Renowned English commentator David Llyod expressed his disappointment with the Joe Root led England side’s approach in the run-chase in the first Test against New Zealand that resulted in a draw. Lloyd termed the first Test as a 'dreadful advert' for Test cricket where England lacked appetite.
England and New Zealand drew the first Test at Lord’s on Sunday to leave the series all-square, moving to the Edgbaston Test for the series decider. After New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson declared in the early part of Day 5, England were set a target of 273 to be chased down in 75 overs. However, all that ensued was a draw as England, despite batting out 70 overs, managed to post just 170/3, content with not going for the kill.
This comfort zone of England has disappointed former England cricketer turned commentator David Lloyd, who expressed his displeasure against Joe Root & co by terming the first game as a ‘dreadful avert’ for Test cricket.
“It’s just that this was a dreadful advert for Test cricket. Two teams playing two Tests that have no bearing on the World Test Championship,” Lloyd wrote in his Daily Mail column.
England opener Dominic Sibley, who was dismissed for a nought in the first innings, took a defensive approach as he blocked balls nonchalantly and remained unbeaten on 60 from 207 balls with a strike rate of 28.99. Lloyd recalled the instance of how former England openers Geoff Boycott and Ken Barrington were infamously dropped from the squad for playing leisurely.
“Just have some fun! Ken Barrington and Geoff Boycott were dropped by England for scoring too slowly. This from Dom Sibley was instantly forgettable. Roll on the Hundred,” Lloyd said.
Ross Taylor (33) and Henry Nicholls (23) played handy knocks to add 107 runs to New Zealand’s overnight score of 62/2. Shortly, after Nicholls’ dismissal, Williamson declared Kiwis’ innings asking England to score 273. Lloyd hailed Williamson’s decision to declare, but stressed on England’s lack of appetite and ambition as they failed to show intent with the bat.
“That was a good declaration from Kane Williamson but England went into ‘what if’ mode rather than ‘let’s go.’ Surely a more aggressive approach would have sent a positive message. They had neither the appetite nor ambition to respond to Williamson’s challenge. There was nothing to lose for England and everything to gain. Very disappointing.
Over 20 overs were lost in the Test due to poor over rate, and Lloyd described overs being lost due to teams’ callousness as ‘laughable’.
“The amount of play that continues to be lost because of poor over-rates is laughable. We were 21 overs down on where we should have been ahead of on Sunday – and that’s with an extra half hour every night! I keep on banging on about it but no-one is listening. The authorities have to give power to umpires to sort this out."