Joe Root says England were “out-skilled at times” by Windies as they crashed to a Test-series defeat in the Caribbean.
Root’s side suffered heavy losses by 381 runs and 10 wickets in Barbados and Antigua respectively and failed to pass 200 in either innings in the latter match at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
Windies’ Darren Bravo battled away to score 50 from 216 balls on a spicy surface, while England’s entire second innings lasted only 253 deliveries.
“Fair play to Windies, the found a way to manage the conditions with a couple of gutsy innings which kept them in the game,” Root told Sky Sports Cricket.
“The Windies bowlers exploited conditions and made it very difficult, so I think we can learn lessons there. We were out-skilled at times.”
England’s decision to omit Stuart Broad from the series opener was roundly panned by pundits but Root insists his men cannot use selection as an “excuse”.
“The main thing is looking at how we have gone about it in the games,” said Root, whose side headed into the series following a 3-0 sweep in Sri Lanka in November.
“It’s easy to look at selection but I think that would be an excuse. We have under-performed with the bat and that has put us under pressure.
“We have got a talented squad of players that are more than capable of winning out here. We have just got to be better.
“Not making 200, even on a wicket as challenging as that [in Antigua], is disappointing.
“We need to score more runs up top but I don’t necessarily think personnel needs to change – Rory [Burns] played exceptionally well in the last game.
“We just need to find better methods of coping with certain things – it’s something we need to address and get right.”
Ben Stokes and James Anderson picked up a heavy workload with the ball but Root says he has no qualms about their fitness.
“I thought our bowlers were exceptional and at times were very unlucky. The credit has to go them,” he added.
“I know Ben is going to be playing across the formats but you come here to win games of cricket and those guys have performed well.
“They want the ball consistently and that’s what you want from guys – they are never shy of doing that.”
Looking ahead to the third Test in St Lucia, which is live on Sky Sports Cricket from 1.30pm on Saturday, Root added: “We will have to look at the way we have gone about things and come back strong.
“It’s a great chance to put a performance in.
“We came here wanting to play some strong cricket and win the series and it’s very disappointing to find ourselves in this position.”
Watch the third Test between Windies and England, in St Lucia, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 1.30pm on Saturday.
(c) Sky News 2019: Joe Root says England were ‘out-skilled’ by Windies in Test series defeat