectors 8/10 each. For the last game, they get 2/10 for missing the big picture. That gives them 18/30 (60%). Fail.

Jason Holder

Now looking at the team itself, let’s begin with the skipper. In the very first game, he bowled very well, picking up 6-42 and 1-49 from about 42 overs of bowling. While he never made many with the bat, his unbeaten knock to help West Indies over the line looked assured. His captaincy was also spot on, changing his bowlers around to good effect. In the second Test, Holder’s decision to field first was a good one, even if England got off to a romping start with the bat. In the field, I can’t fault his captaincy too much, though he did drop a perfectly good opportunity at second slip off Shannon Gabriel. A note here though, Dom Bess made 31 in that first innings and Stuart Broad, 11 not out, You would have thought the West Indies would have been trying to work out how to bowl to the lower-order batsmen, who had shown they can bat. In the third Test it was apparent the skipper hadn’t thought about it and to win a Test match, 20 wickets have to be taken. Holder also had his bowlers try too many things at the lower order, rather than bowl the same way they bowled to the top order. In the second innings, Holder also went back to the idea of being too defensive once batsmen get on top of the bowling, rather than trying to counter-attack. That allowed England to score 129 in just 19 overs. Holder’s personal performances in that second Test were poor as well. Though he did score 35 in the second innings. For that second Test, Holder gets four out of 10. He would probably get five for the third Test because he scored 46 in the first innings. So adding it all up, Holder gets 9/10 for the first Test, 4/10 for the second, and 5/10 for the third. He, therefore, ends up with 18/30 (60%). Like the selectors, Fail.

Kraigg Brathwaite

Kraigg Brathwaite started well in Southampton, scoring 65 in the first innings. But that’s half the job. He scored just four in the second innings, but his contribution to the victory was significant, I would give him 8/10 even though he failed to make England pay by scoring a century. In the second Test, again he started well, scoring 75 before coughing a very soft caught & bowled for Ben Stokes. This time, in a losing effort, his inability to get to a hundred counts more against him than in the first innings of the first Test. Given he only managed 12 in the second innings, making the same mistake of getting trapped on the crease from good length deliveries, he gets 6/10. In the third Test, Brathwaite with one and 19, was a disaster, so he gets 4/10. That four comes because I cannot fault his attitude to trying to stay at the crease. Brathwaite, despite too half-centuries, has scores of 8/10, 6/10, and 4/10. That also gives him 18/30 (60%). Fail.

John Campbell

John Campbell’s highest score for the series was 32. He had a dismal series despite looking the part in a number of innings. He played some handsome drives and made it clear he was willing to push back at the English and so he gets some points for that. His string of low scores seems to have affected his normally exquisite fielding as well and he is guilty of a number of misfields and at least one very costly dropped catch in the second Test. Campbell scores 3/10 in each Test. 9/30 (30%). Fail.

Shai Hope

Shai Hope’s form in Test cricket has been abysmal and it is strange that it is so because he seems confident at the crease and shows signs of having every bit of class everybody touts him as having. Hope got a couple of starts but must be chastised for his final innings where on 31, he tried to pull a Chris Woakes delivery that wasn’t short enough and only ended up skying it. The dismissal was inexcusable, especially with the West Indies attempting to try to save a Test match.

Hope gets 3/10 for each of the first two Tests but 2/10 for the third even though he had his highest score in the second innings of that game. 8/30 (26.6%). Fail

Shamarh Brooks

Shamarh Brooks looked the best of the top-order batsmen in the West Indies line-up and had scores of 39 and 0 in the first Test, 68 and 62 in the second, and 4 and 22 in the third. For the first Test, Brooks, who is trying to get the selectors to keep faith with him after his troubles with breaking into the starting XI for years. His first innings of 39 was admirable but the trend of getting starts without continuing on was born there. Despite two half-centuries in the second Test, his failure to continue when set, may just have cost the team the Wisden Trophy. Truth is though, Brooks has not given his wicket away, and has suffered because of technical flaws. His intent and his willingness to bat and bat long seem to be where it should be. He gets 4/10 for the first Test, 7/10 for the second, and 3/10 for the third. In that third Test, his failure in the first innings came because his bat was not coming straight down in line with the ball. The extravagant movement from gully of his blade also proved his undoing in the second innings and may show a tendency not to be able to adapt. Brooks scores 14/30 (46.6%). A good effort, I believe, but a failure nonetheless. Fail

