Root defends declaration after Headingley defeat

Having suffered such a heavy defeat in the first Test at Edgbaston, for the West Indies to produce such a spirited comeback in the face of adversity may have placed a seed of doubt in the minds of those who had written them off.

With the West Indies in cruise control, England were beginning to worry as the tourists were edging ever closer to victory. Indeed, David might have had better odds. It was a stunning turnaround that led to one of the most stunning wins in West Indies cricket history. I think it's just a matter of belief, really, self-belief - trusting his own technique and trusting his own ability. Shai Hope is one of the most talented players in the side but has not lived up to the expectations of cricket pundits who believe that he can play for West Indies for a long time. In only 29 of those cases has the batting team prevailed.

It sort of made sense, but at the same time was totally baffling.

An enthralling day's cricket began in incredible fashion when James Anderson took wickets with the first two balls of the day after West Indies resumed on 329 for five.

The inconsistency of this England team continued with defeat to West Indies in the Second Test at Headingley.

All in all, there are a few areas England can improve, they need to firstly sort out some positions in the side if they want to beat the Aussies. Sides do not chase down 322 in the fourth innings of a Test very often, especially after a devastating innings loss the previous week. The stylish Barbadian was still averaging below 20 before the Test match. "They made it hard to get on top of them, create much pressure against them".

"We were underdogs and to come here and perform this way to level the series is truly awesome, and credit must go to this man here, Shai Hope", Holder said after the victory.

I was also impressed with Kraigg Brathwaite.

It was also his first two centuries in Tests in his 12th game. We're going to Lord's, we'll still be the underdog...

Brathwaite and Hope were awesome, but spare a thought for the counterattacking pair of 40s scored by Jermaine Blackwood. He looks cool and calm under pressure and the added responsibility is clearly not affecting his batting - he has scored two hundreds and five half-centuries in 11 innings - which is always a nagging concern.

I have heard some suggesting that Blackwood's unbridled attacking style needs to be reined in. I don't hold that against him, but all I would say is he does not know Curtly Ambrose as a man. He did it his way and people might not like what they see, but we love him. "It takes a lot of character to come out after the beating we got". This shows though that Woakes is ranked higher, meaning barring any injuries, Woakes is likely to start ahead of the Middlesex bowler, who will no doubt be a more than capable back up for England. The team needs both types.

"No one gave West Indies a prayer before the match, nor before the last day". We dropped seven catches!

A match which ebbed and flowed, bemused and befuddled; featuring enough dropped catches for even Monty Panesar to blush, and the guilty parties being some of the most decorated players on the field. Roach and Gabriel seemed to have hit a wall.

Unfortunately for the incumbent, Root does not quite have such a timeframe to learn from the mistakes of this Test.

A pattern is now forming. The timing of his declaration - England were eight down and there were six overs remaining on the fourth evening - gave no cause for alarm.

  • Julie Sanders