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Jonathan Agnew column

Jonathan Agnew
By Jonathan Agnew
BBC cricket correspondent

James Anderson
Anderson's nine wickets at the Riverside showed a bowler in fine fettle

I suppose we should not be surprised by West Indies' collapse on the final day, but it was nonetheless disappointing.

Chris Gayle had a moan about the cold conditions and of course he has a point - cricket is not supposed to be played under a mountain of sweaters and hand warmers.

But touring the world and adjusting to the different demands of every country is part and parcel of being an international cricketer and the West Indies did not appear the least bit motivated to get stuck in here.

James Anderson relished the conditions and confirmed his status as England's first choice quick bowler.

He swung the ball both ways with menace and found some surprising nip on the final day off what had been a desperately slow pitch. He is a very quiet, unassuming man but provided he does not take a hammering in all the one-day cricket that now follows, he will be a major weapon in the Ashes.

Graham Onions is a tenacious bowler - one who appears never to give up even with Gayle aiming to take him apart. It is too early yet to say whether he will be effective on flat pitches, but he does bowl wicket-to-wicket and that is a great start.

Tim Bresnan finally got on the scorecard with three wickets today. Like Anderson, he found some lateral movement, but I am not yet convinced that he will make it at this level.

Appearances can often be deceiving, but Bresnan does look rather like an old-fashioned county seamer. Perhaps we will discover more in the one-day internationals.

TMS BLOG
BBC Sport's Mark Mitchener

Stuart Broad improves day by day and with Graeme Swann England have a balanced attack for these conditions. If Andrew Flintoff can get himself fit, they will also have the necessary pace and aggression that will be needed to ruffle up the Australians on the harder pitches in July.

Hopefully the administrators will have taken note of the empty seats and the general lack of appetite for Test cricket so early in the season.

The ticket prices were clearly too high, and while the ECB claims to be the guardian of Test cricket the board must do all it can to put the integrity of the game first and foremost. These two matches did not put Test cricket in its best light.

However, the most pressing question of who will start the Ashes at number three has been answered, and you will not find Ravi Bopara complaining about the cold.



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see also
Anderson inspires England victory
18 May 09 |  England
Anderson a world beater - Strauss
18 May 09 |  England
Gayle targeting Windies fightback
18 May 09 |  West Indies
England v West Indies photos
18 May 09 |  England
Strauss hits back over Gayle row
13 May 09 |  Cricket
England seal emphatic Lord's win
08 May 09 |  England
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
West Indies in England 2009
18 May 09 |  Cricket


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