Roston Chase

Roston Chase was probably playing against his favourite opposition and was a threat throughout the Test series with bat and ball. Unfortunately, much of the promise he showed in the first Test and through the first innings of the second, never resulted in more than a threat. In the first Test, with bat he scored 47 and 37, while taking 2-71 in the second innings. In the second he returned from 5-172 in 44 overs to score 51. In the third Test, sharing the ball with Rahkeem Cornwall, he was only allowed 11 overs, from which he had 2-36, and scored nine. He was run out for seven in the second innings after his 1-69 from 14 overs.

For the first Test I score Chase at 5/10, in the second he scores 7/10, and in the third, probably through no fault of his own, he only gets 4/10. 16/30 (50%). Fail.

Jermaine Blackwood

Jermaine Blackwood has always had the talent to play at this level but would his attitude to batsmanship ever let him? Blackwood showed signs he was willing to fight for, not just his place in the West Indies team, but for wins on behalf of his team as well. Blackwood scored 95 in the second innings of the first Test that proved a match-winning knock, and despite his rogue effort in the first innings, he gets 7/10 for his return to the highest level of cricket. In the second Test, Blackwood again failed to do well in the first innings after he was bowled by a ball that never got off the ground. In the second innings, he again showed his resilience, scoring 55, but his susceptibility to the short ball proved his undoing. For that Test, I give the diminutive Jamaican 6/10. In the third Test, Blackwood was again bowled, this time through the gate, before being last man out after failing to get enough bat on a leg-side short ball for 23. That was his only failure but he showed more fight in that 23 than the rest of the team, which looked out of gas. I would give him 5/10 for the last Test despite two low scores. Blackwood scored 18/30 (60%). Good effort, but ultimately he also failed.

Shane Dowrich

He started with a bang but ended with a whimper. Shane Dowrich looked a confident batsman when he scored a fighting 61 in the first innings of the first Test, but it was all downhill from there. He made a pair in the second Test but this was after the swinging ball had made a mockery of his wicketkeeping. Dowrich’s trouble with the bat stems from his inability to play the short ball and his awareness that his opposition will target this. The results were not dissimilar to those of more accomplished batsmen. Going lbw after playing back to deliveries he should be on the front foot to.

Dowrich gets 6/10 for a brilliant catch in the first innings of the first Test as well as his half-century, but thereafter, he gets 3/10. Dowrich’s grade is 9/30 (30%). Fail

Kemar Roach

Kemar Roach started the series with a  wicketless performance in the first Test but it could never be considered a failure as he bowled consistently well and had batsmen beaten all ends up on numerous occasions without a breakthrough. The breaks came in the second and third Tests but Roach was consistently good, climbing to 201 wickets along the way, ending with eight for the series. Roach gets 5/10 for the first Test because he was still inexpensive though wicketless, 6/10 for the second, and in the third where he had 4-72 in the first innings before his 0-34 as England only lost three wickets, he gets another 6. Kemar Holder scores 17/30 (56.6%). Fail

