Ben in full at­tack mode was sim­ply too hot for the tourists to han­dle

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Second Test - Sir Ge­of­frey Boy­cott

Well played Eng­land, for giv­ing us some ex­cel­lent cricket – and you can­not do better than win­ning in four days.

At the start of the day, the West Indies field­ers spread out and pa­trolled the out­field. It was very dif­fi­cult for Eng­land to score bound­aries. You needed power and phys­i­cal strength to blud­geon the bowlers. Ben Stokes was the main rea­son that Eng­land were able to de­clare with 85 overs still left in the day, hit­ting 78 not out off just 57 balls.

Ben has the abil­ity to be a tech­ni­cal bats­man and a hit­ter, de­pend­ing on the sit­u­a­tion. When he is in­tent on hit­ting, he has a threat­en­ing pres­ence that must af­fect the bowlers when they are run­ning in.

They are bound to be con­scious that, if they do not get their de­liv­ery right, the ball is go­ing to get an almighty whack. And they know Stokes has the strength and tim­ing to make the ball go a long way. If you are an Eng­land sup­porter, it is fun watch­ing.

When Eng­land were bowl­ing and got stuck with the old ball, it was Stokes who de­cided to at­tack the bats­men from around the wicket with short balls. Bowl­ing bumper af­ter bumper, bang­ing the ball into the pitch to get lift, takes a lot out of a bowler. And it is quite ob­vi­ous that in­tim­i­dat­ing line of at­tack has caused the West Indians a great deal of dif­fi­culty. In the third Test, they are go­ing to get some more, too.

As a bats­man, you do not ex­pe­ri­ence it much in do­mes­tic cricket, as most bowlers do not have the pace, ag­gres­sion and fit­ness to up­set you. Ben has slippy pace, is very fit and you can see he loves to be com­pet­i­tively ag­gres­sive, whether he is bat­ting or bowl­ing. It is in his na­ture – and that helps him make things hap­pen.

I am so pleased Stu­art Broad bowled bril­liantly, be­cause I was amazed he was left out of the first Test. His three early wick­ets yes­ter­day gave Eng­land a won­der­ful start and put the skids un­der West Indies.

In the first in­nings, when Eng­land were strug­gling to try to make West Indies fol­low on, he was the one who took the sec­ond new ball af­ter tea and pro­duced one of his mag­i­cal mini-spells of three wick­ets for no runs, send­ing back Shamarh Brooks, Jer­maine Black­wood and Shane Dowrich in the blink of an eye. That just gave Eng­land a chance to make West Indies fol­low on.

When Jimmy An­der­son is left out of the Eng­land side, a lot of people shout from the rooftops how you should never leave him out of an Eng­land team. Yet when Broad got left out in Southamp­ton, there were only a few of us say­ing that it was a bad de­ci­sion. It is as if Jimmy is un­touch­able, with nearly 600 wick­ets at an av­er­age of 26.9, but Stu­art, with nearly 500 wick­ets at 28.4, is not.

Stu­art has been, and still is, a se­ri­ously top-class bowler. Through­out his Eng­land ca­reer, he has pro­duced a num­ber of magic spells, match-win­ning per­for­mances, been in­jured very lit­tle, bowls with ag­gres­sion and in­ten­sity and I do not care who you are or what you bowl – you have to be re­ally good to be se­lected for 139 Tests and col­lect nearly 500 wick­ets.

It al­ways seems that Stu­art has had to bowl in Jimmy’s shadow, which is not fair. It is time he got credit for be­ing a su­perb bowler in his own right.

Many for­get that Stu­art is nearly four years younger than Jimmy. If he gets se­lected in the next four years, he may achieve as many wick­ets, if not more. Also, when Eng­land go to Aus­tralia in a year and a half, there is more chance of Stu­art be­ing fit and avail­able than Jimmy. People, par­tic­u­larly our se­lec­tors, should recog­nise he is a fan­tas­tic per­former.

Broad bowled bril­liantly and I am so pleased as I was amazed he was left out of the first Test

Job done: Eng­land play­ers cel­e­brate af­ter Ol­lie Pope took the win­ning catch yes­ter­day

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