Caddick rewinds to Windies in 2000
Former England fast bowler Andy Caddick relished an uphill battle - and that was just what he got in the 2000 Test series with West Indies.
Caddick, now 43, aided a comeback from defeat in the opening game at Edgbaston as England beat the Windies for the first time in 31 years.
His new-ball partnership alongside Darren Gough, with fellow seamers Dominic Cork and Craig White to follow, did the bulk of the damage in the field.
Caddick, who played 62 Tests and 54 one-day internationals from 1993 to 2003, particularly shone at Lord’s and Headingley, notably when he had the opportunity to bowl up the slope.
“I always preferred running up a gradient because it helped me set and I could attack the crease,” he told ecb.co.uk.
“Running down the hill at Lord’s and running down the hill at Headingley, I tended to run away, I tended to lose a bit of composure and it didn’t really come out right.
“Running up again, I’d always bowled up the hill at Headingley, I’d always bowled well up the hill at Headingley for some reason.”
Having suffered a 2-1 Test defeat in South Africa the previous winter in the first series with Duncan Fletcher as coach, England beat Zimbabwe 1-0 in early summer with Caddick claiming seven wickets.
However, the Wisden Trophy was a much tougher proposition as West Indies showed with victory in the first Test by an innings and 93 runs.
The tourists demonstrated the point further at Lord’s by taking a first-innings lead of 133, Caddick adding just one wicket to his two at Edgbaston.
“You could say we were staring down the barrel very quickly of losing the series,” he recalled. “We needed to turn that round.”
That is just what Caddick did, returning 5-16 from 13 inspired overs as the Windies were dismissed for 54 - their third lowest total and worst against England.
“It’s not often you walk back towards the Nursery Ground after bowling and you get standing ovations from the Lord’s crowd,” he added.
“I went for aggressive bowling. It was pretty relentless. There were some heated deliveries which were reasonably quick running up the hill.
“It basically gave the West Indies back a little bit of their own treatment. It was just getting things right, the rhythm coming right, hitting the crease properly.
“I did everything right and the other thing was the wind was right as well. The wind was behind me, which was unusual at Lord’s coming from the Nursery End. That helped the ball swing and everything just clicked.
“There were a couple of cracking deliveries such as Brian Lara’s which was just an off-cutter that bounced and left him, caught at gully by Corky, and the likes of (Ridley) Jacobs who basically I set up with some inswing and bowling him an off-cutter, and was caught by Athers (Mike Atherton) at slip.
“Everything I tried actually happened. Everything I was working for, I was planning, actually happened. As a professional cricketer there’s probably only a handful of times in your career that actually does happen, what you’re planning actually does come off with each delivery.”
England, who had made only 134 first time, were set 188 to win the 100th Test at Lord’s.
In an enthralling chase, Caddick joined Cork in the middle at 149 for seven but was soon trapped in front by Curtly Ambrose.
“It was a bit nerve-wracking. When I went in I thought myself and Dominic would do the job,” he said.
“It’s one of those things. You get so close and actually wanting to be out in the middle. As a tailender you always want to be out in the middle, winning the Test match and scoring the winning runs.
“And that only happens a handful of times. So that’s one of the aspects of cricket, you really want to contribute with the bat but unfortunately for me that didn’t happen.
“Luckily for England, Dominic got 30-odd runs to seal victory with a couple of partnerships.”
Following that two-wicket triumph, Caddick helped England win the NatWest Series that came before the drawn third Test at Old Trafford.
His economical bowling in the first innings at Headingley went unrewarded in terms of wickets, but England assumed a lead of 100.
They did not need to bat again as West Indies were shot out for 61, remarkably giving the hosts victory inside two days.
Four Gough wickets and one for Cork left the tourists 49 for five and Caddick, having switched to the Rugby Stand End, snared four in a tumultuous over en route to 5-14.
“I finally switched round and finally the ball started swinging and, because I was just hitting the straps and the rhythm, subsequently the wickets did tumble,” he added.
Five more for Caddick at the Oval left him with 22 in the series and aided a 158-run win plus a 3-1 scoreline.
That proved the start of a gradual upward curve for Nasser Hussain’s side, who that winter prevailed 1-0 versus Pakistan and 2-1 against Sri Lanka with Caddick playing throughout.
“The year 2000 for Test cricket I think was a historic moment for England,” Caddick said.
“The West Indies were still a very competitive side and I think England as a team were starting to gel very well for the next two, three years. England gelled very well as a side and subsequently did very well under the Nasser Hussain captaincy.
“It was a good year, it was a good start for Duncan Fletcher and the regime proved their worth in the following years to come. I think West Indies as a whole was a turning point for English cricket.”