Shannon Gabriel

Shannon Gabriel has proven himself a warrior. Coming back from a serious ankle injury and months upon month without cricket, he soldiered through three Tests with very little turnaround time. On occasion, he looked like he wouldn’t make it, but in truth, every spell was aggressive and at high pace for the duration of the Tests. He was man-of-the-match in the first Test and was very unlucky in the second save for a poor opening spell where he looked stiff. There was much said about his injury problems and frequent exits from the field but when it came time to bowl, he was ready every time the captain called on him. He would end up with 11 wickets in the series to lead the West Indies although nine of those wickets came in the first Test where he took 4-62 and 5-75. For his performance in the first Test Gabriel gets 10/10 for me, but he was unfortunate to have a number of catches dropped off his bowling in the second Test where he had figures of 0/79 and 0/43. However, Gabriel did have a couple of failures where he bowled no-balls and wides and for that, he fails with a 4-10. In the final Test, Gabriel provided good support to Roach but again his problems with no balls were present. His 2/77 and 0/19, in that Test were ineffective and whenever he was ineffective, so was the West Indies. Again he gets 4/10. Gabriel gets 18/30 (60%). A courageous Fail

Alzarri Joseph

Alzarri Joseph is a better bowler than the one who debuted for the West Indies in 2016. He isn’t bowling as quickly but his accuracy and the way he has tried to think his way to wickets has improved. Joseph was unfortunate to have been dropped for the third Test, so he gets graded out of 20. In the first game, he had figures of 0/53 and 2/45. He also contributed 18 with the bat. He did not bowl badly and his fight with the bat gave him some points. I give him 5/10 for the effort. In the second Test, Joseph was the West Indies’ best bowler in the first innings, though his 1/70 was not a match-winning performance. He had figures of 0-14 in the second innings. But Joseph was also an adequate night watchman when the West Indies first bat in that second Test as well, scoring 32. Again, for his all-round effort, Joseph gets 5/10. His score of 10/20 gives him 50%, again another fail, but again he cannot be faulted.

Rahkeem Cornwall

Rahkeem Cornwall is the only other player to break into the West Indies XI after the first Test. He played in the final Test in place of Alzarri Joseph but had a torrid time of bowling, going wicketless throughout the Test, with figures of 0/85 in the first innings and 0/79 in the second. With the bat he was deplorable, scoring 10 and two in an altogether forgettable outing. Cornwall scores 2/10 (20%). Fail

Former England fast bowler Gladstone Small has branded the inclusion of off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall, for the final Test match against England, as a useless change and evidence of a West Indies squad that was overly conservative.  

The off-spinner was brought into the squad at the expense of pace bowler Alzarri Joseph for the decisive Test.  He did not do terribly in terms of economy rate but never really troubled the batsmen.

With Roston Chase a batsman and off-spinner, who was already taking wickets, already included in the squad, Small believes Cornwall only offered more of the same.

“I thought the selection of that team for the third Test was negative and wrong,” Small said on the Mason and Guest radio program.

“Cornwall? What was that selection about? What did he bring to the table? You’ve already got an off-spinning batsman in Roston Chase in the team? What does Cornwall bring to that team?  You have got to have variety to take 20 wickets in a Test match," he added.

"Straight away I thought they were just playing for time here.  They wanted to just dry up runs and play for time knowing that the weather was bad.  When you start a game in a negative frame of mind it's very hard to come forward and play front-foot cricket.  You have to start off aiming to win a Test match and play your best cricket.”

Cornwall bowled 27 overs in the first innings, with an economy rate of 3.15, in the second has was given 19 and had an economy rate of 4.16.  He did not get a wicket.

Donald Oliver believes the West Indies do not have the mettle to play Test cricket, Ricardo Chambers believes the team is missing a world-class batsman.

Former Barbadian-born England fast bowler Gladstone Small has stamped a failing grade on the performance of West Indies batsmen, against England, and expressed dismay at their inability to make tactical adjustments.

The West Indies looked up to the task of being competitive after securing a convincing four-wicket win over England in the first Test.  The introduction of England pace bowler, Stuart Broad, who was omitted for the first Test, however, drastically changed the equation.  In the fourth evening of the second Test, with the West Indies enjoying some level of comfort, Broad took the new ball and claimed 3 for 14 in a devastating nine-over spell. 

He dominated the rest of the series, going on to claim 10 wickets in the third and final Test, for 16 overall, en route to man-of-the-series honours.

