Root: expect something special in Australia

Ben Stokes scored the only half century in the game until now

Former England captain Michael Vaughan's words, but it is hard to argue after the resident match-winning all-rounder followed his career-best six for 22 with a crucial 60 runs too. On three occasions he has gone on to make it a 10-wicket match.

Now the reliable close-catcher and often dogged tailender is on the brink of becoming just the sixth bowler and only the third paceman, after West Indies' Courtney Walsh and Australia's Glenn McGrath, to take 500 Test wickets.

"In the second innings Jimmy was outstanding". Anderson's 81 that day remains his career best. However, the facts before us tell a different story.

Shannon Gabriel avoided a king pair thanks to the Decision Review System but Anderson then rattled Kemar Roach's stumps to better his 7 for 43, against New Zealand in 2008, by one run.

Only Jim Laker, who took 46 in 1956, has had more Test victims during an English season. "England would possibly look back to Gary Ballance".

Coming as it did at the end of an 18-month period where he had been dogged by a succession injuries, his future was a valid talking point.

'It just comes down to fitness with the bowlers. However, it makes flawless sense with Australia in mind.

With a 2-1 win to his name, a second series success from two in charge, Joe Root can now formalise plans for Australia, while West Indies will reflect on a contrasting contest in which they have plumbed the depths of despair, enjoyed glorious victory and then fallen short in a low-scoring affair at the Home of Cricket.

There are still many questions to answer ahead of the opening Ashes Test in Brisbane, yet overall Root can be pleased with the positive start he has made as captain.

"Unfortunately, we didn't get more batsmen to carry on".


Mark Stoneman was 40 not out and Tom Westley 44 not out in an unbroken stand of 72.

- Secured a place on the famous Lord's honours board on Test debut, taking five for 73 against Zimbabwe.

The fact England's run chase was so simple owed everything to Anderson.

Numerous statistical landmarks have come his way, with Anderson passing Ian Botham's previous England record of 383 Test wickets in the Caribbean in 2015. Roston Chase and Jermaine Blackwood fell to catches behind before Shane Dowrich briefly counterpunched, only to donate his wicket and complete a miserable series with the bat.

Indeed Anderson once said he had to force himself to become increasingly confrontational - a process he likened to being "Jimmy on the field and James off it".

Despite defeats to South Africa at Trent Bridge in July and West Indies in the second Test at Headingley Root was impressed by the response to both in the two series wins, praising his side's resilience and character - noting them as two attributes required for an Ashes tour.

Hope has had a superb series, ending it as the leading runscorer and an average of 75.

It was built on two hundreds from Hope, his first in Test cricket, and the 23-year-old Barbados batsman appeared to have come of age during this series.

However, Hope - and all West Indian hope - evaporated in the second over after lunch when Anderson produced yet another near-unplayable delivery the youngster could only edge behind.

Roach soon claimed his five wicket haul when he had Moeen Ali (3) caught at gully following which Toby Roland-Jones (13) and Stuart Broad (38) played useful knocks down the order to help England post 194 runs and claim a vital 71 run first innings lead.

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