West Indies v England: Cook and Moores punished for playing safe

By Jonathan AgnewBBC cricket correspondent
Peter Moores and Alastair Cook
England have won just one of three Test series with Peter Moores as coach and Alastair Cook as captain - against India last year
BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew in Barbados

England's five-wicket defeat by West Indies in the third Test in Barbados, which cost them a series win, was a hugely disappointing, disheartening result.

Before the series, the incoming England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin Graves suggested that West Indies were "mediocre" and England should beat them comfortably - well this setback demonstrates that England are every bit as mediocre as their opponents.

They may have drawn the series, but it feels like a series loss. England dominated the three Test matches more than West Indies and they had chances to snuff the hosts out but they didn't take them.

In this match, England were guilty of not scoring enough runs in the first innings after winning the toss, making an awful mess of their second innings - with only three batsmen reaching double figures - and then failing to put the West Indian batsmen under pressure with their spin bowlers on a turning pitch.

The players have to take responsibility for these failings. It's all very well blaming coach Peter Moores, as many people will do, but I know from my own experience that as a professional sportsman, you have to take responsibility for your own performance.

However, that's not to say that Moores doesn't have questions to answer. In my opinion, he and captain Alastair Cook have consistently got the selection wrong on this tour.

Ex-England batsman Geoffrey Boycott on England tactics
"We have a cautious captain and coach, they are not going to change. They don't have any imagination. If Andrew Strauss is the new ECB director, it will stay the same. He likes Cook. We'll keep on with the same people and things won't change."

In game after game they have played safe, and if you keep playing safe, eventually you are going to get caught out.

They need to be more enterprising. They were wrong to stick with the same uninspiring bowling attack - they should have added a bit of variety, either through the express pace of Liam Plunkett or the leg-spin of Adil Rashid.

Moreover, I think they erred with the selection of Jonathan Trott at the top of the order. They hung Trott out to dry. You could tell from the first Test match in Antigua that he was out of sorts, but they persisted with him and it ended in tears.

Boycott on Jonathan Trott
"That should be it for now. If he ever comes back he's got to play a lot of county cricket and prove he's playing great, because what he's dished up in this series isn't good enough to carry on."

Despite that, I don't believe that Moores is in any danger of losing his job. We're expecting Andrew Strauss to be named as the new director of England cricket and he won't come in and tear things up - he's not that sort of person.

Are England improving under Moores? That's a hard question to answer, but if you look at the players on an individual basis, you would have to say many of them are getting better.

Adil Rashid fields in training
Adil Rashid has played five ODIs but is yet to be selected for the Test side

Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Joe Root, Gary Ballance and Chris Jordan are all on an upward curve - so the coaches must be doing something right.

However, the team is still hugely reliant on fast bowler James Anderson. He is their match-winner, and as we saw today, if he doesn't perform, they struggle to take wickets.

The lack of a wicket-taking spinner is a real concern. I don't expect it to be a huge issue in the summer Tests against New Zealand and Australia in England, but it will be a big problem when England play Pakistan in the UAE in October and November.

While I was disappointed to see England lose, I was delighted for West Indies. I know how insulted the Caribbean cricket fans were by Graves' pompous and insensitive comments.

It was a really good win for them and with players like Jermaine Blackwood and Kraigg Brathwaite, they have the nucleus of a very promising team for the future.

I really hope it sparks cricket in this part of the world, because a strong West Indies team can only be a good thing for world cricket.

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

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