Joe Root hails England's 'step forward' despite another West Indies draw

Joe Root was frustrated at not being able to forge a victory in the second Test with the West Indies, but believes England are moving in the right direction.

The second Test in Antigua ended in another draw, as England fell six wickets short of victory. A bolder declaration by the England captain could have tipped the scales in the tourists' favour.

Kraigg Brathwaite led his side to safety at 135 for five, to help the West Indies protect their proud record on home soil.

Root as happy with his side's attempts to push their case on a flat deck, but ultimately his opposite number would not cede ground. Brathwaite batted for just under 12 hours in the first innings and more than four in the second, saving the game with scores of 160 and 56 not out.

"It's frustrating not to get the win, but the way we played was a brilliant effort on a very placid surface," said Root.

"It's not a win, but it feels like another step forward. We could have maybe been a bit braver with the declaration, but it feels like a faster scoring ground here.

"I thought they might have a little go (at chasing), but it wasn't the case. Maybe we could have pulled out 10 overs earlier, but defending 240 in 70 overs might be a big ask for any side on that wicket.

"We didn't try to go for a miracle win in 30 overs, making sure we had 340 on the board, but I suppose the more confident you get the braver you might get with those decisions.

"The most important thing is to keep finding ways of giving ourselves a chance to win Tests because we are finding positions where we're on top and commanding the game."

For Brathwaite, the game will stand as testament to his single-minded adherence to keeping his team afloat in circumstances where they might easily have folded.

He faced 673 balls in total, relentlessly rebuffing all attempts to unsettle him.

"It was annoying how good he was," concluded Root.

"He played brilliantly in both innings and ground us down. He takes it deep time and time again, he had a clear game plan and stuck to it very well."

The Barbadian was a satisfied man at the close but eager for some rest and recuperation after spending almost the entire five days on the pitch.

"I'm a little tired and looking forward to getting some rest," he said.

"I had my plan. They bowled well, but I stuck with my plan and it paid off. It's about discipline, knowing my strengths and sticking to them for as long as possible. I managed to do it very long in this game."

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