England captain Joe Root defended his decision to declare the final day of the tied 2nd Test against the West Indies in Barbados.
By leaving his somewhat conservative explanation until lunchtime, he gave his bowlers just 65 overs on a docile pitch to collect the 10 second-inning West Indies wickets needed for the win.
West Indies, chasing 282, lost three early wickets but captain Kraigg Braithwaite hit a fifty to end England’s hopes of a final-day collapse.
The hosts would never consider Chase 282 or even a smaller target and risk their Day 5 chances.
But Root, in a post-game interview, sounded like he didn’t want to give the hosts even a chance.
“It’s always difficult, isn’t it… trying to balance that,” he said of the ever-changing math surrounding the declaration.
“As small as this ground is and how strong the wind was, you don’t want to give … too many overs.
“Looking back, if we could have pulled out 10 overs earlier would it have made a big difference?”
He spoke after the West Indies finished on 135 for five, with captain Kraigg Brathwaite unbeaten on 56 in addition to his first marathon innings 160.
ROOT HAPPY WITH BATTING SHOW
Despite a second straight draw of the series that leaves everything open in the final Test in Grenada, which begins Thursday, Root took much encouragement from his team’s performance in a game in which they were mostly the better team.
“It’s really gratifying to see that for the first time in a long time we’re making a decent total from the first innings,” he said of their 507 for nine in the first innings
“Hopefully that has given the lads a lot of confidence and we can do it again and again.”
Interim head coach Paul Collingwood added: “Playing on pitches like this is hard work. We’re getting closer to that victory.
“It wasn’t supposed to be, but if we continue with this attitude, it will be right around the corner.”