After stumps on Friday, 25 January, in Barbados, England trailed the Windies by 572 runs with still two days to go, and Jos Buttler, their vice-captain, laid the blame squarely at the feet of the batting unit.
England were bundled out for 77 in their first innings, and with Jason Holder scoring a maiden Test double century at his home ground along with Shane Dowrich’s hundred, the Windies set England a daunting target of 628.
That, Buttler said, was not what was expected from the side ranked No.3 on the MRF Tyres ICC Test rankings and harbouring hopes of rising.
“With the bat we have fallen well below,” said Buttler. “Our aim is to be the No.1 side in the world and that was nowhere near good enough. We have had a good run of games, but when playing abroad it is about adapting to conditions.
“We have to be better at coming through tough situations when guys are bowling well. It is a good reality check as a side about where we are at.”
That said, Buttler insisted England were better than what the scorecard suggested. “(Being bowled out for 77) was a really poor reflection on us as a side. We are much better than that,” he said. “In those situations, you always feel you will get a partnership and seize the initiative back. We were never able to do that.
“We were not good enough to grind out a period of play and that really hurts you in Test cricket when you have a drastically poor session. Today was pretty thankless out there but the guys kept putting in. Ben Stokes and Jimmy Anderson showed unbelievable passion to play for England by keeping going.”