The return of international cricket edges ever closer. With just ten days to go until England’s first Test match of the summer, our latest flashback is another recent one.
Last time out, we relived one of Freddie’s most explosive innings against the Windies but it is to the tourists’ most recent visit to English shores that we now turn our attention. It was 2017 when the West Indies last toured, and what a tour it was. England took 19 wickets in one day of the pink-ball affair at Edgbaston before Shai Hope treated us all to a batting masterclass at Headingley.
The series was so full of stand-out moments that one particularly fine partnership tends to slip under the radar somewhat. Two days before England twice ran through their opponents, our two star batsmen spent some time in the spotlight – or, rather more fittingly, the floodlights.
Sir Alastair Cook and Joe Root both made centuries on the first day of our first home day/night Test match, laying the foundations for what would turn out to be a comprehensive victory. The former was typically resolute in his defence and clinical when afforded a scoring opportunity, while the latter’s busy manner and uncanny ability to ‘tick over’ ensured he had enough time to reach three figures.
Despite some early momentum for the West Indies, who reduced England to 39-2 at one stage, the two made batting look incredibly easy on the series’ opening day. You could be forgiven, on these highlights’ evidence, for thinking that this was a rather toothless West Indies attack, but that would be unfair on both Cook and Root. After all, Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph, and Jason Holder have all been at the centre of many a sticky situation for England in recent years.
The highlights are only five minutes long, and that’s a bit of a shame. This exhibition of Test match batting is the kind we could watch all day. Nonetheless, it’s five exquisite minutes of two of our finest – enjoy!