FORMER TT and West Indies fast bowler Tony Gray said he would have liked to see a change in the batting line-up for the third and final Test against England at Old Trafford, Manchester.
The match is currently in progress with England closing day one on 258 for four.
Opener John Campbell and top order batsman Shai Hope are having a tough time in the series scoring 52 and 57 runs respectively in four innings.
The only change West Indies made for the final Test was replacing fast bowler Alzarri Joseph with off-spinning all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall.
On the batting, Gray said on Friday, “I think that Campbell should not play this game. I think that they have to try somebody else because Campbell is in a downward spiral. You could have adjusted the batting order and Shai Hope should have batted at (number) four or five when the ball gets old…Nkrumah Bonner should play a Test match.”
Hope has been batting at number three in the series.
Gray gave his opinion on who should open. “Is better he (Brooks) open the innings with Brathwaite. They have a good understanding, they have batted a lot for Barbados (Pride) so there is chemistry there.”
Brooks, batting at four for West Indies in the series, is the top batsman for the regional team. The right-hander has scored 169 runs in four innings with two half centuries.
On Campbell’s struggles, Gray said, “His mobility is not there as an opening batsman. Before the second Test match started I was talking about the quickness of footwork. (Ollie) Pope batted really well today (for England) because it is footwork and quickness.
“The (Windies) batsmen not getting in position quickly enough and not decisive enough. You have to be decisive in England.”
Fast bowler Shannon Gabriel was instrumental in guiding West Indies to a four-wicket win in the first Test grabbing nine wickets in the contest. The Trinidadian, who was not among the wickets in the second Test, is struggling with his fitness as he had to leave the field to seek treatment on Friday. Gray is worried, saying, “I am not sure about Shannon’s fitness. He came off the field, so that is concerning for me because it is an ongoing thing.”
Former TT Red Force coach Kelvin Williams has worked with Gabriel for several years. Williams is backing Gabriel to deliver the goods.
“I was quite impressed on his performance in the first Test…I thought he bowled well today with no success. The shape is there, the alignment and everything (is there).”