Assistant coach Marcus Trescothick admitted England are in a “disappointing” position after a poor third day in the decisive third Test left them on the brink of a series defeat against West Indies (Match Winner – England 40/1, draw 150/1, West Indies 1/150).
The tourists closed Saturday on 103-8, only 10 runs ahead of West Indies with two days to go, and now look certain to suffer a final Test defeat and lose the series 1-0.
Barring a miraculous turnaround in Grenada, England’s dismal Test run will stretch to nine without victory and reopen the debate over whether Joe Root should remain as skipper.
Trescothick admitted England had let themselves down at the crucial moment again and was already beginning to look ahead to the summer for redemption.
He told BBC Sport: “It is disappointing – we’ve had a tough day. The guys are pretty despondent at the moment but we’ll look at it and try to learn from the mistakes we’ve made and try and be better when our next opportunity comes around in the summertime.
“You can’t have days like this in Test cricket when the series is going down to the wire, but unfortunately we have.”
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At the start of the third day, hopes were high Root’s men could carve out a commanding position for themselves with the hosts leading by just 28 runs but West Indies frustrated England’s bowlers and were eventually all out for 297, with Joshua da Silva scoring his first Test ton amid a late stand of 52 with number 11 Jayden Seales.
However, England could still have taken charge of the Test with a good response in their second innings but the top order struggled to find any rhythm with Root out for five and all-rounder Ben Stokes, the favourite to replace him as captain, making just four.
Opener Alex Lees, who struck 31 and Jonny Bairstow, who made 22, were the only batters to provide anything positive, while Windies seamer Kyle Mayers ended the day with his first five-wicket haul and impressive figures of 5-9.
Sunday will start with England 10 runs ahead and Chris Woakes, who is 8/5 to score over 24.5 runs, on nine not out and Jack Leach (one not out) at the crease but with the tourists staring at a damaging defeat.
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