Joe Root sprung to his side’s defence after former England captain Michael Vaughan’s brutal comments about the England batting collapse.
England were far from their best with the bat at Trent Bridge and were bowled out for a modest 205 in their first innings. In their second dig, the hosts were faced with the daunting task of batting for two full days to save the Test.
The Ashes-winning captain criticised the batsmen’s technique and temperament after being bundled out for 133 in 44 overs. This was in stark contrast to the series-opener which saw them post 458 in the first innings at Lord’s en route to a 211-run victory.
‘The England batting has been appalling,’ Vaughan said on BBC’s Test Match Special.
‘Maybe it’s a lack of respect about what the game is.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.’
Vaughan also said that the batsmen do not play the conditions and adopt the same approach regardless of the situation.
‘I worry about the mentality of the Test batting because as soon as the things get difficult – it swings around or spins – they play aggressively.’
Root was shocked by Vaughan’s comments, though he did acknowledge his side’s failure to adapt to the match situation.
‘I think that’s very unfair – I can’t believe he’s actually said that,’ Root said at the post-match press conference.
‘We pride ourselves on winning series like this, and unfortunately, we’ve played poorly this week.
‘We need to make sure we learn quickly … [so that] if we are in a similar situation [in the third test] at The Oval, for example, we play it slightly smarter.’
The England skipper said that the batsmen do have the ability to show resolve but that the side hasn’t struck the right balance between attack and defence.
‘Part of Test cricket is trying to find a balance of both [attack and defence] – and even if it’s not your strength, you build it into your natural game,’ Root added.
‘You have periods where you can absorb a bit of pressure and find the right moment to apply it when chances come along.
We are capable of doing it and have done it previously, but this wasn’t a very good example of it.’
The hosts will have some time to regroup with over a week between the second and third Tests.
The third Test gets underway at the Oval on 27 July.
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