While Small was quick to acclaim Broad’s indisputable ability and the rest of the England bowling line-up for that matter, he insisted it was inexcusable that the West Indies batsmen made no adjustment’s in facing the bowler.

“If it was a school report after the series, the bowlers tried brilliantly, you would probably mark them with a B-.  They were big-hearted and kept going but three Test matches in three weeks is unrelenting,” Small told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“The batsmen, I can only see them getting an F.  Perhaps, I’m being generous,” he added.

“They faced good bowling, credit where credit is due.  England bowlers, obviously the records are there to show, Anderson, Broad…Woakes and obviously Jofra Archer, those English bowlers are brilliant in English conditions. With the new ball in hand, they are very tough. 

"The one thing you cannot do is play those guys on the backfoot, you can’t.  Broad and Anderson are fine bowlers but they’re not going to knock you over or intimidate you with pace.  You have to get on the front foot to nullify their movement.  To see your best batsman, well your most experienced batsman in the line-up, Kraigg Brathwaite, how many times did he get out on the backfoot, that for me is pure nonsense.  Big failure.”     

Stuart Broad has moved up to third in the International Cricket Council rankings after surpassing 500 Test wickets for England.

The seamer trapped West Indies opener Kraigg Brathwaite lbw early on the final day of the third Test to become just the seventh player to reach the notable milestone.

Only long-time new-ball partner James Anderson – who had also dismissed Brathwaite to reach 500 in his career back in 2017 – has managed more wickets for England in the longest format.

Broad claimed another later during Monday's play to move to 501, finishing the innings with figures of 4-36 to give him 10 in the match.

In the three-match series, he picked up 16 wickets at an average of just 10.93 - numbers made even more impressive when taking into consideration he was left out for the opener in Southampton.

The 34-year-old's fine form since his recall sees him climb in the Test player rankings, with only Australia paceman Pat Cummins and New Zealand left-armer Neil Wagner bettering his new rating of 823.

"It's special to get the 500, amazing, and what makes it extra special is taking it in a Test match which has led to a win and Test series win," Broad told Sky Sports after play at Old Trafford.

"I think you always remember moments as a player when winning games. Winning Test matches is what it's all about."

England are back in Test action next week, as the first of three matches against Pakistan gets under way on August 5.

West Indies chief of selectors Roger Harper believes it is critical for the team’s batsmen to improve their first-class cricket performances and raise the current standards of selection, in order to truly compete at the top level.

Heading into the series, the team’s top batsmen averaged in their 30s, their average performance during the series has not even lived up to that.  The batting average of the Windies’ batsmen in the series was 27.86 and, shockingly, stands out as one of the best for a series in the past several years.

In fact, it is the fourth-best for the team’s batsmen among all the series consisting of two or more matches since 2017.

The team’s highest batting average in a Test series consisting of at least two matches since 2017 is 34.66 and that was against Zimbabwe in 2017.  For Harper, the improvement needed must begin at home, with improved performances in first-class cricket.

“As far as our first-class game is concerned it is important for us to set standards for our players.  I don’t think we can continue to be content with picking players averaging 30 in first-class cricket that has to change,” Harper told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“Our international batsmen have to understand that when they get to our regional competition they have to dominate and average 50 and 55.  That’s what happens in the other international territories.  Players looking to break into the team that’s what they have to be aiming for," he added.

“If we keep rewarding players for mediocrity we are going to get mediocre performances.”

West Indies captain Jason Holder has hailed fast bowler Kemar Roach as one of the top 10 Windies fast bowlers of all-time, giving special commendation to the player’s attitude.

Roach reached the milestone of 200 Test wickets during day two of the third match against England.  In the process, the player became the first West Indian in 26 years and 9th overall to achieve the feat.  The list is headed by Courtney Walsh who once held the world record with 519 wickets.

“200 wickets, definitely in the top ten West Indies fast bowlers of all-time in terms of his stats,” Holder told members of the media via a Zoom hosted press conference on Tuesday.  The team captain was then quick to point out Roach’s exceptional attitude on the field.

