Root should show his authority with bowlers
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?