After suffering a shocking defeat in the first test, England bounced back strongly in Manchester as they leveled the three match series 1-1 at Old Trafford on Monday.
Here are our talking points from the game
1.Masterclass from Ben Stokes
Be it with the bat, ball or the field, Ben Stokes was everywhere. This was one of the great all-round performances of all time from the Christchurch born star. He displayed his batting versatility with a dogged 176 (356) in the first innings and a quickfire 78 (57) as an opener in the second. Picked up the key wicket of Jermaine Blackwood for 55 just as the Jamaican and Shamarh Brooks seemed to have done enough to take the Windies to safety on the final day. Chased the ball all the way to the fence off his own bowling to prevent a boundary being scored.
This fine performance pushed him above Jason Holder in the latest rankings for all-rounders.
Stokes is seemingly in the form of his life currently and don’t be surprised if we see more fantastic performances from him in the future.
2. Shai Hope’s horror run continues
Shai Hope has been in great form in ODI’s for the Windies but has simply failed to get going in this series. In four innings on this tour, he’s scored only 57 runs so far.
His ODI and test averages provide a curious dichotomy- players traditionally tend to have a lower ODI than a test average, but it’s the reverse with Hope. He averages 52.20 in ODI’s, but just around half (26.35) in tests.
3. Broad, Woakes and Curran impress on return
England had an almost entirely new pace attack for this game. With Jofra Archer suspended for breaching pre-game protocols and James Anderson not selected on his home ground, the onus fell on Messrs Broad, Woakes and Curran to level the series, and they did not disappoint.
Broad’s spell in the first innings was the first time the game really swung England’s way- the Windies went from 242/4 to 260/8. Woakes joined a rare group of players with the 1000 run and 100 wicket double in test cricket, while Curran picked up the key wicket of Shamarh Brooks on Day 5.
There were only four days of play available, but England’s pacers delivered whenever captain Joe Root needed them to.
Dom Sibley’s century was the slowest in test cricket by an England batsman in the last 30 years. He took 372 deliveries for his 120, and some were of the opinion that the slow nature of his partnership with Ben Stokes could’ve denied England a shot at a win, especially with rain playing spoilsport. It all worked out well in the end though, and England will be confident of wresting back the Wisden Trophy in the third test at this very venue.