Skipper's blog

Are England better? They're better, but there's a long way to go

England dominate the West Indies after a poor start.

When a leaden-footed Gary Ballance, a player whose batting style is the very antithesis of his bowling style, looped a catch to first slip, England were reduced to 45-3 at lunch.

A soporific, submissive performance that suggested England were to continue their woeful World Cup form.

However Bell and Root, their two most stylish batsmen forged a 160 run partnership based initially on caution and well run singles, before taking England past 200 with measured boundaries.

The game had already changed when Stokes's (71*) brutality replaced Bell's (83) finesse, exposing a threadbare West Indies attack.

However, England are still mentally fragle as shown in a crucial moment at the end of the day when the excellent Ian Bell (143) was out off the last ball of the penultimate over. England sent out James Tredwell as nightwatchman, when Stokes simply had to not take a single to avoid exposing Jos Buttler at the end of the day.

This weak mindset was compounded by Stokes turning down a single on fourth ball of the last over. Maybe he was sending out a signal of intent. The England management certainly weren't.

So are England getting better? Yes. Are they good enough to beat the Aussies? No. Not yet.

Can England beat the West Indies?



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