England v West Indies: Andrew Strauss hints at changes

 

England captain Andrew Strauss revealed that players may be rested for the final Test of the West Indies series.

The hosts' nine-wicket win at Trent Bridge gave them an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

England face the Windies again at Edgbaston starting next Thursday, before their three-Test rubber against South Africa begins on 19 July.

"We've always got to look at the workload of our bowlers in particular," Strauss told BBC Sport.

England v West Indies

1st Test, Lord's: England won by five wickets

2nd Test, Trent Bridge: England won by nine wickets

3rd Test, Edgbaston: 7-11 June

"Unfortunately the schedules for the next 18 months are pretty hard, so it's going to be hard for bowlers to play in every match.

"Whether this next Test match is an opportunity or not is something we're going to have to sit down and decide.

"You've got to take it case by case. I wouldn't rule it out but I wouldn't say it was definitely going to happen."

In chasing down 108 shortly after tea on the fourth day, thanks to Strauss's 45 and an unbeaten 43 from Alastair Cook, England sealed a seventh straight series win on home soil.

However, they were held up once again by Marlon Samuels, who converted his overnight 26 into an unbeaten 76 as West Indies were bowled out for 165. He has scored 310 runs in the series at an average of 103.

"West Indies played some really good cricket but thankfully we were able to show a little bit more consistency and I'm delighted to have won the series," Strauss said.

"There were positions at Lord's where we could have gone really big in the first innings but weren't able to do that, and the same again here.

Analysis

"England fully deserved their nine-wicket win, but I wonder whether England have been ruthless enough in doing so."

"But you've got to give them credit for that - they came back into the game. There are always two sides playing the game.

"Having not taken as big a lead as we would have liked, I think our bowlers did an excellent job to have them 61-6 and that put us in a really strong position to go and win it today."

Strauss has enjoyed a successful series with the bat, ending a run of 18 months without a Test century in the five-wicket win at Lord's and scoring a match-shaping 141 in the first innings at Trent Bridge.

"I'm delighted to be back in the runs - it's a lot easier when you feel in form, that is for sure," he said. "I had to earn the right to get back into form at Lord's.

"You kind of ride on the crest of a wave for a bit when you have got a hundred or two. The key for me now is to make sure that wave lasts for a long time."

Tim Bresnan, named man of the match for his eight wickets in the game and unbeaten 39 in England's first innings, has now been on the winning side in each of his first 13 Tests.

"It's quite difficult at times when you've got a soft ball and a flat pitch but that's when you've got to step up and do it," he said.

"Consistency is my major weapon and to keep banging in that length. I'm a lot thinner now too. You don't get through 100 overs in two weeks without being reasonably fit."

Strauss said: "You're always going to get something from him. There's no surprise that we've won when he has played because he is always contributing one way or another."

West Indies captain Darren Sammy, whose maiden Test hundred in the first innings proved in vain, said: "Once again we failed to put a good score in two innings.

"We did well to recover in the first innings but it was asking too much to do it again.

"We've been lacking top-order runs for a while and it has set us back, but credit to the way we have fought and managed to stay in the game."