A MISERABLE end, to a miserable winter – and surely, now, Joe Root will be the next England head to roll.
As Kraigg Brathwaite struck the final dagger into their quivering Caribbean corpse, knocking off the paltry target of just 28 in only 29 balls for a ten-wicket win, England’s despair was complete.
Root and his players stood forlorn and embarrassed. And so they should.
Just one win in 17 Tests is an embarrassment, a humiliation.
The only mark England made in the Caribbean was the name of their greatest all-rounder on the new Richards-Botham Trophy.
Other than that, they will crawl back on the flight home, with their tails firmly between their legs – and asking if there REALLY wasn’t a place in the attack for Jimmy Anderson or Stuart Broad.
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In truth, of course, the damage was not inflicted today.
That was just a confirmation of what had been signposted, in flashing red lights, as the batting line-up allowed itself to be mesmerised by the seemingly innocuous medium pace stuff from Kyle Mayers on Saturday.
Yet the “red ball reset” has now been exposed for the empty rhetoric and utter nonsense it always threatened to be.
Yes, England’s one series win in 54 years in the Caribbean suggested it was always going to take something against the odds for them to make it two.
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In Antigua and Barbados, it was a failure to take advantage of a last day pitch that denied them victories, as West Indies batted out far too easily.
In Grenada, it was a pair of batting debacles, semi-rescued by the last wicket pair first time round, but not the second.
Resuming at 103-8 and just 10 in front, it was always going to take something of a minor miracle from Chris Woakes, Jack Leach and Saqib Mahmood for England to even post a target worthy of the name.
That meant batting through beyond the lunch break.
Instead, England did not even make the drinks break. Awful, again.
Woakes, on 18, was wrongly triggered when a ball from Alzarri Joseph looped off his thigh pad into the hands of short leg, repealed after an instant review.
But he had only added one more, with England extending their advantage to 23, when Woakes clipped Kemar Roach’s first ball off the middle of the bat only for it to be grasped, one-handed, by Jason Holder at leg gully.
It felt like a matter of time, even though Leach and Mahmood had added 90 for the final wicket in the first knock.
Leach was an inch or two away from holing out to Joseph at point in the same over.
But nine balls later, Roach kissed his outside edge and having taken the catch, Joshua Da Silva’s insistence on asking for a review – the 23rd overturned decision in just THREE Tests – was justified.
Just 120 all out. Unbelievable. Unacceptable.
The capitulation was soon complete, Brathwaite pushing Woakes for the last two runs through mid-wicket.
All over, far too easily. What a mess.
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