After England's inglorious five wicket defeat to the West Indies in the final Test match in the Caribbean, the recriminations and fall out have begun in earnest. Alastair Cook's men failed to bowl out the hosts on the 3rd day, ensuring a drawn series. They face both the New Zealanders and Australians in Test series on English soil next, with several key decisions needing to be made quickly. One decision has been made for them, with Jonathan Trott's retirement from international #Cricket forcing the issue about his potential replacement at the top of the order.

Disappointment in the West Indies

The three-Test series in the West Indies had offered England some hope to regain confidence ahead of the tricky challenges to come.

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After taking a slender 1-0 lead after the Grenada match, Cook's side were hoping to assert their dominance in the final Test in Barbados. Their game plan went badly wrong though, as they squandered a first innings lead of 68 runs. A 2nd innings' batting collapse left them well short of setting a decent target for their hosts. The 'Windies' dug in to claim their victory by five wickets, Darren Bravo (82) and Jermaine Blackwood (47 not out) being their main heroes.

Captain Cook blames Graves' comments

With many cricket observers and fans clearly looking for scapegoats to blame for the inability to clinch the West Indies' series, Cook rather strangely turned on Colin Graves. The incoming England and Wales Cricket Board chief was alleged to have called the West Indies "mediocre" before the tour.

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Cook suggested that he had therefore provided them with all the motivation they needed to compete with the tourists.

Trott retirement forces the issue

34-year-old Trott has decided to retire from international cricket. He returned recently following an 18-month sabbatical due to a stress-related condition. Whether the thought of resurrecting the likely barrage from the pace bowlers in the upcoming Ashes' series influenced his decision seems slightly unclear. The harsh reality of just 72 runs in 6 Test innings in the Caribbean has left its mark though. Trott told the media that he didn't believe that his game was "at the level needed to play for England."

What next for England?

England play two Tests against New Zealand starting at the end of the month and then face the Aussies in 5 Tests through July and August. Trott needs to be replaced in the key opener's position alongside Cook. Adam Lyth of Yorkshire was in the touring party in the West Indies but didn't feature in the Test matches, but may be a natural replacement.

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He scored a stack of runs for his county side last season and the selectors may well hope he takes to Test cricket in a similar manner to his teammate Gary Ballance.

The spinners are a major concern. Neither Moeen Ali nor Joe Root seem to be the solution, although they may be used as a stop gap. Adil Rashid was another to travel but not play against the West Indies, yet could be a good option on English wickets. James Tredwell could yet come back after taking wickets in the first Test in Antigua, yet seems better suited to ODIs.

The jury is still out on whether Kevin Pietersen or Monty Panesar still have a future with England. Whoever gets the ECB director of cricket role may have a major bearing on those considerations. Former captains Andrew Strauss and Michael Vaughan have both been mentioned in that regard.

It could turn out to be a long summer for English cricket in more ways than one.