West Indies v England: Bowlers disappoint as tourists miss a trick

By Jonathan AgnewBBC cricket correspondent
Chris Jordan appeals in vain
Chris Jordan and the rest of England's bowlers failed to make the most of conditions, says Jonathan Agnew

England's bowling performance on day one of the second Test against West Indies was very disappointing.

They may have taken five wickets, but having chosen to bowl at the toss in favourable conditions for seam bowling, the onus was on them to really seize the advantage in this match.

They simply didn't bowl straight enough. When James Anderson clean bowled Kraigg Brathwaite in the third over with an unplayable swinging delivery, that would have sent shudders through the West Indies dressing-room, but the harsh truth is that England rarely threatened the stumps thereafter.

England's bowlers will be their own worst critics - they will know they missed out today. As a bowler, it's so frustrating when you get that opportunity and you can't get it right.

I thought Chris Jordan spoke well after the close. He admitted that England had a poor day and didn't make the most of conditions, and it was refreshing to hear such an honest appraisal.

Ultimately though, England simply need to bowl much better tomorrow.

Selectors play it safe again

I thought England's selection again showed a lack of adventure. There's so much depth in the batting - with Jos Buttler or Moeen Ali coming in at number eight - that they could have been a bit more flexible with the bowling.

Adil Rashid bowls
Adil Rashid is still waiting for his England Test debut

You can afford to pick someone who may not be a cast-iron safe bet but who is able to offer something different. I would have liked to see pace bowler Liam Plunkett or leg-spinner Adil Rashid in the team.

After the lack of penetration the attack displayed in the drawn first Test in Antigua, the importance of being able to take 20 wickets on these sorts of pitches is clear.

Hence the case for playing someone like Rashid, 27, who might bowl the odd bad ball but is also capable of a match-winning spell.

Instead England chose to play it safe again, which I found a little disappointing.

Rashid should stay with England

Having said that, I can't see the sense in Rashid's county side Yorkshire asking for him to be allowed to travel homeexternal-link so he can play for them in the County Championship.

Yes it's frustrating for the player and his county for him to be sat on the sidelines, but if you're a young, developing cricketer with ambitions to play for England, you can learn an awful lot simply from being around the Test-match environment.

If I was Rashid or seamer Mark Wood, I'd be thrilled to be there, developing my game and working with the England coaches.

I just don't agree with county sides trying to disrupt that. England pick a squad on merit to cover all bases, and that should be the end of the matter.

Thank goodness for Samuels

It was an attritional first day in Grenada, and I can understand some of the criticism aimed at the pitch. Given the ongoing concerns about the status of Test cricket around the world, you never want to see a wicket as slow as this.

Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott
"I feel a little disappointed for the spectators, the players and Test match cricket because a lot of people came very far to watch a day where it was hard to score runs. It was hard for the batsman and bowlers to get on top. Crowds are going down and you are wanting people to watch Test cricket but I feel the groundsman here has ruined the pitch."

But let's not jump to conclusions. It was just one underwhelming day - you never know, we might yet see a classic Test match.

Thank goodness for Marlon Samuels, whose excellent innings of 94 not out injected some life into an otherwise tedious day.

Barring one excitable phase after he reached his half-century - when Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes got under his skin - be played really well: watchfully, calmly and straight.

One of the fascinating aspects of this Test match is that we don't really know what a good score is. If Samuels can guide West Indies to 300 plus tomorrow, that could put England under real pressure.

Jonathan Agnew was speaking to BBC Sport's James Gheerbrant.

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