Broadly speaking, did England get their selection right on a day on when Shimron Hetmyer shimmered but James Anderson starred?
Anderson picked up four wickets in the final session to turn around England’s fortunes on day one against Windies, writes David Ruse.
Anderson (4-33) dismissed Shai Hope (57) with the old ball and Roston Chase (54) with the new as Windies closed on 264-8 having been 240-4 against an England attack missing Stuart Broad, the seamer having been left out to allow the tourists to play Adil Rashid as a second spinner.
Moment of the Day
On a day on which Windies hit four sixes, Hetmyer’s second was the most majestic. The left-hander cashed in after being given a life on three when he was dropped at extra cover by Jos Buttler, off James Anderson’s bowling, and after launching Moeen Ali down the ground then dished out the same treatment to Rashid – spotting the wrong’ un and sending it into the first tier of the Three Ws stand with aplomb. The fact that he did it sporting neither hat nor helmet somehow made it all the more classical.
Stats of the Day
Anderson and Broad have now taken a combined 1,000 Test wickets – a milestone brought up when Anderson made Chase his 567th scalp, with Broad presumably watching on from the dressing room.
From CricViz: Of batsmen to have batted 5 times or more against England since the start of 2016, only Steve Smith (137.40) averages more than Hope’s 85.20 against today’s opponents.
Broadly speaking, did England pick the right team? After his late introduction to the Sri Lanka series, Broad would rather have fancied a decent run at this iconic ground so news he’d miss out to Sam Curran must have hit hard.
It’s a brave call, undoubtedly, to omit a proven wicket-taker on a ground where his height might have caused a few extra problems – and underlines England’s array of selection options. But with Curran so prominent in England’s 2018 success, the Surrey all-rounder’s stock is rightly high.
I would want the seamers who will take most wickets, not worry about one batting at No 9, said Mike Atherton, simultaneously giving the theory that England could have played both Curran and Broad if they’d left Ben Foakes out and given Jonny Bairstow the gloves a wide berth.
What they said
NASSER HUSSAIN: It’s a very difficult decision to make. Broad has 433 wickets but Sam is virtually un-droppable. He’s won games for England. I personally would have gone for Broad. The ball moves around here and I would want my best seamer in the team. But Curran is a fantastic cricketer and I have no problems with his selection. Broad was left out in Sri Lanka and will have a point to prove when he comes back in.
MIKE ATHERTON: Ben Stokes is training like a demon at the moment and is very, very strong and fit, so he can put in those long spells, which he will have to do with England playing just three seamers. Since Bristol, he has transformed his attitude and sees this is a second chance he wants to make the most of.
PAUL COLLINGWOOD: You need something special, that x-factor with not many plays and misses and who better to turn to than Ben Stokes? He always makes something happen. Right-handed batsman always appear to struggle against the angle coming in and then straightening and he got the outside edge of Brathwaite and then he got the ball full and straight to the left-hander Bravo.
Tweets of the Day
Watch day two of the first Test between Windies and England live on Sky Sports Cricket from 1.30pm on Thursday.