You can’t put the blame on Root

for that.

The curse of the second test hit England again, as they somehow lost another one after a convincing victory the game before, but you can’t blame Joe Root’s declaration.

England can’t win the second test match of a series, no matter how well they do in the first, third and the rest the second one just eludes them.

People are questioning Joe Root’s declaration on the fourth day now. Comparing it to other declarations that haven’t gone to plan, i.e. England lost. Well it’s not exactly the same.

1948, it was the Bradman led “Invincibles”, 1984 the all conquering West Indies, 2006 an Ashes they would lose 5-0, 2008 a Tendulkar led India in India.

None of them are quite the same as facing a team many were claiming just a few days earlier were the worst West Indies side ever seen on these shores, if not the worst seen anywhere. Reactions that came about after they lost 19 wickets in one day.

Joe Root, looking at what happened in that last match, looking at what had happened in this match, what with the ball turning for the Windies spinners, looking at what they’re pace bowlers did, quite rightly figured a target of 10 wickets in a day and a few overs, while the Windies chased 322, the second highest winning run chase at Headingley, was achievable.

He just didn’t figure on those bowlers and fielders he had at his disposal letting him down.

England pace bowlers who can’t put a ball on the same spot two deliveries running. All too desperate to do something with the ball, they spray it around all over the place. The world’s greatest bowler (™ English media) summed up when he took the second new ball, batsman stepped back and smacked him for six. Can the Burnley Bumpkin react to a batsmen when he’s looking down at the floor? His attempt to start an argument and “get into the batsman’s head” was laughingly laughed off. That all you got? It’s pathetic.

Broad joining in and then trying to slow up the game with the foot-holes in his run up. Almost as pathetically bad as his “enforcer” days.

And Moeen bottled it again. Any pressure on his bowling and bye-bye. Windies spinners can get it to turn and not just out of the rough. Roston Chase with his career 17 wickets was getting turn, so was Bishoo. Someone with Ali’s ability, on the fifth day, should have been making use of that. But Ali turned up, that was about it.

When it’s expected of him, he bottles it. Graeme Swann in commentary pretty much said he was going through the motions, not finishing off his action. Oh and Swanny, give up with the stupid accents, it’s all so reminiscent of Dermot Reeve and well, look how badly that turned out.

Why was Roland-Jones dropped for a ground you’d think would suit him? Why was Woakes brought back before he could get match fit? Was Stokes fit? Why did England bat so woefully in the first inning? Why couldn’t they catch a cold?

Why is the defeat down to the declaration?

It has to be said that the stat of the day that no batsmen in 127 years and five hundred and thirty odd first class matches at Headingley had never scored a hundred in both innings was a shocker. That one did and two almost did in the Windies run chase was something special.

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