Michael Vaughan, former England skipper came down heavily on the Joe Root-captained home team after they lost to New Zealand by eight wickets in the second Test on Sunday, saying the batting was “fragile”.
New Zealand won the two-Test series 1-0 — their first series triumph in England in 22 years. The win also pushed New Zealand back to the number one spot in Test rankings and gave them a boost ahead of the World Test Championship final against India from June 18.
Michael Vaughan: England Can’t Play Ashes With This Fragile Batting Line-up
The first Test between England and New Zealand had ended in a draw while the second was won by the Kiwis as the team reclaimed the top rank in Test rankings. Michael Vaughan, who has played 86 Tests for England, said if the England team continues to underperform, it will have no chance in the Ashes later this year in Australia.
“They now have just five chances to sort the batting out before the Ashes. They can’t arrive in Australia with a batting line-up this fragile. They’d have no chance. This batting line-up is fragile and we have to now start looking at players and wondering if they are good enough because they keep getting out cheaply,” Michael Vaughan said on the BBC Test Match Special.
Despite winning the Cricket World Cup in July 2019 for the first time, England had also been criticized for its fragile top-order in Tests. The retirement of opener Alastair Cook in August 2018 ensured potential top-order batsmen Rory Burns, Joe Denly, and Jason Roy were able to secure a place in the side. The 2019 series was eventually drawn 2–2, with Australia retaining the Ashes. The 2021 Ashes series is scheduled for December 2021 through January 2022.
Michael Vaughan: Everything Has Gone Downhill For England After They Won The 1st Test Against India In India
England will get a chance to redeem themselves when they take on the Virat Kohli-led India in a five-match Test series in August-September this year.
“England have tinkered too much. Everything has gone downhill for England since they went up 1-0 in India. Don’t muck about with Test cricket. England isn’t a good enough team to muck about,” Michael Vaughan added.