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England's Jonny Bairstow plays a shot as he waged a lone battle with a knock of 140 in the first Test against the West Indies at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua. Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: England’s struggles in Tests continued in the first match against West Indies at Antigua. At the end of first day they were in a precarious position at 268 for six after being at 48/4 one stage. They fought back thanks to Jonny Bairstow’s hundred, which helped them revive their innings after their openers failed again.

England are at the bottom of the World Test Championship points table with just one win in 10 games. Six defeats and two drawn results have given England a win percentage of just 9.25. After going down twice to India in their own backyard, they were hammered by arch-rivals Australia 4/0 and were lucky to escape a whitewash with one draw in the Sydney Test.

Their batting has been a total let-down, barring their captain Joe Root, since the last year. Root has scored 1,708 in 2021 and only Bairstow has given him some support. England have dropped their two senior bowlers — James Anderson and Stuart Broad — from the West Indies tour and now hope to win a series in the Caribbean, which has eluded them since 1968.

Root's captaincy under the scanner

England have just won one series in the 10 series they have played. Root, whose captaincy has come under the scanner after the Ashes loss, would like to make amends and hold on to the skipper’s role by winning this series or least draw it. England have been bowled out for 311 in their first innings and will hope his bowlers can justify his decision to bat first.

West Indies team has not been the same after they had dominated the 80s and early part of 90s, but still England have won just one series in 2003, under Micheal Vaughan’s captaincy. After that they have not won a series, which must be making the Barmy Army wonder what has gone wrong to their team when they visit the Caribbean. Root was the captain when they lost 2/1 to Jason Holder’s team, can he get one turn the tide this time around?