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Following England’s poor batting performance in the first innings of the recently-concluded second Test against South Africa, former England captain Michael Vaughan had come down heavily on the English batsmen.
On a pace-friendly Trent Bridge wicket and against South Africa’s formidable pace-attack, the English batsmen tried to bat their way out of the trouble by going for the shots but they paid a hefty price for it as they were bundled out for just 205 in reply to South Africa’s 335.
Joe Root’s uncharacteristic knock of 76-ball 78 runs was the best example of the ploy the England batsmen tried to employ but it backfired.
“The England batting has been appalling. Maybe it’s a lack of respect for what the game is,” Vaughan had told BBC.
“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,” he had added.
The match ended on Monday (July 17) with South Africa levelling the series with a thumping 340-run win. England’s batsmen once again failed to get going and were all out for just 133 runs inside 45 overs in reply to 473. Speaking at the post-match presser, Joe Root expressed his surprise over Vaughan’s comments.
“I think that’s very unfair — I can’t believe he’s actually said that. We pride ourselves on winning series like this, and unfortunately we’ve played poorly this week,” Root said.
But at the same time, the newly-appointed England captain insisted that his team needs to learn quickly from the mistakes to avoid a similar performance.
“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. 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,” he added.