Darren Gough – Muddled thinking of England is concern for the year ahead

HEADING HOME: England's Adil Rashid struggled to make an impact in the first Test against West Indies in Bridgetown. Picture: AP/Ricardo Mazalan
HEADING HOME: England's Adil Rashid struggled to make an impact in the first Test against West Indies in Bridgetown. Picture: AP/Ricardo Mazalan
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ADIL RASHID was left out of the England squad for the second Test and while I hate saying it – as much time as I have for him – it was the right decision.

He has struggled to get top-order batsmen out for a long time and I have always said this about him and he is a confidence bowler. When he is confident he bowls really, really well, but he is currently lacking confidence.

So it was the right call for me.

He is due to go home today with his wife due to have a second child.

Looking at Rashid’s situation, he agreed to play for Yorkshire and signed a contract as he wanted to be available for Test cricket. But say that England went with Jack Leach in the third Test, he could bowl well.

It is about opportunities and if Leach does well as a second spinner it knocks Rashid back down the pecking order, so he might lose a bit of desire to play the long form of the game.

It will be an interesting time over these next few weeks for a lot of reasons – and for a lot of different people.

Looking at England’s side, they also had to make a change in the batting line-up.

They had to bring Joe Denly in for Keaton Jennings, whose problem is that he keeps getting out the same way. He has had two opportunities and two different runs.

Although he played slightly better in Sri Lanka against spin, it is quite obvious he has a serious weakness outside off stump against seamers.

OPENING UP: English batsmen Rory Burns, left, and Joe Denly prior to the start of day one in Antigua. Picture: AP/Ricardo Mazalan

OPENING UP: English batsmen Rory Burns, left, and Joe Denly prior to the start of day one in Antigua. Picture: AP/Ricardo Mazalan

You cannot just keep going with a guy who keeps getting out the same way. Whatever he is trying is not working in terms of correcting the problem.

Congratulations to Denly, though. Playing for England should be about guys who play well in county cricket and who deserve that opportunity.

But for me it was a strange selection in the squad in the first place.

They went to Ollie Pope in England and then he went on tour to Sri Lanka and Denly gets in ahead of him.

It is an interesting time over this next few weeks for a lot of reasons – and for a lot of different people.

Darren Gough

He has been someone who has been batting four and five and he has not opened for Kent since 2015 – and now he is opening for England.

The reason he is playing is because we have no other batsmen in the squad. We seem to be overstocked with bowlers and have Chris Woakes and Mark Wood who don’t look like playing a game.

I am seriously worried what we are going to do moving forward. I have always said that James Vince, while having a few opportunities, was starting to look like a player when they left him out last time.

An option is to go back to Vince to open the batting. But with an Ashes series coming up I just have that gut feeling that Jason Roy will get the chance if he has a decent one-day series in the West Indies and starts the World Cup well. He could do what Marcus Trescothick did years back.

The selections from start to finish have been a little bit odd in truth. Look at the Ben Foakes situation; it initially worked, but was a strange situation.

He only came out to Sri Lanka because Jonny Bairstow fell over and we are still in a situation where we don’t know. We know he is the best ’keeper, but are we good enough to just put in a natural ’,keeper?

Yes, he can bat and showed that on Thursday and showed some determination and guts.

But Bairstow took the gloves and kept quite well late on after initially looking a bit rusty.

In terms of the Test pitches so far I have been amazed by both of them in the West Indies, I have got to say.

They have just looked the ugliest pitches I have ever seen and I have put some pictures on social media.

This one in Antigua started really patchy. It is green, but has patches in it. I interviewed Kemar Roofe on Thursday and he spoke about it getting quicker and flatter.

But I honestly cannot see it getting flatter as it started with a little bit of dampness and has indentations in it.

I really could not believe that the West Indies put a light roller on it.