England captain Joe Root praised the character of the team and said it was impressive the way they weathered the terrible start in the first innings and came within reach of victory in the 1st Test of a 3-game series against the West Indies .
England were rocked in the opening hour of the series opener as they reduced to 48/4, evoking memories of their Ashes horror. However, Jonny Bairstow had hit a hundred to revitalize England’s first innings. England finished with 311 in the first innings but allowed West Indies to hit 375 and take the lead, but hundreds from Captain Root and Zak Crawley opening the innings put the visitors out of danger in the 2nd inning.
England had rocked the West Indies with 79/4 on the final day, but Jason Holder and Nkrumah Bonner stopped the slide and helped the hosts seal a tie.
“I’m really proud of the team today, actually the (all) week,” said Root.
“From that first hour when we found ourselves in a difficult spot (lost four quick wickets) I think the character we showed at the back of the previous tour didn’t panic and got us back in the game shall… we got better and better on a very docile wicket for our seamers.
“[There’s a]lot of good signs for the rest of the series.”
ROOT PROUD OF BAIRSTOW, CRAWLEY
The captain, one of three century-makers in the England team, praised the other two, veteran Jonny Bairstow and young Zak Crawley.
Bairstow, who was a century under his last Test in Australia, was ultra-cautious early on before later going off with 140 points in the first innings.
“Jonny, reading the game and playing that kind of innings in that situation showed great maturity and you could see the confidence he drew from the way he was playing at the Australia back end,” Root said .
Crawley’s 121 in the second innings showed why England stuck with him after a long losing streak that followed a double-century against Pakistan in 2020.
“[Crawley]has shown a lot of character to hold his own as one of the older batters on this team,” Root said.
“It was really important that he played an inning like that, more for himself, not necessarily for the rest of us (because) we know how talented he is and what he’s capable of.”