Dominant: England took a 2-0 lead against the West Indies at Trent Bridge to win the series, but they didn’t have to work too hard for it. (Image | The Bolton News)

Before the Test series against the West Indies began, Andrew Strauss was having to defend his captaincy of the England cricket team and refute rumours that he was set to cast the role aside.

A series win over the Windies later, and all is well in the England camp. As has been observed by many, the hosts barely had to move into second gear at Trent Bridge as the West Indies were bowled out for 165 all out, having fallen to 61-6 at the close of play on day three.

The visitors’ collapse was spectacular, as James Anderson, Tim Bresnan and Stuart Broad all claimed wickets amid the ruthless destruction of the West Indies batting order.

Come the next day, however, and the hosts were frustrated in their efforts to secure victory in the Test thanks to a defiant stand of 76 from Marlon Samuels, who hit a century in the first innings.

Strauss, following his century in the first Test at Lord’s a week ago, fell for 45 but the partnership of Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott saw England home. The hosts head to Edgbaston next week for the final Test with victory already secured, and a record of seven series wins in a row at home.

Michael Vaughan, speaking on the BBC’s Test Match Special, said: “I don’t think England have got out of third gear. I don’t think they have been stretched that much.

“I always think at the end of a Test match how many West Indies players would get into the England side? I’d say probably none.”

Rampant: Tim Bresnan helped bring about the spectacular collapse of the West Indies batting order. (Image | The Guardian)

The West Indies, meanwhile, haven’t won on English soil for 24 years, and boast a less than illustrious record of one victory in 25 Tests against England.

While this may have been a “walk in the park”, the upcoming series against South Africa will be a far tougher test of England’s abilities, and could shed light on the main question following the Test at Trent Bridge: was it England’s strengths, or West Indies’ weaknesses, that sealed an early series win for the hosts?

Whatever happens, Strauss’ future appears far more secure two weeks on, and England will be number one in the world for the next few months at least.

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