Broad has not been at his best

England To Bounce Back To Secure Series

The West Indies pulled off one of the most memorable results in the history of Test cricket to defeat England by five wickets at Headingley.

The tourists tied the series at 1-1 by successfully chasing down 322 on the final day of the contest, led by a brilliant century from Shai Hope to guide them over the line.

Joe Root’s men were off colour from day one as after winning the toss they were bowled out for a meagre 258, despite a century from Ben Stokes.

The Windies responded with a first-innings total of 427 as Kraigg Brathwate and Hope notched centuries to put the Three Lions on the back foot.

However, England bounced back in their second innings as Moeen Ali scored a blistering 84 to seemingly take the game away from Jason Holder’s men.

Root declared 321 runs ahead, leaving the tourists a daunting chase. Brathwaite was dropped early on by Alastair Cook and made the former England captain pay for his miss with an innings of 95.

Hope made history by becoming the first batsmen to score a century in both innings of a first-class match at Headingley, guiding the Windies to a brilliant victory.

The series now rests on the match at Lord’s with both sides determined to chase the clinching victory at the famous old ground.

England’s Top Batsman

Root needs to lead his side's response

Credit: Getty Images

Root scored 131 runs in the contest on home soil, but he could have made the decisive knock that would have secured the series. In the first innings he was the only victim of leg-spinner Devandra Bishoo, who did not look overly threatening on the surface and barely used by Holder.

Second time around Root looked in excellent rhythm, but as he become prone to do – the 26-year-old played a loose shot in the 70s and was caught at gully off Shannon Gabriel. Unfortunately for the England captain he has become synonymous with those sorts of dismissals.

His conversion rate of 28.8% from fifties to centuries is nowhere near good enough for a player of his quality. There was hope that he would become more ruthless with the captaincy, but the early signs are not positive.

It’s the only criticism you can lay at his doorstep, but given that his counterparts Steve Smith and Kane Williamson have thrived and have formidable conversion rates – it’s about time he started to cash in on his brilliance at the crease.

Unlike his team-mates, Root does not have weaknesses in his game. He scores at an impressive rate and always puts the opposition on the back foot. The only element missing from his game is the big scores on a consistent basis – nail that aspect down and he will be pushing the all-time greats.

He would have felt the disappointment of the defeat at Headingley more than the rest of the team, although he was well served declaring when he did.

The 26-year-old will be eager to respond for his side and leading the run column with a massive hundred could be on the cards at odds of

+275   with William Hill.

West Indies’ Top Batsman

Both Brathwaite and Hope were outstanding in the win at Headingley for the tourists. Hope has received the headlines after his record-breaking achievement, but the opener fell only five runs short of the feat as well as he edged an Ali delivery to slip.

Holder and coach Stuart Law will be desperate for the duo to maintain their form at the Home of Cricket. Both players will be keen to etch their names on to the honours board at the ground, although each of them will have to expect a response from England’s bowlers.

Brathwaite was dropped twice in his innings – once by Cook and then by Stuart Broad, although the bowler’s drop led to the run out dismissal of Kyle Hope. The Three Lions will not be as sloppy in their cricket in the next encounter therefore they will need to remain at their best.

The opener had a slightly tougher time than his team-mate in the middle order and did notch 40 runs in the second innings in their defeat at Edgbaston. Arguably he’s in better knick than his team-mate and does have the task of seeing off the threat of James Anderson and Broad with the new ball.

That could cost him unless the high score in the third Test as England will be keen for early strikes. He did display a solid defensive technique at Headingley and that might be enough to lead the run column once again. Therefore back Brathwaite at odds of +350   with Bet365 to lead the way for the Windies.

England’s Top Bowler

Broad has not been at his best

Broad has been off the boil this summer for England as he has struggled for rhythm against South Africa along with the Windies. Ideally the Three Lions would have liked to be in position to rest him and Anderson for the final match of the series.

However, the pressure to secure the victory has pressed them both into action and the 31-year-old will be determined to sign off the summer with a strong outing.

Broad had match figures of 1-196 at Headingley, highlighting his issues. Although life could have been different had he held on to the return catch from Brathwaite. He has always been a bowler that goes through peaks and troughs in his career, with the next quality spell just around the corner.

However, Lord’s will be Broad’s final Test match action before the start of the Ashes in November – therefore he will want to find a semblance of rhythm to take Down Under.

Back him at odds of +300   with SkyBet to lead the wicket column at the Home of Cricket.

Winner

England were below-par at Headingley and only a number of miscues by the West Indies allowed Root’s men to edge into a strong position. The brilliance of Brathwaite and Hope ensured that Root’s men were not let off the hook.

As a result, the Windies will be a dangerous prospect in the final contest. Holder’s side were written off after their crushing defeat in the opening match of the series. However, with confidence of their side and with nothing to lose they will be going all out for the victory.

England would struggle to play much worse than their defeat at Headingley. Therefore they should bounce back with a win to secure the series to end their summer on a high note. Take them at odds of -300   with William Hill to notch the win at Lord’s.

Tips Summary

Joe Root To Be England’s Top Batsman
Thursday 7th September 2017 – Monday 11th September 2017
Odds: +275

Kraigg Brathwaite To Be West Indies’ Top Batsman
Thursday 7th September 2017 – Monday 11th September 2017
Odds: +350

Stuart Broad To Be England’s Top Bowler
Thursday 7th September 2017 – Monday 11th September 2017
Odds: +300

England To Beat West Indies 3rd Test
Thursday 7th September 2017 – Monday 11th September 2017
Odds: -300

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