England cricket: Joe Root is becoming a modern great claims David Lloyd


BUMBLE ON THE TEST: Rock-and-roll Ben Stokes can empty swimming pools and Joe Root is becoming a modern great… but it’s time England gave leg-spinner Matt Parkinson a go

  • Ben Stokes hit an impressive 120 before being caught out by Sharmarh Brooks
  • Fans in the party stand put down their beers and got out of the water to watch
  • Captain Joe Root is turning into a modern great thanks to his ability to play it late
  • England should give leg-spinner Matt Parkinson ago as he can spin both ways

England declared on 507-9 after Ben Stokes’s century lit up day two of the second Test between England and West Indies in Barbados.

Stokes hit an impressive 120 off just 114 balls before being caught out for 120 by Sharmarh Brooks. It was his first Test century since Ged died late in 2020.

Meanwhile, captain Joe Root played a supporting role as his lieutenant blasted West Indies and progressed to 153.

Sportsmail‘s DAVID LLOYD offers his views and insights on a blistering day’s play in the second Test at the Kensington Oval in Barbados.

Ben Stokes’s century lit up day two of the second Test between England and West Indies

Ben is pure box office

The rock-and-roll players can even empty swimming pools! 

I noticed that fans in the party stand put their beers down and got out of the water to watch Ben Stokes on Thursday. 

Recently, he has been coming in at 30 for three and having to drop anchor. Here we saw his aggressive natural game.

Fans in the party stand put their beers down and got out of the water to watch Stokes

Fans in the party stand put their beers down and got out of the water to watch Stokes

Root a modern great

Joe Root is turning into one of the modern greats. What makes him so good? He plays it late. 

Every top player I have known played the ball very close to their body and that is what Root does.

He almost has a signature shot — he lets the ball come right in and glides it down to third man, where most teams don’t have a fielder.

England captain Joe Root is turning into one of the modern greats by playing it late

England captain Joe Root is turning into one of the modern greats by playing it late 

So frustrating for Jimmy

I am absolutely thrilled for Matt Fisher getting his first Test wicket. 

He has come through difficult injuries and he is a rock-solid character, as is Saqib Mahmood. 

But a penny for Jimmy Anderson’s thoughts. He will have had his feet up thinking, ‘Well done batters, why weren’t you doing that when I was in the team?’

Time to try Parkinson

England have always been suspicious about leg-spinners. Maybe captains don’t know how to employ them. But Matt Parkinson is well worth a go.

I hear people say he can’t field and can’t bat. That is a lazy argument. I’d rather know what he can do — and that is spin the ball both ways.

I would have picked Parkinson for the first Test and this one.

It's time England gave leg-spinner Matt Parkinson ago as he can spin the ball both ways

It’s time England gave leg-spinner Matt Parkinson ago as he can spin the ball both ways

Far from perfect pitch

Curtly Ambrose and Roland Butcher have both expressed their disappointment about the quality of the pitches. They have asked, ‘Where is the grass?’ 

Test cricket is under so much scrutiny that it cannot afford to produce dead-as-a-dodo pitches. 

I am a gardener and know how to grow grass. You sow seeds, water it, cut it and roll it. It’s simple.

Scream at the screen

I noticed that the start of the day’s play was held up because the sight screens were still displaying the logo of a sponsor. It happens regularly.

 The camera will pan to it and it’s another free advert for the company. It is not bloody rocket science. Turn the thing round! 

The company will be rubbing their hands, but fans will be shouting, ‘Get on with the game!’

Lillee’s tribute so fitting

It was Rod Marsh’s funeral at the Adelaide Oval yesterday and it was fitting that Dennis Lillee was at the forefront of the service. 

You can still see it now — caught Marsh, bowled Lillee. It occurred a record 95 times in Tests. The cricket world comes together at times like this.

We are still coming to terms with the loss of Rod and Shane Warne.

It was fitting that Dennis Lillee (pictured) was at the forefront of Rod Marsh’s funeral

It was fitting that Dennis Lillee (pictured) was at the forefront of Rod Marsh’s funeral

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