“You just always see the effort he puts in on the cricket field.  I just can’t think of any time I’ve ever called on Kemar and he has said no, or he is not up for it.  He always keeps running in and giving it a massive effort.  I am not surprised Kemar has produced what he has so far,” he added.

The series began in difficult fashion for Roach.  The pace bowler, despite crafting excellent, economic spells, had failed to claim a wicket for the entire first Test. In fact, Roach’s dismissal of Ben Stokes, in the second Test, ended a wicket drought going back to August 31, 2019, and lasting 521 deliveries, or 86.5 overs.

 

List of top West Indies Test wicket-getters

(The 200 wickets club)

CA Walsh (132) 519

CEL Ambrose   (98) 405

MD Marshall (81) 376    

LR Gibbs (79) 309

J Garner (58) 259

MA Holding (60) 249

GS Sobers  (93) 235    

AME Roberts (90) 202

KAJ Roach (106) 201

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Indies captain Jason Holder is not certain the inclusion of batsmen Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, and all-rounder Keemo Paul would have made a difference to the team’s fortunes, following a series loss to England.

The trio was invited to the tour but declined to participate due to concerns surrounding the spread of the coronavirus.  Despite not being in rich veins of form, Hetmyer and Bravo are considered to be two of the team’s most talented and dangerous batsmen and Paul a promising all-rounder.

Despite an average performance from the bowling line-up, the team on occasion found themselves well short of batting, particularly in the final Test where they could only manage 326 in both innings.  England, by comparison, made 369 in the first innings.  Based on the conditions Holder, however, does believe the batsmen’s inclusion would necessarily have helped the situation.

“I’m very happy with the team we brought up here.  The team we brought up here is a part of our Test team.  There is no guarantee that Bravo, Hetmyer or Paul would play,” Holder told members of the media via a Zoom press conference interview.

“The way we’ve gone as a batting unit, we haven’t had the consistency we have been looking for.  If you look at two of the three players they are batsmen so there is no guarantee and Paul was a back-up to what we had here so far,” Holder said.

“The squad we had here was the squad to do it.  I’m happy with the guys who came and the work we put in.  It’s unfortunate the way it turned out but there are still lots of positives,” he added.

West Indies captain Jason Holder would love England to tour the Caribbean later this year as a show of support during hard times.

Speaking after his side suffered a 269-run defeat at Old Trafford in the deciding third Test, slipping to a 2-1 series defeat, Holder said a visit by England coulld keep West Indian cricket "afloat".

He explained it was only ever visits by England and India that proved financially successful to the West Indies Cricket Board.

England have commitments in India later this year, although the global pandemic means there will be question marks over any series on the schedule.

"We don't know what's going to happen after this series in terms of the international calendar," Holder said. "But if there is an opportunity perhaps for England to come over to the Caribbean before the end of the year, I'm sure that would help significantly with Cricket West Indies' financial records.

"It has been a tough last couple of years for West Indies cricket financially. Pretty much, more or less, we've had to take a pay cut as well due to the difficult circumstances we've been facing financially.

"So a tour hopefully – if it's possible – before the end of 2020 would probably put us in really good stead or probably keep us afloat as an organisation."

Holder then appeared to cast some doubt on how feasible such a tour might prove.

The financial muscle of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) allowed West Indies to tour and play three behind-closed-doors Test matches against Joe Root's men over the past month.

That helped to protect lucrative television contracts, with England indebted to their tourists for travelling at a time when the COVID-19 crisis has many on edge.

"In these trying times, maybe only England, Australia and India could probably host cricket," Holder said.

"The smaller territories are struggling financially to get cricket on. If you look at the financial strain it has put the ECB under, with hosting this tour, having to help costs, bringing us over here on chartered flights, hotel accommodation – it's probably a very hefty bill.

"I don't think many other countries around the world could do that, particularly us in the Caribbean. We'd probably struggle to put it on. But that's another challenge that we're faced with."

