Former English skipper Michael Vaughan has thrown the light on England’s inability to play on good Test pitches and win games, especially when they tour Australia for ‘The Ashes’ at the end of this year. The former England skipper also batted for the inclusion of spinner Jack Leach against India.
England lost the Test series 1-0 to New Zealand after they went down in the Edgbaston Test on Sunday. England’s next Test assignment will be against India in August, where revenge will definitely be on their cards after they suffered a humiliating 3-1 loss against the No.1 ranked team in their den.
Former England cricketer Michael Vaughan opined that England needs to learn to play on good Test pitches and also win there. Vaughan mentioned that even though England happens to find a couple of wins at home on green surfaces against India, it wouldn’t add any benefit to them with their Ashes series against Australia being played away from home.
"I do not believe playing on green tops against India even if it gets them a couple of cheap Test wins will do them any good whatsoever as they build up to Australia away and beyond. They need to learn how to play, and win, on good Test pitches,” Vaughan told The Telegraph.
"Even though England have struggled on these pitches, I believe they have to continue playing on good wickets, which is what Chris Silverwood said he wanted this summer,” he added.
The first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s was drawn after the rain had washed the entire third day’s gameplay. Vaughan said England were lucky at Lord’s but their similar errors haunted them at Edgbaston.
"They got lucky at Lord’s because it rained. But to make the same mistake two weeks in a row is a glaring tactical error. The wicket was not gripping and offering a lot of turn, but you need a variation when it is hot and dry at Edgbaston."
England had dropped left-arm spinner Jack Leach for both the Tests and went with a four-man pace attack just like the Black Caps did. Vaughan felt that Leach’s inclusion relieves seamers with burden and he hoped England would consider the spinner against India.
"You actually end up bowling your seamers more in a four-man seam attack each than with three seamers and the spinner so if they had picked Jack Leach, Joe Root could have also kept his seamers fresher. I hope England do not make the same mistake against India."
New Zealand made six amendments from their playing XI ahead of the Edgbaston Test, giving rest to key players like Kane Williamson, Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson. Yet they managed to outclass England throughout the four days. Vaughan credited New Zealand for their temperament and called them favourites to lift the WTC trophy against India in the final game.
"I have New Zealand as favourites to win the World Test Championship final against India. They have had two very competitive games and will take some confidence. India have played intra-squad warm-up matches but that just is not the same intensity," he concluded.