Root admits to making selection error in wake of heavy defeat
I hold my hands up - I might have got it wrong on this occasion - Joe Root (AFP Image)

England captain Joe Root admitted he missed a trick by leaving out Stuart Broad and playing two spinners in the first Test against West Indies in Bridgetown, which they lost by 381 runs. Chasing an improbable target of 628 to win, England were bowled out for 246 with allrounder Roston Chase registering career-best figures of 8 for 60, allowing West Indies to go 1-0 up.

Sam Curran was given the nod ahead of the experienced Broad, a move that raised quite a few eyebrows. And after the young left-armer had just one wicket to show for his efforts in the match, the England captain conceded that he might have made the wrong call.

“I hold my hands up – I might have got it wrong on this occasion,” ceded Root at the end of play. “It was a very difficult decision to make and easy to pick apart by how we have played. The guys that did go out there didn’t perform. We made bold calls in Sri Lanka and we reaped the rewards out there. It’s very easy to overlook that and start making rash decisions. We just have to take it on the chin in terms of how we play but also the pitch, trying to read it a bit better.”

In the second innings, Rory Burns top-scored with 84, while the likes of Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler all got starts without being able to convert them into anything substantial. Root rued some of the shots played which led to the batsmen’s dismissals.

“There were a few very soft dismissals in there,” said Root. “In the first innings there was a little bit of misfortune and West Indies bowled extremely well but there wasn’t a huge amount on offer for West Indies today. It was disappointing to see some of the dismissals.

“It is difficult to take but just because we’ve had three bad days of cricket – and one really bad hour which has swung the Test dramatically – it doesn’t mean we can’t win here. We are desperate to put it right in Antigua.”

The loss ends snaps England’s five-match winning streak that began in August during the series against England. However, Root insisted that not much should be read into the outcome and that they aim to head to Antigua for the second Test with a positive frame of mind.

“There are some guys that are hurting. It’s about picking ourselves up very quickly. We’ve got to learn very quickly,” said the England skipper. “It doesn’t make us a bad side overnight. We’ve done some very good things this winter. That has to stay with us – and take the belief and fight that we showed in the field. It will show a strength of character to come back from that.”