Holder would like to see greater support for West Indies cricket from the power-brokers in the sport.

"We particularly are having massive difficulty in trying to fund our cricket. It has been a difficult situation," Holder said. "We pretty much only gain from hosting England and India - all other series we may operate at breaking even or more often than not we have a massive loss.

"It’s definitely something that needs to be looked at by the powers that be."

Jason Holder revealed there were players in his West Indies team who were mentally "worn out" by the effort involved in playing a Test series in the COVID-19 era.

Captain Holder saw his team slump to a 269-run defeat in the decider against England at Old Trafford, losing the series 2-1 but thankful to have been allowed to tour at all.

His verdict was that it had "been a blessing to come over here and get some cricket", albeit acknowledging the future was "so uncertain" as to when cricket can return to normal.

The West Indies and England teams have been confined to bio-secure environments, staying in on-site accommodation, meaning their freedom of movement has been curtailed over the past month.

Each match has been played behind closed doors, too, with players unable to feed off the energy of a crowd.

Holder, speaking at the end of the third Test, said: "It's been challenging, it's been really challenging. Mentally some of the guys are a bit worn out.

"It could be this way for a little while so we've got to find ways to make it work.

"Hopefully things could ease up throughout the world and probably guys can get out of the hotel a little bit more, but it has been challenging for sure."

He added in a news conference: “We've been kept indoors for the last two months. The guys haven't seen a bit of real life for a bit.

“It's tough to constantly get up, you're here, you open your curtains and you just see the cricket ground. You're not hopping on the bus as you normally do."

West Indies made a great start to their tour with a win at the Rose Bowl, but England found form in Manchester with back-to-back Old Trafford successes, inspired by the likes of Ben Stokes and Stuart Broad.

Holder's team conceded first-innings leads of 182 in the second Test and 172 in the series decider, and such batting disappointed the skipper.

"I felt the wickets were good enough for us to put a bigger first-innings effort in both Test matches," he said on Sky Sports.

"If you look at our batting performance, we had plenty of starts, quite a few guys got half-centuries, got into the forties and thirties but didn't kick on.

"The difference with England is when Stokes got in he went big, when [Dom] Sibley got in he went big; unfortunately we didn't do that."

From fresh-faced seamer to becoming a member of Test cricket's illustrious 500 club; Stuart Broad has always seemingly needed to prove himself.

The fast bowler - so often in the shadows of James Anderson – was centre stage on the final day of the series decider against West Indies in Manchester, matching his long-time new-ball partner in reaching a personal milestone.

Kraigg Brathwaite's wicket became number 500 when he was trapped lbw by Broad, who made his debut in Sri Lanka in 2007, then a newcomer with a famous father. The hair has thinned a little over the years, but - sorry, Chris - there is no doubt who is the best-known family member now.

Broad's career may always be remembered for the stunning spells, none more so than his 8-15 against Australia at Trent Bridge in 2015.

Yet Broad has become a model of consistency as he's matured, working hard to adapt his game and defy those who have ever dared doubt him – including, occasionally, those who select England's XI.

His achievement is a reward for both the skills he possesses and his stamina - only seven bowlers have reached 500 (and three of those are spinners) - as the Opta numbers show.

TOP TARGETS

"It would be nice if I was to play there again and he [Broad] wasn't playing."

David Warner's words were tongue-in-cheek, of course. Still, the Australian batsman would no doubt rather, if he makes it to another Ashes tour to England, that his nemesis was no longer around.

Broad has accounted for the left-handed opener 12 times, putting him top of his hit list in the longest format. That total includes seven of Warner's 10 innings in the 2019 series on English soil.

Michael Clarke, another Australian, had been the top target prior to last year, falling to the right-armer on 11 occasions. AB de Villiers and Ross Taylor sit together on 10, showing how Broad has made a habit of taking out opposing team's leading names during his career.

