07 March 2009

Superb Strauss hundred overshadowed by negative hosts

From the moment the West Indies selected an extra batsman to replace their front line spinner, their intentions for the test match were clear. Chris Gayle’s team – who hold a 1-0 series lead – are looking to tick the box of every session without too many runs being scored or wickets being taken.

Looking for their first series win since 2004, the West Indies are only after one result and that’s a draw. In some ways, you can’t blame them. They will feel that securing their first series victory over England since 1994 should come in anyway they can.

In all honesty, I’m probably just an England fan that is desperate for a match that ends in a positive result. Gayle’s tactics have frustrated me no end, but I guess that’s the intention of them!

The fact is that the first day’s play was probably the least entertaining 90 overs of cricket you will see and this was completely down to the West Indies approach. They weren’t interested in playing competitive cricket and this was a huge disappointment.

One of the shining lights in an otherwise uneventful day was Andrew Strauss’ hundred. The England captain is in some of the form of his life right now and is cashing in with big scores. He really does seem to excel with the responsibility and this is fantastic news for England.

As for the way the match is going to go, well the cricket odds must be favouring a draw already. The pitch looks like it is going to offer very little and this combined with a packed West Indies batting line-up and a negative Gayle means that a third draw in a row is likely.

England need to do all they can to prevent this. One or two of their bowlers need to realise the seriousness of the situation and put in a match-winning performance.

The tourists don’t deserve to lose this series, but unless they manage to produce more with the ball than they have in the previous two tests, that is exactly what is going to happen.

By Thomas Rooney – A sports writer who blogs about cricket betting

No comments: