James Anderson and Stuart Broad were the only members of the England squad who were born when the tourists last won an Ashes Test at the Gabba.

The hostile iconic Brisbane venue has been such a fortress for Australia that you have to go back to November 1986 for their previous Test defeat to England at the ground where the 2021-22 series starts on Wednesday.

Yet India consigned Australia to a first Gabba loss in the longest format for over 32 years in January and England captain Joe Root is backing his side to end the hoodoo, despite a lack of match practice due to rain.

The world's number one Test batter said: "[Victory] would absolutely set us up for the rest of the series and it's a great opportunity.

"This group of players, not that long ago, went to Cape Town where we've not won a Test for a long period of time and off the back of a performance there won the series.

"I feel like we have been able to do that around the world and this is an opportunity to do that here. Obviously conditions are slightly different to home, at this venue in particular with that extra bit of bounce, but we have prepared as well as we can for that. If we manage that well we should give a really good account of ourselves and start well."

Ben Stokes' return gives England a massive lift as they attempt to wrestle back the urn, though they won't have the usual level of backing from the Barmy Army as usual due to coronavirus travel restrictions.

The tourists were thrashed 4-0 in their last Ashes series Down Under in 2017-18 after the humiliation of a 2013-14 whitewash, so it is almost 10 years since their last Test win in Australia.

Stats Perform looks at some of the key factors that will decide whether they can make it a miserable start to Pat Cummins' reign as Australia Test captain.

 

Stoking the fires

Stokes has not played for his country since July, but declared himself fit to face Australia after taking a break to prioritise his mental well-being and fully recover from a fractured finger.

The all-rounder was England's player of the series in an Ashes series two years ago that ended in a 2-2 draw, scoring 441 runs at an average of 55.12 and producing one of the great innings at Headingley to pull off an unlikely victory.

Vice-captain Stokes' return should add strength to the middle order they have been lacking and Root will be hoping he can do some damage in short, sharp bursts with the ball.

 

Root must keep racking up the runs

It has been an incredible 2021 for Root, who has scored six Test centuries - including one double-hundred in Sri Lanka and another in India.

The skipper said this tour will define his captaincy and England will need him to keep racking up the runs if they are to return home with a surprise series win.

Only five batsmen have scored more Test centuries in a year than Root's tally, with Mohammad Yousuf holding the record with a staggering nine in 2006.

 

Lack of pace potency?

Not for the first time in Ashes, a lack of pace could be a big issue for England and how they would love to have a fit Jofra Archer firing.

Australian Troy Cooley was brought into the touring party as a consultant pace bowling coach and there is no doubting the quality in the England attack, led by James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

Broad tormented Warner in the 2019 series, but the opener could be much more difficult to dismiss on home soil with a Kookaburra ball and returned to form in Australia's recent T20 World Cup triumph.

Mark Wood is capable of doing damage but it remains to be seen how many Tests the injury-prone quick can play. Ollie Robinson could make a big impact in his first Ashes series and Chris Woakes can hit the sort of lengths to trouble batters in Australia.

The West Indies will host Ireland for three CG Insurance One-Day Internationals (ODI) and a one-off T20 International (T20I) at Sabina Park, Jamaica from Saturday, January 8 to Sunday, January 16, Cricket West Indies confirmed today.

Darren Gough has been appointed as managing director of Yorkshire on an interim basis following the Azeem Rafiq racism crisis, the club has confirmed.

Ex-England bowler Gough will relinquish his current media duties to take the role at his former county, initially until the conclusion of the 2022 season, as Yorkshire look to rebuild in the wake of the revelations by Rafiq.

A 100-page independent report in early November upheld claims by Rafiq that he had been the victim of "racial harassment and bullying" during his time at Yorkshire.

Former chairman Roger Hutton resigned with immediate effect over Yorkshire's handling of the investigation, with new chair Kamlesh Patel stepping into the role.

Chief executive Mark Arthur then followed Hutton in resigning, while Yorkshire announced on Friday that they were parting ways with their entire coaching and medical team, including first-team coach Andrew Gale and director of cricket Martyn Moxon.

Gough, who enjoyed two spells at Headingley as a player, will oversee the recruitment of a new coaching team as his immediate priority.

On his appointment, Gough told Yorkshire's official website: "Yorkshire County Cricket Club has been part of my life since my earliest days in cricket when I made my debut in 1989, and I spent 15 happy years at the club. 

"Like many, I have followed how the club handled the recent racism allegations with sadness and anger.

"I want to play my part in rebuilding cricket in Yorkshire and I am looking forward to working with the exceptionally talented group of players here. 

"I am also aware of my wider responsibility to listen to everyone and ensure that every person who is associated with this club feels welcome, instilling values we want associated with the White Rose: honesty, straight talking, hard work, integrity and excellence.

"I share [Kamlesh] Patel's vision for Yorkshire County Cricket Club, and the collective determination to face the issues head on with a series of positive actions. Change will not happen overnight, but I am certain that we can make Headingley roar again."

Gough retired from professional cricket in 2008 but travelled to New Zealand in 2019 as a mentor for England's seamers on tour.

Current England captain Joe Root, who worked with Gough on that tour and is a lifelong Yorkshire player, has backed the 51-year-old to succeed in his new role.

Speaking ahead of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane, Root – before the appointment was confirmed – said: "It's news to me, but if that is the case he's a good man and I'm sure he'll be looking to put his stamp on things at the club.

"From my experience of spending time with Goughie, he's obviously very passionate and knowledgeable about the game. His love for it is clear for everyone to see. 

"I'm sure he'll want to bring all of that to the fore, all of his experience and achievements in the game and pass them on to the group if he is the man to take over."

India have cruised to a 372-run victory after swiftly bowling out New Zealand on day four to claim their two-game Test series 1-0.

Jayant Yadav claimed four wickets within nine legal deliveries after the Black Caps resumed at 140-5 chasing an improbable 540 on the fourth day in Mumbai, eventually dismissing the visitors for 167.

Indian opener Mayank Agarwal was named Player of the Match after his first innings 150 set up the win, backing that up with a second innings half-century.

New Zealand left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel had taken a sensational 10-wicket haul in the first innings but the Black Caps struggled for runs, making only 229 for the game.

The margin was India's biggest win by runs in Test history, along with New Zealand's most significant runs defeat. It was also India's 14th consecutive Test series triumph at home.

Ashwin reaches 300 Test scalps at home

Ravichandran Ashwin fittingly claimed the final wicket to secure victory for India, with overnight batsman Henry Nicholls (44) stumped by Wriddhiman Saha, securing eight scalps for the game, with 34-4 in the second innings.

The 35-year-old off-spinner was India's most fruitful bowler for the game but also brought up his 300th wicket on home soil with Nicholls' dismissal. The wicket also was Ashwin's 50th for the calendar year.

Ashwin had feasted on New Zealand's tail-end in the first innings, but claimed four of the top five in the second.

Agarwal exceeds history maker

The exceptional nature of Agarwal's game was underlined by the fact he won Player of the Match honours ahead of someone who took the third 10-wicket haul in Test cricket history.

Agarwal made 212 runs for the game, 17 shy of New Zealand's entire total and his contribution did not stop there, taking the catch for tail-ender Will Somerville's wicket on the fourth day, the ninth to fall.

India have cruised to a 372-run victory after swiftly bowling out New Zealand on day four to claim their two-game Test series 1-0.

Jayant Yadav claimed four wickets within nine legal deliveries after the Black Caps resumed at 140-5 chasing an improbable 540 on the fourth day in Mumbai, eventually dismissing the visitors for 167.

Indian opener Mayank Agarwal was named Player of the Match after his first innings 150 set up the win, backing that up with a second innings half-century.

New Zealand left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel had taken a sensational 10-wicket haul in the first innings but the Black Caps struggled for runs, making only 229 for the game.

The margin was India's biggest win by runs in Test history, along with New Zealand's most significant runs defeat. It was also India's 14th consecutive Test series triumph at home.

Ashwin reaches 300 Test scalps at home

Ravichandran Ashwin fittingly claimed the final wicket to secure victory for India, with overnight batsman Henry Nicholls (44) stumped by Wriddhiman Saha, securing eight scalps for the game, with 34-4 in the second innings.

The 35-year-old off-spinner was India's most fruitful bowler for the game but also brought up his 300th wicket on home soil with Nicholls' dismissal. The wicket also was Ashwin's 50th for the calendar year.

Ashwin had feasted on New Zealand's tail-end in the first innings, but claimed four of the top five in the second.

Agarwal exceeds history maker

The exceptional nature of Agarwal's game was underlined by the fact he won Player of the Match honours ahead of someone who took the third 10-wicket haul in Test cricket history.

Agarwal made 212 runs for the game, 17 shy of New Zealand's entire total and his contribution did not stop there, taking the catch for tail-ender Will Somerville's wicket on the fourth day, the ninth to fall.

Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed the fifth and final Ashes Test scheduled to be played in Perth has been relocated due to Western Australia's border strictions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Ashes showdown between Australia and tourists England was set to be staged at Perth's Optus Stadium from January 14-18, however, the state's strict travel strictions has forced the series finale to be moved.

While CA announced the relocation of the Perth Test on Monday, no new host has been confirmed, with Hobart among the possible locations.

Melbourne – the scene for the Boxing Day Test – and Sydney, which will host the fourth Test, have been floated as possible new host venues for the Test match.

Under Western Australia's current border rules, visitors from New South Wales – where the fourth Test is due to take place from January 5-9 – must complete 14 days quarantine upon arrival.

Talks between CA and the WA state government had seemed to be heading in a positive direction last month, with a potentially shorter and more relaxed quarantine period for players, their families and match and broadcast staff, but the emergence of the Omicron variant has reaffirmed the state's hardline stance on borders.

"While absolutely every effort was made to ensure the final Test match of the series could be staged in Perth, border controls, quarantine requirements and the complexities of staging a five-Test series in a tight schedule have meant it is unfortunately not possible to align the respective priorities of the WA Government, CA and WA Cricket," CA said in a statement.

WA Sport and Recreation Minister Tony Buti had publicly spoken about a proposal to shift the order of the Tests, with Perth replacing the second Test in Adelaide starting December 16 – given borders remain open between WA and Queensland where the first Test will be held – but CA closed the door on that idea.

"These complexities also mean that any suggestion of changing the order of the venues would not be feasible," the statement said. "Discussions about a replacement venue for the fifth Test match are underway."

The decision is a major blow for WA Cricket and Perth, which missed out on a Test match during the last Australian summer following the postponement of a one-off game against Afghanistan.

WA Cricket CEO Christina Matthews said: "We are extremely disappointed for our Members, fans, Commercial Partners and the wider WA cricket community as well as all our staff and players who have been looking forward to and planning for the first ever Ashes to be played at Perth Stadium.

"We've been working closely and constructively with the WA Government and Cricket Australia for many months to bring this fixture to Perth amid the pandemic-related challenges we've faced.

"While this decision is very difficult to accept, the complexity of staging the Test in the face of strict border controls and quarantine requirements has resulted in it not being possible to align the respective priorities of the WA Government, Cricket Australia, and WA Cricket."

The first Ashes Test begins in Brisbane on Wednesday.

Australia will be expected to ensure normal service is resumed in the heat of an Ashes battle at the Gabba when they start a new era on Wednesday.

The Tim Paine sexting scandal presented Pat Cummins with the opportunity to become the first fast bowler to captain the Australia Test side.

Cummins was appointed less than a fortnight before his side start their defence of the urn against fierce rivals England, with Steve Smith his assistant as Paine takes an indefinite mental health break from cricket. 

The paceman has long since been talked of as a potential successor to Paine and gets his chance earlier than expected.

Cummins was already on a high from playing his part in Australia's maiden T20 World Cup triumph in Dubai last month and should thrive on the extra responsibility of being skipper.

Australia have not played a Test since they were consigned to a 2-1 home defeat to India in January and although England have had plenty of action in the longest format this year, poor weather in Brisbane has badly hampered their preparations.

Stats Perform picks out some of the storylines, sprinkled with some Opta data, from an Australia perspective before one of the great sporting rivalries gets under way again.

 

Cummins to get Australia going?

Cummins has led Australia's pace attack on many occasions and was the pick of the bowlers in a 2-2 Ashes series draw in England two years ago, taking 29 wickets at average of 19.62.

Since the start of 2018, no bowler has claimed more scalps in the longest format than the 28-year-old's 128 - which have come at 19.9 apiece.

Cummins, the number one Test bowler in the world, will no doubt be licking his lips at the prospect of ripping into what has been a fragile England batting line-up.