When it comes to countries, Broad has undoubtedly enjoyed his battles with Australia, a nation that has loved to hate him ever since he failed to walk when edging a delivery during a see-saw first Test of the 2013 series in England.

The Brisbane Courier Mail even refused to print his name at one stage when England next toured Down Under, referring to him only as "the 27-year-old medium-pace bowler".

Medium-paced or not, Broad has excelled in the heat of an Ashes battle, taking 118 wickets at an average of 29.4. That tally has been boosted by seven five-wicket hauls, none more famous than that career-best eight-for in Nottingham that saw Australia skittled for 60.

Broad's taken more Test wickets (66) against New Zealand than any other Englishman, too.

THROUGH THE YEARS

There was seen to be a streaky nature about Broad’s returns, perhaps formulated through the years by his ability to get on a roll and take wickets in clusters.

Yet for all the undoubted memorable moments, there has still been a consistency to his performances. Indeed, Broad is the only bowler to pick up at least 30 Test wickets in each of the last nine completed calendar years – and is well on target to continue that run, as he has 25 in 2020 already in five outings.

The peak – so far – was in 2013, when 62 scalps came at an average of 25.8. His strike-rate of a wicket every 46.2 balls was aided by an outstanding 2013 Ashes, including claiming 11 in the third Test in Durham that secured England the urn.

There is no sign of him slowing up, though, as his performances against West Indies showed.

A willingness to change his natural tendencies – Broad has bowled noticeably fuller in recent times, as well as mastering a wobble-seam delivery – has allowed him to remain productive. While Anderson's body has started to betray him in recent times, in contrast his team-mate appears to go from strength to strength.

No longer part of the limited-overs set-up, he has played 11 Tests in each of the past three calendar years, taking 108 wickets from the start of 2017 to the end of 2019. Sure, 500 is great but do not think he's finished there.

RIGHT ON THE MONEY

Broad's success against Warner demonstrated just how he has developed methods to trouble left-handers, often by coming around the wicket and angling the ball into them.

However, 70 per cent of his Test wickets have been right-handed batsmen (352 compared to 149), with his average markedly better against them as well (25.8 v 32.9).

When it comes to the position in the batting order, 225 of his victims have been in the top four, 140 coming in from five to seven and then 136 so-called tail-enders. What the sheer number of wickets backs up, however, is that Broad is an outstanding performer.

Even when England suggested they were thinking about moving on, leaving him out of the series opener against West Indies in Southampton, he responded in just the manner you would expect of such a highly competitive character.

Having made it publicly known he was disappointed to be left out for a game the hosts lost, he backed up his words with actions, picking up 16 wickets in the next two games following his recall, including 10 in the third Test as the home team won the Wisden Trophy.

"He's a real inspiration, not just for younger members of the team but also for me," Anderson - who is closing in on 600 wickets - told Sky Sports prior to the fifth day's play at Old Trafford.

England have been fortunate to have both Anderson and Broad together. Do not expect either to stop anytime soon, either.

Stuart Broad hopes he silenced those who had written him off after taking his 500th Test wicket and being named man of the series in England's triumph over West Indies.

Broad finished with match figures of 10-67 after claiming the first and last wickets on the final day of the third Test at Old Trafford, where England won by 269 runs to regain the Wisden Trophy.

The England paceman trapped Kraigg Brathwaite lbw to become the seventh bowler to join the 500 club, a landmark James Anderson reached by dismissing the same batsman in 2017.

Broad took 4-36 on day five and Chris Woakes finished with magnificent figures of 5-50 to bowl the tourists out for only 129.

England great Broad was furious at being left out for England's defeat in the first Test at the Rose Bowl and responded by taking six wickets last week, before claiming 10 and scoring a quickfire half-century in the decider.

He told Test Match Special: "I was really down that week [in Southampton], but I've got some brilliant people around me to pick me up.

"I knew I was bowling well, I knew I was in good rhythm, so it was great to get an opportunity when we got here to have the chance to take some wickets."

