Mark Wood offered an honest appraisal of England’s first outing with the ball in Antigua, admitting it felt “weird” without Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad and the seam attack possibly tried too hard to prove a point in their absence.
An adjustment period was always likely after the record-breaking pair were left at home but this is the exact scenario that Andrew Strauss, interim director of cricket, and Joe Root, the captain, hope will see others to step up in leadership roles.
Four West Indies wickets in their first 66.5 overs and a profligate opening burst from Chris Woakes and Craig Overton underlined the size of the challenge but Wood, the standout seamer with figures of one for 24 from 12 overs after overcoming last week’s stomach bug, was determined that day three will see this corrected.
Wood said: “We maybe tried a little bit too hard, with the void of Anderson and Broad we wanted to try hard and prove we could do it. Of course it’s weird [without them]. It’s obviously going to be talked about because they are legends. But we just have to admit we didn’t get it right to start with and we’ll be out to get it right next time.
“We were all a bit inconsistent, we didn’t get our lengths quite right and we were a little bit too full or too short. But actually I thought we came back really well.”
There was also a missed opportunity in the morning session, with England resuming on 268 for six but bowled out for 311 as the tail failed to support Jonny Bairtow. Wood accepted his culpability here, the No 10 caught off the top edge for one attempting to pull Alzarri Joseph before he was set.
Wood added: “As bowlers we work really hard on our batting and I think we could have stuck with Jonny a little bit more. I was disappointed with my shot.
“We could have got even more runs. From 48 for four, you think 311 is a really good total. But overnight we were hoping for more. It’s something to work on.”