Josh Hazlewood will also pose a huge threat and Mitchell Starc will be out to silence critics such as Shane Warne, while Jhye Richardson and Michael Neser show Australia's strength in depth in the pace ranks.

 

Gabba no longer a fortress?

Australia had not lost a Test at the Gabba for 33 years until India's famous victory in January.

Joe Root fanned the flames last month by stating the hostile Brisbane venue is no longer such a "stronghold" for Australia.

It has most certainly not been a happy hunting ground for England, who have only won four of 21 Tests at the stage for the curtain-raiser for the series. The tourists' last Test win at the Gabba came in November 1986.

England have not won a Test in Australia since January 2011, losing nine and drawing one of their previous 10 contests, and they will be braced for a barrage of pace when they start their quest to regain the urn this week.

 

England must find an answer to Smith and Labuschagne 

The England bowlers had seen more than enough of Smith by the end of the 2019 series.

He racked up 774 runs at an average of 110.57 from seven innings, reaching three figures on three occasions and scoring a sublime 211 at Old Trafford.

The former skipper broke his own record for number of runs in a Test series in the 21st century. Only the great Don Bradman (19) and Jack Hobbs (12) have more Ashes centuries than Smith's 11.

Marnus Labuschagne was also outstanding in England two years ago, averaging 50.42. He has been a revelation at number three and will have a big role to play.

 

Australia in safe hands with Carey?

Alex Carey will take the gloves and make his Test debut at the Gabba in the absence of Paine.

Carey has plenty of experience at the age of 30 and has 83 international white-ball experiences under his belt.

He comes into his Test bow on the back of making a timely century for South Australia against Queensland in the Sheffield Shield and has a chance to cement his spot in the side.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has paid tribute to noted sports administrator and sportscaster Anthony “Tony” Harford, who passed away on Friday.

Harford, who also played a major role in the development of cricket at all levels, was a leading figure in the marketing and promotion of sports, including working with the Trinidad & Tobago football team to the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

In the 1990s, he worked with the then West Indies Cricket Board of Control (WICBC) in the marketing and sponsorship of the West Indies team and accompanied the players on tour.

Harford’s work in cricket also included the development of age-group cricket tournaments and grassroots cricket. He was the lead coordinator and fundraiser for the first-ever West Indies U17 tour to Australia and established an annual “windball” (tennis ball) tournament for amateur players from across the Caribbean.

“Tony was a loyal son and selfless servant of West Indies and Trinidad cricket. He had a tremendous love of sports, and profound knowledge of the ins and outs of all sports,” CWI Vice President Dr Kishore Shallow recalled.

“His service to youth cricket in the Windward Islands was especially innovative and impactful. In the 1990s, he literally relocated the annual Windwards youth tournaments to Trinidad where he found adequate sponsorships to keep the age tournaments alive at a period when the Windwards cricket board was financially strapped.

“He loved young people and was dedicated to seeing the growth of the sporting industry as well as and the development of individual sportspersons. On behalf of CWI’s president, Directors and staff, I would like to extend condolences to the Harford family and loved ones, as well as the sporting fraternity in Trinidad & Tobago.”

 

Joe Root has predicted the upcoming Ashes series against Australia will "define" his reign as England captain.

Root will go up against new Australia skipper Pat Cummins in the five-Test series, and he acknowledges results against the old enemy have been the yardstick for judging England captains in the past.

The 30-year-old's only other series in the role in Australia resulted in a 4-0 defeat four years ago, but Root sees this as an opportunity for himself and his team-mates to make an impact.

Speaking ahead of the first Test which starts on Wednesday in Brisbane, Root told reporters: "Of course it will define my captaincy – I'm not naive enough to think that it won't – but what a great opportunity.

"If you look how hard it's been for English captains and English teams [to win in Australia] over the years, it has been something which doesn't happen very often.

"I'm very excited about it and can't wait for the series to get going."

Root is the top-ranked Test batsman in world cricket, ahead of Australia's Steve Smith and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson.

In 2021, Root has scored 1,455 Test runs in 12 matches at an average of 66.13, over 500 runs more than India's Rohit Sharma in second place.

He is also set to overtake Alastair Cook as the player to have won the most caps while captain of England during the series.

 

"You look at some of the players, some of the individuals, some of the performances guys have put in," Root added. "The senior guys have done it time and time again and the junior guys have shown glimpses of what they can do and their potential.