Broad revealed he got the answers he was looking for when he spoke to head coach Chris Silverwood and national selector Ed Smith after being omitted for the opening Test and was fuelled to prove a point in Manchester.

"I had a really good chat with Silverwood and Ed Smith. To be honest it was always unrealistic to expect any seamer would play all six of these Test matches this summer with them being back-to-back and workloads," he said.

"I was just disappointed I wasn't chosen for that first game, but I sort of knew deep down I would get an opportunity.

"If I get challenged or I feel like there is a bit of a point to prove, I'm a competitive person anyway, but I came to Manchester with the bit between my teeth and it does feel really good to have been able to put some performances in.

"I think it's not as if the management staff are thinking that I couldn't do it anymore, because my record over the last 18 months particularly has been pretty strong, but it's always good to be on winning sides for England and to have contributed to winning Test matches.

"When you cross 30 it's easy to write you off, when you are 34 it's much easier to write you off, but I hope I've quietened the writers-off a little bit."

Stuart Broad took his 500th Test wicket and Chris Woakes also starred as England thrashed West Indies by 269 runs to regain the Wisden Trophy on the final day of the series at Old Trafford.

Broad started day five needing just one wicket to become the seventh player to reach the landmark and achieved the feat by removing Kraigg Brathwaite, the same batsman James Anderson dismissed to join the 500 club in 2017.

Pace great Broad, dropped for the first Test in Southampton, then took the series-clinching wicket to finish with 4-36 after the brilliant Woakes claimed 5-50 to bowl the tourists out for only 129.

Broad, who took match figures of 10-67 and smashed a half-century, and Woakes sat out a first match of the series that the Windies won at the Rose Bowl, but showed what England were missing in Manchester.

The Windies head home on Wednesday, still without a Test series win in England since 1988 after losing a contest to be renamed the Richards-Botham Trophy when they next do battle. 

Shai Hope and Brathwaite got the Windies off to an encouraging start after resuming on 10-2 following a day-four washout, but Broad ended a 39-run stand by trapping the opener bang in front to join the 500 club after a rain delay.

Broad remained in the thick of the action, running in from mid-off to catch Hope (31) and Sharmah Brooks edged behind (22) to become Woakes' second victim.

Rain ensured early lunch was taken with the Windies in deep trouble on 84-5 and Dom Bess - who did not bowl a ball in the match - ran Roston Chase out before another shower took the players off again.

Captain Jason Holder, Shane Dowrich - who took a nasty blow to the face while wicketkeeper - and Rahkeem Cornwall were snared lbw in a devastating spell from Woakes.

Broad fittingly finished it off, Jos Buttler taking an excellent catch down the leg side to dismiss Jermaine Blackwood and give England's man of the moment 10 wickets in a Test for the third time.

 

Broad goes from seething in Southampton to main man in Manchester

Broad was furious after being left out for the first match of the series and could only watch on as the Windies took a 1-0 lead in Southampton.

The paceman has let his performances do the talking in the remainder of the series, playing a major part in England's turnaround with bat and ball.

His dismissal of Brathwaite saw him become the fourth seamer - and the second-youngest bowler behind Muttiah Muralitharan - to claim 500 Test scalps and he put the icing on the cake by taking the last wicket with his first ball of a new spell.

 

Hope fails to live up to expectations

It was an all too familiar story for Hope on the last day of what has been a poor tour for a batsman who has not shown what he is capable of.

Hope played positively as he made his highest score of the series, hitting six boundaries before throwing his wicket away attempting to dispatch Woakes for a seventh.

The number three heads home without making a half-century three years after making a century in both innings at Headingley. He has not reached three figures in a Test since that famous win in Leeds.

 

Woakes makes his mark

Woakes was also omitted for the defeat at the Rose Bowl and has responded impressively. 

He took five wickets in the second Test and added another in the first innings this week before ending the series on a high note.

The all-rounder was on the money on the final day, rewarded for consistently bowling on a probing line and length with a fourth five-wicket Test haul.

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