England in West Indies: 'Tourists must treat defeat as warm-up game'

Keaton Jennings is caught by Jason Holder
England opener Keaton Jennings is caught off the outside edge for the second time in the match

I have watched plenty of England collapses during 30 years following the team. The second-innings capitulation in Barbados was one of the worst.

We have all seen this before, particularly in the last few years, but the difference in the 381-run defeat in the first Test was the quality of the bowling they subsided to.

When you think of the great eight-wicket bowling figures in Test history, the names of Michael Holding, Shane Warne and Stuart Broad spring to mind.

Now, thanks to England's feeble showing with the bat at the Kensington Oval on Saturday, Roston Chase has joined that list.

You must acknowledge Chase's performance - taking eight wickets in a Test is no mean feat - but the fact remains that he did not spin a single delivery.

He just wandered up and rolled his arm over. He did not get anybody out. The England batsmen got themselves out, with the exception of Ben Foakes, who swept one straight to short leg.

England may have been bowled out for 77 in the first innings, but their batting display in the second innings, when they made 246, was worse.

The shots they played - missing straight deliveries, giving catching practice to the slips - were inexplicable. Everyone is scratching their head.

Why do England keep collapsing?

This is a very familiar conversation we are all having - and the players are having it too.

When I spoke to captain Joe Root after the game yesterday, he used a word that I have heard often since he took charge: bold.

England play very attacking cricket and, when it goes right, they are a pleasure to watch. Let us not forget that they won 3-0 in Sri Lanka before Christmas playing in such a fashion.

But - and this is so important - intent and aggression has to be measured.

This is Test cricket. Being positive is not far away from being reckless.

For all that the sport has become more fast-flowing and entertaining, you still need batsmen whose first instinct is to be patient.

Now Alastair Cook has retired, England do not have players like Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored three centuries and faced 1,258 balls in India's recent series win in Australia.

England's side is packed with positive, counter-attacking players, but even they must acknowledge the situations when they need to rein it in, and be capable of doing that. They must be able to adapt. England are not doing that.

While some people might criticise the coaching staff for England's repeated failings, I believe it is down to individuals.

The art of coaching is to give a player freedom to bring out his talent. It is the player's responsibility for what happens once they are on the pitch.

West Indies' Roston Chase celebrates figures of 8-60
Roston Chase had taken five wickets in an innings only once in his previous 26 Tests

If you fail to prepare...

I have already had my say on England's preparation - or lack of it - in the Caribbean for this series. Two meaningless two-day warm-up matches were woefully insufficient.

Bowlers Moeen Ali and James Anderson both admitted the schedule was not ideal, even before England lost in Barbados.

Preparation is not just about batting and bowling.

You have to consider lots of things - the travel, the weather, the heat, the light, the sounds. You have to be comfortable with everything.

Even if you get the preparation right, you might still lose - England played two four-day games in Australia in 2017-18 and still lost the Ashes, because Australia were the best team. But you must give yourself the best chance.

It is like the composer Puccini turning up at the Opera House, being given a new instrument, and being told to play it.

Why am I going over old ground? Because on the morning after England's thumping in Barbados I received details of the tour of New Zealand later this year.

And guess what? There are no proper warm-up games before the two Tests there either.

Nothing has changed.

Alastair Cook in Auckland, 2018
England were bowled out for 58 in the first innings of the first Test on their last tour of New Zealand in 2018

'Treat defeat as the warm-up game they never had'

The equation for England is now simple: they must win the remaining two Tests to claim only their second series victory in the Caribbean in 51 years.

West Indies would be wise to prepare as flat a pitch as possible for the second Test in Antigua starting on Thursday - not only because England must make the running now they are behind, but because West Indies' quicker bowlers appear better equipped to succeed on a surface offering less assistance.

England, for their part, must look at the first Test as an aberration.

They should treat that game as the competitive warm-up game they never had, and they should be stronger for it.

At least now all the players have had some time in the middle.

Opener Rory Burns played well for 84 in the second innings - his highest Test score - and all the batsmen got in at some stage.

Stuart Broad, controversially omitted in Barbados, will surely return, and slow left-armer Jack Leach is widely seen as a more reliable option than leg-spinner Adil Rashid.

England's team selection for the first Test hinted at complacency. Their humbling defeat should ensure they will not make the same mistake twice.

Jonathan Agnew was speaking to BBC Sport's Justin Goulding.

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