England player ratings: Serious questions for Root as almost all bats struggle


fter encouraging draws in Antigua and Barbados, England surrendered the newly-named Richards-Botham Trophy with a crushing 10-wicket defeat to West Indies.

Will Macpherson delivers his player ratings from the Third Test in Grenada…

Alex Lees – 6

Batting scores: 31 & 31

The only batter to emerge with any credit – but still failed to chisel out a score. Brave, but little shotless, which is not far off the story of his series. Got a good ball in the first innings, and didn’t deserve the grubber he got from Mayers, but facing that many balls at a low strike-rate made him vulnerable.

Zak Crawley – 2

7 & 8

Two really poor dismissals in which he repeated old errors. Crawley started this series with an excellent hundred, but that made up two-thirds of his final series tally. Must do better.

Joe Root – 3

0 & 5, Bowling figures: 1-1

A poor Test for the captain. Crawley’s failures exposed him early but Mayers got him twice, once when it just did enough, once when he was way too keen to lay bat on ball. Allowed things to drift horribly on third morning, although gains a point for picking up the last wicket.

Action Images via Reuters

Dan Lawrence – 2

8 & 0

Another young player who had a promising series only to lurch backwards at the last. Impudent in the first innings, indecisive in the second. Like so many young English batters, he is alluring but frustrating.

Ben Stokes – 5

2 & 4; 2-48

After his excellence in Barbados, he had a poor game with the bat with a particularly disappointing first inning dismissal. Bowled very well, as he has done all series. Will need a decent break now.

Jonny Bairstow – 4

0 & 22

In the day one collapse, he got the best of the balls from Mayers. Was rebuilding nicely with Lees on day three, only to be suckered in by a bit of chat and a short ball tactic, opening the door for the Windies.

AFP via Getty Images

Ben Foakes – 3

7 & 2

A really disappointing performance to end the series. Flattered the ball he received in the first innings, then a very silly run out at a crucial moment in the second. On an awkward surface for keeping, he did fine, but was a little scrappy (including dropping a very tough chance off Blackwood).

Chris Woakes – 6

3-59 & 0-13; 25 & 19

Woakes’ best Test of the series, but the bar is a low one at the end of a gruelling winter for a fine player. Again, failed to take new ball wickets, but produced an excellent spell after lunch on day two. Resisted with the bat twice.

Craig Overton – 4

14 & 1; 2-81

England’s least economical bowler, and probably should have got more from the pitch. Runs in, tries hard, but just lacking a little spark. Given his batting is part of the package, a poor dismissal on day three.

Action Images via Reuters

Jack Leach – 5.5

0-49; 41* & 4

An odd match for Leach. Got no help from the pitch on day two or three, and could not find the breakthroughs England were desperately after. But by then, he had already saved them once with his patient and brave batting. No England batter has faced this many balls in a Test from No10 or lower.

Saqib Mahmood – 7

2-45 & 0-13; 49 & 3*

England’s best player, as the top-scorer and the most threatening seamer, deserving more than his two wickets. Has a big future.

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