ENG vs WI 3rd Test: 5 Talking Points as Stuart Broad destroys visitors in Wisden Trophy decider

Sai Krishna
·5-min read

England captain Joe Root with the Wisden Trophy
England captain Joe Root with the Wisden Trophy

The first international series post the COVID-19 break has finally reached its conclusion, and it didn't disappoint. Rain, which threatened to play spoilsport in every game, largely stayed away to ensure that a result was achieved in each Test of the final Wisden Trophy.

England ran out 2-1 winners against the West Indies, with comeback man Stuart Broad claiming the Man of the Match honour as well as his team's Man of the Series award.

West Indies, who promised so much in the 1st Test, fell apart in the next two games to surrender rather meekly to the hosts. Their Man of the Series was awarded to all-rounder Roston Chase.

England's 269-run win in the 3rd Test sealed the series triumph, with the Three Lions riding on Broad's 10-wicket match haul and Rory Burns' twin fifties. Chris Woakes also scalped a 5-wicket haul in the final innings of the Test.

Here are 5 talking points from the series decider between England and West Indies.

#5 England expose the Windies batting line-up's technical frailties

Shai Hope played a nightmare shot on the final day of the series
Shai Hope played a nightmare shot on the final day of the series

Coming into this series, the inexperienced West Indies batting lineup was always the scanner and despite a couple of promising innings from Jermaine Blackwood and Shamarh Brooks, they largely disappointed.

Shai Hope, who was expected to be the leader of the batting order given his white-ball prowess and undoubted class, couldn't get anywhere close to his Headingley heroics of 2017. In the absence of a dependable batsman in the top order, the Windies' technically fragile lower-order was exposed.

Blackwood, Brooks and Rahkeem Cornwall have all the shots in the book, but their porous defence and a tendency to plonk the front foot across off-stump cost them dearly, with them often being caught in front of the stumps. Another footwork issue plagued them - being neither forward nor back, and getting caught on the crease.

West Indies need to sort out these issues immediately if they are to win Test matches consistently in difficult conditions.

#4 Is the Burns-Sibley opening partnership here to stay?

Burns and Sibley are unorthodox but effective
Burns and Sibley are unorthodox but effective

Openers Rory Burns and Dominic Sibley are perhaps not the most pleasing on the eye but what they lack in elegance, they make up for in grit and determination. Both batsmen were highly motivated coming into this series, with Sibley even losing 12 kg ahead of the 1st Test.

They may just have established themselves as England's best opening pair. Burns and Sibley finished second and third on the list of leading run-scorers in this series, with 234 runs at 46.8 and 226 runs at 45.2 respectively. The southpaw scored twin fifties in the 3rd Test, while Sibley made up for his duck in the 1st Test with a century in the 2nd.

Both batsmen have shown that they can get stuck in and play long innings, which is exactly what England have sorely missed since the retirement of Alastair Cook. The signs indicate that the pair is here to stay on the international stage.

#3 Ben Stokes proves why he is the #1 all-rounder in the world

Ben Stokes was England's Man of the Series
Ben Stokes was England's Man of the Series

After an embarrassing loss in the 1st Test under his captaincy, Ben Stokes put in a performance for the ages in the 2nd Test at Old Trafford, scoring over 250 runs and picking up 3 wickets.

His services weren't quite needed in the series decider, but the England all-rounder finished as the highest run-getter with 363 runs at an average of 90.75. Stokes also picked up 9 wickets and bowled his heart out whenever called upon.

West Indies' captain Jason Holder lost his place as the #1 ranked ICC Test all-rounder to Ben Stokes after the 2nd Test match, and the Durham now not only holds that position but is also ranked #3 in the ICC Test batting rankings, behind only Virat Kohli and Steve Smith.

There is no doubt at the moment as to who the best all-rounder in the world is.

#2 Stuart Broad plays like a man possessed

Stuart Broad was the Man of the Match in the series decider
Stuart Broad was the Man of the Match in the series decider

England's second-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket, Stuart Broad was dropped for the 1st Test in what was a very controversial call. The experienced pacer voiced his displeasure at the decision in the media, and his performances over the next 2 Tests have made England's decision look utterly foolish.

The Nottingham man is simply unplayable on his day, and is an absolute master of the cutters on pitches that don't offer much swing. In the 3rd Test, he ended up with match figures of 10/67, his third-best in history. He also became only the second England pacer after Jimmy Anderson to reach the 500-wicket mark in Test cricket, and fourth overall.

Broad even scored an attacking 33-ball fifty in the first innings, and only the legendary Sir Ian Botham has scored quicker Test fifties in terms of balls faced. He is certainly one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time, and England would do well to never drop him again.

#1 England reclaim the Wisden Trophy and keep it forever

The Wisden Trophy was lifted for the last time by England captain Joe Root
The Wisden Trophy was lifted for the last time by England captain Joe Root

Ahead of the 3rd Test, the England and West Indies Cricket Boards jointly announced that the Wisden Trophy would be retired at the end of the series, and replaced by the Richards-Botham Trophy to honour two of the greatest cricketers of all time.

With England's 2-1 series win, the Wisden Trophy became theirs to keep for all eternity. The series watched by millions of viewers across the world showcased a very high standard of cricket from both teams, and was highly competitive for the most part.

As mentioned earlier, England's trio of Stokes, Burns and Sibley topped the run-scorers charts, while West Indies' Blackwood was the only other player to cross the 200-run mark. Broad finished as the highest wicket-taker with 16 scalps, followed by Woakes and Shannon Gabriel with 11.

The Three Lions will now host Pakistan for 3 Tests and 3 T20Is, while the West Indies head back home to play the Caribbean Premier League, which is set to start in August.