‘F generous grade for batsmen’ – former England bowler Small shocked by Windies inability to make tactical adjustments  

By Sports Desk July 29, 2020

Former Barbadian-born England fast bowler Gladstone Small has stamped a failing grade on the performance of West Indies batsmen, against England, and expressed dismay at their inability to make tactical adjustments.

The West Indies looked up to the task of being competitive after securing a convincing four-wicket win over England in the first Test.  The introduction of England pace bowler, Stuart Broad, who was omitted for the first Test, however, drastically changed the equation.  In the fourth evening of the second Test, with the West Indies enjoying some level of comfort, Broad took the new ball and claimed 3 for 14 in a devastating nine-over spell. 

He dominated the rest of the series, going on to claim 10 wickets in the third and final Test, for 16 overall, en route to man-of-the-series honours.

While Small was quick to acclaim Broad’s indisputable ability and the rest of the England bowling line-up for that matter, he insisted it was inexcusable that the West Indies batsmen made no adjustment’s in facing the bowler.

“If it was a school report after the series, the bowlers tried brilliantly, you would probably mark them with a B-.  They were big-hearted and kept going but three Test matches in three weeks is unrelenting,” Small told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“The batsmen, I can only see them getting an F.  Perhaps, I’m being generous,” he added.

“They faced good bowling, credit where credit is due.  England bowlers, obviously the records are there to show, Anderson, Broad…Woakes and obviously Jofra Archer, those English bowlers are brilliant in English conditions. With the new ball in hand, they are very tough. 

"The one thing you cannot do is play those guys on the backfoot, you can’t.  Broad and Anderson are fine bowlers but they’re not going to knock you over or intimidate you with pace.  You have to get on the front foot to nullify their movement.  To see your best batsman, well your most experienced batsman in the line-up, Kraigg Brathwaite, how many times did he get out on the backfoot, that for me is pure nonsense.  Big failure.”     

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