England Test skipper Joe Root has termed Michael Vaughan's criticism of the England side as "unfair" and added that he couldn’t believe the comment came from Vaughan, his boyhood hero. But the 340-run loss to South Africa forced him to admit that they have to adapt the rigors of Test cricket better.
England lost their last seven wickets for just 62 runs in the first innings as they slumped to a paltry 205 in reply to South Africa’s first innings score of 335. The collapse left South Africa with a huge 130-run advantage in the first innings and that the Proteas used to level the series 1-1. After the shambolic batting display on the second day, Vaughn had described England's batting as "appalling" on the BBC's Test Match Special and suggested that it was born from "a lack of respect" for the values of Test cricket.
“The England batting has been appalling. Maybe it’s a lack of respect
“They look like they are playing a Twenty20 game. I look at the approach — yes, the ball has done a little bit but it’s not been drastic. They have this approach of attack, attack, attack. There is no thought or feeling of seeing off a bowler or wearing a team down.”
But the newly appointed skipper Root countered former England skipper's comment by saying England had simply suffered a bad game and that he couldn't believe Vaughan’s such comments.
"That's very unfair. I can't believe he's actually said
"We pride ourselves on winning series like this and unfortunately we've played poorly this week."
Root, though, didn’t shy away to admit that England's batting was not up to the mark in the second Test, as they could only bat for 97 overs in both innings combined. However, the Yorkshire man was adamant that the result was not a fair representation of the team's quality and the team can certainly perform better.
"It was very disappointing the way we played today," Root said. "We're a side that doesn't like giving anything away and unfortunately today that wasn't a fair representation of how good we are as a team.
"It's important to stay calm. There's a lot of cricket left to be played in this series. It's important we don't sulk and we don't get too down on ourselves. We're a good side and we don't lose that overnight.
"But it's part and parcel of Test cricket. We need to be better at that. There's no shying away from it. We need to make sure we learn quickly and, if we are in a similar situation at The Oval, for example, we play it slightly smarter.”
Since the beginning of 2015, this was England’s 15th Test loss – in a period when they have won only 13 Tests. And this inconsistency is holding them back from showing their true potential in Test cricket. Root, though, hopes that they will come back stronger in the third Test at the Oval.
"It's something we've spoken about and we want to make sure we put it right. That all starts with how we prepare
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