ENGLAND will ponder changes “in a number of positions” following their first Test thrashing in Barbados, with head coach Trevor Bayliss admitting opener Keaton Jennings is increasingly vulnerable.
After winning eight of their previous nine matches, including a rare overseas whitewash of Sri Lanka, England began 2019 with a 381-run humbling by the West Indies.
We will sit down, have a chat with the guys and try to get to the bottom of it. It’s not the first time that we’ve succumbed in a short space of time. The boys are in the dressing room hurting, I’d be worried if they weren’t.Trevor Bayliss
Their batsmen were largely responsible, bowled out for 77 in the first innings before allowing a second-tier spinner in Roston Chase to claim A-lister’s figures of 8-60 in the second. All the while their own attack looked ill-judged, with Adil Rashid and Sam Curran failing to justify their selections.
Bayliss was taken aback by the flimsy nature of the performance and will respond by examining the make-up of the XI for the next clash in Antigua.
“We will have some thinking to do in a number of positions,” he said. “We will sit down, have a chat with the guys and try to get to the bottom of it. It’s not the first time that we’ve succumbed in a short space of time. The boys are in the dressing room hurting, I’d be worried if they weren’t.
“I think it gets down to a bit of guts and determination to get through those tough periods. They bowled extremely well against us, but when a team bowls extremely well against us we have got to be able to deal with it. Every time we lose a wicket it (feels like) the beginning of a collapse.”
Stuart Broad appears highly likely to return at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, his surprise omission in Bridgetown failing to pay off, while pace pair Chris Woakes and Mark Wood and left-arm spinner Jack Leach will also be looking for a chance.
It was, though, the batting that let England down most in the series opener.
Captain Joe Root offered no excuses. “It’s bitterly disappointing. We’ve had a bad week collectively and massively underperformed. We were well below par,” he said.
“It’s hard to take, not because of losing but because of the way we lost. We’re a far better side than that. We’re not going to hide behind anything, it was very frustrating in the dressing room. There were some soft dismissals.
“It’s disappointing, but it doesn’t mean we’re out of this series and it doesn’t mean we’re a bad side. We have to bounce back very quickly. It’s not the end of the world.”