"What better stage to really grab a series and make an announcement on the international stage. I'm an Ashes player and I want to live in the history of this great rivalry. That carrot is there for everyone."

Australia have already named their side for the first Test at the Gabba, including Travis Head and Mitchell Starc.

The Australians have won seven of their last eight men's Test series against England on home soil, not losing a single match in three of their last four series hosting the Ashes.

Root said England were not yet in a position to name their team but did suggest that spin would be important, hinting that Jack Leach could feature.

"We've got all the options on the table right now. We're not going to name a team just yet. We'll have to see a closer forecast and how that pitch changes over the next couple of days," Root said.

"But I do think it is a good place to bowl spin. If you speak to some of the great spin bowlers from Australia, they've always enjoyed bowling here.

"It's something we'll weigh up, but we're not in a position to make a call on that right now."

Injury has forced Kieron Pollard out of the West Indies’ white-ball tour of Pakistan later this month. Pollard suffered the injury during the recent ICC T20 World Cup and has not sufficiently recovered in time for the tour that runs from December 13-22.

Andre Russell crowned himself 2021 Abu Dhabi T10 champion after he produced an electrifying Man-of-the-Match performance to lead the Deccan Gladiators to a 56-run win over the Delhi Bulls on Saturday.

Ravichandran Ashwin struck three times as India closed in on a series victory after Ajaz Patel claimed New Zealand's second-best Test match figures on day three at the Wankhede Stadium.

India declared on 276-7 in Mumbai on Sunday to set the Black Caps a highly improbable 540 to win, and the tourists are facing a crushing defeat in the second and final Test of the series after closing on 140-5.

Patel became only the third bowler to take all 10 wickets in a Test innings on day two and the New Zealand spinner finished with incredible match figures of 14-225, surpassing Ian Botham's 13-106 in Mumbai in 1989 as the best taken against India.

It was very much India's day once again, though, after Mayank Agarwal top scored with 62, having made a magnificent century in the first innings.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Shubman Gill made 47 apiece, while captain Virat Kohli chipped in with 36 before Axar Patel smashed an unbeaten 41 off 26 deliveries.

Ashwin (3-27) came to the fore yet again on a challenging surface after Kohli declared late in the afternoon session, removing openers Tom Latham and Will Young before sending Ross Taylor on his way.

Daryl Mitchell (60) played with great assurance as New Zealand moved beyond their embarrassing first-innings total off 62 all out until he holed out off the bowling of Axar and Tom Blundell was run out for a duck.

Henry Nicholls batted with admirable patience and was still there on 36 at stumps, but India are on the brink of gaining a measure of revenge for their defeat in the inaugural World Test Championship final.

 

Patel only second to Hadlee

Spinner Patel shot to prominence with his astonishing display with the ball in his city of birth on Saturday.

The 33-year-old tweaker's one-man show continued when he dismissed Agarwal and Pujara before Rachin Ravindra (3-56) became the first Black Caps bowler other than Patel to take a wicket in the match, Gill the man to become his first Test victim.

Only Richard Hadlee has claimed better match figures for New Zealand than Patel, when the legendary all-rounder took 15-123 against Australia in November 1985.


Ashwin ending memorable year on a high note

It has been an outstanding year for Ashwin, who followed up his devastating first-innings exploits by reaching the 50-wicket landmark for 2021.

The wily Ashwin took 4-8 on day two and the New Zealand batsmen struggled to read him once again, Latham pinned lbw before Young was caught at short leg and Taylor's positive approach did not pay off when he was taken by Pujara.

Mitchell and Nicholls made a fight out it in a stand of 73, but Ashwin looks poised to take yet another five-wicket haul with two days remaining.

Australia have opted for Travis Head over Usman Khawaja as captain Pat Cummins confirmed the starting XI to face England in the opening Ashes Test at the Gabba.

It was between Head and Khawaja in the race to bat at number five in Wednesday's opener in Brisbane and Australia stuck with the former.

Head, who played in four of the 2019 Ashes Tests and top-scored with 51 at an average of 27.28 before sitting out the final match, has made 394 runs – including two centuries – at 49.25 this Sheffield Shield season.

His overall Test record also stands at an average of 39.75 from 19 matches, including two tons.

