After England’s 151-run defeat on the final day of the second Test at Lord’s, former English cricketer Geoffrey Boycott slammed the hosts for not relying on basics. He also added that there has to be an improvement from the top three of England, instead of relying on Root everytime.
England were sure shot favourites to clinch a victory in the second Test against India, at Lord’s, but the hosts threw away their chances of holding it tight. The Indians did not have their best start as they lost Rishabh Pant early on Day 5 but their pacers Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah came with the rescue act in the second innings for the visitors. The duo built an unbeaten 89 run stand for the ninth wicket at Lord’s.
The Indian pacers bowled exceedingly well to bowl out England for 120 in the second innings but the English openers failed once again as they disappointed the management and the captain by walking early to the dressing room. Skipper Joe Root tried his best as usual to extend the game towards a draw, but he lacked support from the other end. Wicket-keeper batsman Jos Butler gave a ray of hope, but Siraj and Bumrah came on top.
In the first innings, it was just Jonny Bairstow teamed up with Root (180*) to build a 121 run stand to guide England towards a better score. It saw Geoffrey Boycott, a former opener for England who played 108 Tests, state that the top-order batsmen should improve their technique to avoid over relying on Root for runs.
"This Test match has proved two things. Firstly, if you are stupid you do not deserve to win Test matches. As much as we love Joe Root for his magnificent batting, he cocked up with his tactics. Secondly, England cannot keep relying on Joe for all their runs. There has to be an improvement from the top three very soon because it is getting beyond a joke," Geoffrey Boycott stated, in his column for The Telegraph.
It’s been seven games since England’s last Test victory and the team has not worked well on their brittle batting unit and tactics at the ground. Joe Root’s tactics were widely questioned as the English bowlers let the Indian tail-enders score crucial runs on the final day of the second Test at Lord’s. Furthermore, England’s decision to bowl short deliveries to Bumrah and Shami went in vain as the duo played extremely well with the bat and the field setup for the tail-ender batsmen was also questioned by many cricket experts.
The verbal exchanges from English players heated up the Indian batsmen to fight more on the final day. The 80-year-old called out England for their over-reliance on Joe Root, and the skipper for his strange tactics.
"Joe had been doing well with his field placings and captaincy but seeing Jasprit Bumrah at the crease was like a red rag to a bull. He encouraged Mark Wood to just pepper him with fast short balls. It is obvious the England captain and some of his players wanted payback for the working over Bumrah gave to James Anderson in the first innings. Heated words were exchanged as England seemed more intent on hitting Bumrah and Mohammad Shami instead of getting them out."
“At the start of play, England were favourites and I couldn’t believe England would be so poor but congratulations, India. You were absolutely brilliant," he added.