Root should show his au­thor­ity with bowlers

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Second Test -

This was a good ef­fort by Eng­land, who just failed to make West Indies fol­low on. It was a tough bowl­ing day, as the pitch had dried out and was much eas­ier to bat on, with very lit­tle lat­eral move­ment.

As Eng­land searched for wick­ets, they had to be aware of not leak­ing runs, but un­for­tu­nately they gave away three an over when they had to bowl like Scrooge.

When you can­not get wick­ets, you just have to dry up the runs and cre­ate pres­sure on the bats­men. Eng­land were never able to get them un­der pres­sure, and at tea West Indies were more or less home and dry.

Then came the new ball, with Stu­art Broad bowl­ing mag­nif­i­cently. Sud­denly he made the new ball zip off the seam. The odd one bounced, the odd one kept low and, with three quick wick­ets, he gave Eng­land hope.

They nearly made West Indies fol­low on but they just failed be­cause they leaked too many runs in the first two ses­sions.

It is frus­trat­ing to see Chris Woakes bowl­ing too many balls back of a length. He can swing the ball away and seam it both ways, which is cry­ing out for a fuller length. It may be only two feet but it makes all the dif­fer­ence, and when he did pitch it up he cre­ated a play-and-miss.

Chris has played 33 Test matches now and is a ma­ture, very tal­ented bowler. He should be aware that in Eng­land you need to get the bats­men play­ing for­ward. Abroad you can bowl a bit shorter.

Chris has played more than 100 one-day in­ter­na­tion­als for Eng­land and maybe that has made him wary of bowl­ing a fuller length. If so, that is where the cap­tain, Joe Root, can and should use his au­thor­ity and tell him to pitch it up.

Joe seems to leave our bowlers to do their own thing, but I be­lieve as a cap­tain you can and should use your au­thor­ity to tell ev­ery­one what you want from them – tell him to just get it up there and then Chris would be a much more dan­ger­ous bowler.

I think Dom Bess, the young off-spin­ner, is a very good prospect but I was puz­zled why he kept bowl­ing over the wicket. Ex­cept for one ball, he never tried go­ing around the wicket, which is a dif­fer­ent an­gle and gives the bats­men dif­fer­ent prob­lems.

If you are not get­ting a bats­man out, why not try around the wicket? It brings lbw more into play and his straight-on arm ball slants across bats­men and may pro­duce a nick to slip. At al­most 23, with only five pre­vi­ous Test matches, he is in­ex­pe­ri­enced and needs the cap­tain to think for him.

He bowled at the same end all the time, when I think Joe could and should have switched him to bowl at the other end where he would have been land­ing his off-spin­ners into left-arm seamer Sam Cur­ran’s foot­marks. That might have worked, it might not, but surely it was worth a try?

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