Joe Denly faces the last curtain as England prepares to bounce back


Joe Denly looks set to pay the price for England’s four-window defeat in first test against West Indies, but Jos Buttler can expect “best chance of success” despite his own form of flat test , as head coach Chris Silverwood prepares to lift his team before Thursday’s second game at Emirates Old Trafford.As English captain Joe Root prepares to step back in 4th place after the birth of his second child, the obvious fall guy is Denly, 34, who again has failed to capitalize on a pair of strong starts with 18 and 29 Ageas Bowl scores.

After 15 consecutive tests going back to the Caribbean tour of England at the start of 2019, these last rounds embody a flatline career in which Denly’s average has now dropped below 30. In addition, they contrast more and more with the efforts of his Denly Kent teammate Zak Crawley – 12 years younger – whose 76th of a second at the Ageas Bowl finished the fifth consecutive game in which he scored the highest score in the test.

“This is what we are looking for,” said Silverwood. “If we can create an environment where these guys can learn and improve continuously, we will end up with very good cricketers. ”

“Zak is constantly improving. He certainly showed maturity and the innings he played were very good. We have young players on this side who seem to have a good head on their shoulders, and he is one of them. We all would have loved to have seen it go on and get up to three digits, but what we did was very good and helped us take the position we did. ”

After making his debut at No. 6 in New Zealand and playing in the opening game in South Africa, Crawley’s selection at No. 4 was a sign that he had been the player most likely to make way for the return of Root in this position in Manchester.

However, when he insisted on Denly’s continued presence on the side, Silverwood found it difficult to give much comfort to his player and confirmed that his place would be discussed when he and Root sat down with Ed Smith, the national selector, this afternoon to finalize the England team. for the second test.

“We are all desperate to see Joe do very well,” he said. “We can see he’s trying hard, he’s training hard. He’s a good guy, that’s why we all went to see him well, but he’s obviously a bit under pressure, yes. ”

POLITICAL QUESTIONS: Ed Smith wearing Jos Buttler pajamas

Buttler, vice-captain of England in the absence of Root, is another player who might expect to feel the pinch, whose Ageas Bowl scores of 35 and 9 continued a form fallow in which he has marked a lonely half century in his last 21 Test Sleeves, returning to the Caribbean tour.

With Ben Foakes now confirmed as the back up for the wicket test team after Jonny Bairstow’s selection to the white ball team to face Ireland at the end of the month, Buttler seems to be running out of opportunities to translate his form of a world beat day in the test arena, where he averaged 31.46 with a hundred in 42 appearances.

Silverwood, however, said the selectors’ patience was not yet exhausted, and despite the extremely worthy claims of Foakes – who made a hundred debuts in Sri Lanka and averaged 41.50 in five tests – he supported the incumbent of England to live up to his undeniable talent.

“I’m not going to take this route yet by putting Jos under pressure, because I don’t think it will help him,” he said. “So, first of all, we want to give Jos the best chance at success. But you’re right, we have a very, very good glover at Ben Foakes, which we are lucky. ”

« [Jos] looked brilliant when entering this game, practice and everything. He looked very good in the first heats. He just needs to go get those big scores now, right? What he also knows.

“From our point of view, it is simply a question of making sure that he feels confident in the environment in which he finds himself. We will give him the best chance of really succeeding. The rest is that he has a good day, gets a few runs, hopefully the rest will be history – he will go from there. ”

England is at least in familiar territory for the second test, having lost the opening game of a series for the eighth time in ten campaigns, dating back to the Ashes’ tour in 2017-18. More recently, in South Africa, they rebounded from a heavy loss in the first test at Centurion to win the series 3-1, and Silverwood hoped that the same spirit would return now.

“This is something that we talked about, and it is something that we continue to do,” he said. “We have to look at how to get out of the blocks a little faster.

“We had a good conversation in the locker room afterwards – as you always do, you sit and look at the areas where you missed opportunities here, you built well there.

“I tend to try to find the positives in everything. And South Africa has been used as an example of how we can bounce back. But what I can’t do is withdraw credit to the West Indies because I thought they played very well. ”

Another key issue for England will be the management of their bowling resources, with Stuart Broad battling to get involved after being controversially omitted from the opening test, a decision that ended his streak of 51 home appearances. consecutive.

Broad expressed his dissatisfaction with this decision in a mid-term interview, but Silverwood echoed Ben Stokes’ post-game feelings and welcomed his determination to continue fighting for his square.

“I think Stuart behaved very well during this interview, to be honest,” said Silverwood. “What I loved about it, and later the conversations I had with him, was that passion. This motivation is still there and to see that in someone who has done as much in the game as him, I find it very exciting to be honest. And Stuart still has a big role to play in this team. I said it very clearly. ”

With six tests to play in the space of seven weeks, attrition from England’s bowling ranks is inevitable, but Silverwood was optimistic about a clean health check in preparation for Old Trafford.

“We have one or two stiff bodies this morning, as you can imagine,” he said. “I’ve already been to the guys. But they all seem to have done well. We will know more after training tomorrow. We will test them and see where we are. Nothing is given in this team as we have seen and people will play for their places. Everything will be taken into account. “


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