Peter Moores sees signs of England developing the “ruthlessness” they need to win Test series and avoid “frustration” like at being held by West Indies.
Moores cites the tourists’ last day demolition of the Windies in Grenada as evidence of the former, although he says the latter is the main emotion after yesterday’s loss meant a 1-1 scoreline across the three matches in the Caribbean.
Speaking in Barbados today, the England Head Coach said: “What I think we’re trying to develop in this team, which takes a bit of time, is that sort of edge, that ruthlessness to drive home winning positions.
“We had that [winning positions] in every game. One of them we got home through an outstanding spell of Jimmy Anderson, but each time we’re going to get better at taking those opportunities.”
Anderson was by far the series’ leading wicket-taker with 17 scalps at an average of 18.
Although he broke Sir Ian Botham’s England Test wicket record in Antigua and broke the hosts with four second-innings victims in Grenada, it was Anderson’s initial bowling in Barbados that most impressed Moores.
The 32-year-old seamer returned first-innings figures of 6-42 at the Kensington Oval to give England an advantage they could not hold.
“Once he got the record out the way, he’s bowled beautifully,” Moores reflected.
“The spell I really liked was the first-innings spell here because he sat the seam up like Jimmy can and bowled good old-fashioned swing bowling, pitched the ball up, attacked the stumps, attacked both edges of the bat, and it was beautiful to watch.
“That sort of bowling by Jimmy, in England especially, will challenge any batters.
“It’s great to see him playing well. He’s as hungry as ever I think to keep playing and to keep moving forward. Our job is to keep that drive in him to move forward and he’s a key part of our team.”
The tourists could not follow Anderson’s six-for with a strong batting display, though, and West Indies subsequently chased the 192 they needed for victory with five wickets to spare.
“This morning (we’re feeling) frustration,” Moores admitted.
“We played very well in two Test matches and in this last Test we had a great chance to win a series 2-0 and we obviously let that slip and we ended up drawing 1-1.
“We’ve learned quite a lot through it – some players have played very well – but in the end we weren’t quite good enough to just push that through and get a 2-0 series win.”
Both hit their first overseas Test hundreds, Root amassing 358 runs at 89.5 and Ballance 331 at 66.2.
“Lots of things have fallen nicely into place,” said Moores.
“Gary Ballance has done a really good job at three – he’s had a very good tour again here – Joe Root has performed well as a young player at five.”
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