Khawaja – without an international appearance in the longest format of cricket since the third Ashes Test in 2019 – also had a pair of hundreds as part of a 460-run haul at 65.71 in the Sheffield Shield.

But new Australia skipper Cummins and selectors preferred Head as they bid to retain the urn, though England are yet to confirm their XI.

"It was a tight one. Both really good options, really strong form," said Cummins on Sunday.

"Experience is great from Uzzie and we feel really lucky to have that in the squad, but Trav's been playing a lot for us the last couple of years.

"He's gone away and he's churned out runs in England, here in Australia, and we feel like he's really ready to go."

Australia quick Mitchell Starc avoided the axe, selectors keeping faith with the paceman alongside fellow pace bowlers Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.

Starc's position was under threat due to his form and the rise of Jhye Richardson, who had taken 15 wickets in his past two Sheffield Shield matches.

England captain Joe Root declined to announce his team during Sunday's series launch, telling reporters: "We've got all the options on the table [but] we're not going to name a team just yet.

"We'll have to see the closer forecase and how that pitch changes over the next couple of days.

"But it's a great place to play spin. It's something we'll weigh up and consider, but we're not in a position to make that call right now."

 

Australian XI: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (c), Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc.

England: Joe Root (c), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Jamaican track and field legend, Usain Bolt, has decided to try out cricket as a new profession and wants to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The eight-time Olympic champion has often spoken about his love for the sport of cricket and how he originally wanted to be a cricketer before his father suggested that he should focus on track and field, a wise decision looking back.

“My father is a huge cricket fan. When I got to higher secondary, I had two options-cricket or athletics. My dad said because of the system in Jamaica; it would be better to take up athletics. You just have to run fast in athletics while it’s tougher to get into the national cricket team,” said Bolt speaking during a promotional visit to India in 2014.

In a recent interview with Hindustan Times, Bolt expressed his desire to be involved in the Indian Premier League at some point.

“Definitely. I will get my training on. I’ll get fit and get ready,” he said.

The 11-time World Championship gold medallist also spoke about how he got into cricket when he was younger.

“The two main sports in Jamaica at the time were football and cricket. I was a massive fan of cricket because my dad was a fan of it. He watched it every day, every chance you get, you would watch all the teams play so I grew up watching cricket,” added Bolt.

He cited Pakistani great, Waqar Younis, as one of his favorite bowlers to watch growing up.

“When I was really small, I loved the Pakistan cricket team. Waqar Younis was one of the greatest Pakistan bowlers ever, and I was a bowler, so I really enjoyed watching him. I was a big Pakistan fan until I got older when I noticed that I should actually support my home team,” said Bolt.

 

 

West Indies captain, Kraigg Brathwaite, admits a recurring problem is the team's ability to spend longer at the crease, on the back of a dismal performance against Sri Lanka in the recently concluded tour.

With very few exceptions, the Windies batsmen struggled to make an impact against a crafty Sri Lanka spin attack, which anchored a dominant 2-0 series win for the hosts in Galle.  A closer look at the team’s batting statistics did not make for good reading. 

In two matches, only three batsmen managed a combined total of over 100 runs.  Nkrumah Bonner was the team’s most successful batsman putting up a total of 148, over the two matches, with a high score of 68 and an average of 49.33.  Brathwaite was next with 119, his average working out to 29.75, with a high score of 72.  Jermaine Blackwood was the third batsman to reach triple figures after totalling 109, averaging 27.25 and getting a high score of 44.

By comparison, Sri Lanka had five players total over 100 over both Tests, with two, Dhananjaya de Silva and Dimuth Karunaratne, getting over 200 runs.

When it comes to partnerships, the West Indies had only one that was worth 100 runs, which took place between Bonner and Da Silva in 44 overs.  By comparison, Sri Lanka achieved the feat 6 times.

“Batting-wise we let ourselves down, we just didn’t get big enough totals to cause any pressure on Sri Lanka,” Brathwaite said, following the match.

With the West Indies set to face England in January of next year, the captain believes the team must find ways to work on its concentration if things are to improve.

“Really and truly it all boils down to having the discipline and doing it for long periods.  I don’t think it will change in terms of spin-friendly conditions or batting in the Caribbean,” he added. 

“Wherever you may play, it’s about having that discipline throughout to bat for longer periods, I think that’s what we need.  We are showing that we can do it, but we are not doing it for long enough.”

 

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