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Dominic Sibley

Joe Root, Jos Buttler , ECB Twitter
Joe Root, Jos Buttler , ECB Twitter
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England Batsmen Need To Step Up And Give Skipper Joe Root More Support In The 3rd Test: Jos Buttler

Jos Buttler, England wicketkeeper-batsman has opined that the rest of the English batters need to step up and give Joe Root more support. England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler has said that it is a privilege for him to be competing in the middle against India skipper Virat Kohli.

The first Test ended in a draw but India staged an incredible comeback to take the second game by 151 runs at the Lord’s Cricket Ground. Both sides will now lock horns in the third Test, beginning Wednesday at Headingley, Leeds.

England batsman Jos Buttler
England batsman Jos Buttler (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Jos Buttler: England Batsmen Need To Step Up And Give Joe Root More Support

The cracks in England’s fragile batting line-up were out in broad daylight against a world-class Indian pace attack. The hosts were bundled out for just 120 in the second innings to lose the match by 151 runs.

“I think it is obvious that the rest of us need to step up and give Joe Root more support. This year, in particular, he always bats well, but he seems to be in the form of his life. He has had an amazing start to the series and hopefully, that can continue and the rest of us can improve our game to give him more support,” said Jos Buttler.

“We certainly do not want to create more pressure on Joe’s shoulders. As a unit, we need to stand up to the level we can,” said Jos Buttler while replying to an ANI query during an interaction with select media organised by Sony Network.

Joe Root
Joe Root Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket

When ANI asked about whether he could have helped skipper Root in cutting short the bumper tactic at Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami in the second Test, Jos Buttler said:

“Yeah, potentially. Sometimes when you have a bowler who can bowl incredibly fast as Mark Wood does against the lower order, it can be to intimidate the lower-order batsmen. We thought it was a good option, obviously, it did not work for us and that was disappointing. But still, I think it can be a good tactic at times and we will try to get our tactics spot on going forward.”

Joe Root has amassed 1277 runs playing 10 Tests in 2021, averaging 57.21, and has hit 5 tons. He scored 228 and 186 against Sri Lanka and hit 218 in the 1st Test against and in India while scoring 109 and an unbeaten 180 in the first two successive Tests when India toured England.

Jos Buttler: It’s A Privilege To Compete Against Virat Kohli And His Team

India and England provided an intense spectacle on day five of the second Test as players from both sides engaged in verbals and in the end, it was Virat Kohli’s team that emerged triumphant in an engaging match. After the win in the third Test, India opening batsman KL Rahul said that if the opposition chooses to engage in verbals with his side, then they very well know how to give it back.

“At times, it can be part and parcel of the game. As a viewer, it is interesting to watch but I think, to be honest, it boils down to 22 ultra-competitive guys on the field who are trying to win for their country.

“At times, there can be ego and some words can be exchanged. Mostly it is in good spirits, but as a side, we are focused on what we need to do as a group to get back in the Test series,” said Jos Buttler.

“Virat Kohli is an incredibly competitive guy, he loves the challenge and competition. To be honest, that is one of the pleasures of playing against him. It is a great battle, it tests you. It is a privilege really to be out there in that competition against him and his team.

“We enjoy that, we have really competitive guys in our team as well who are desperate to win and it adds to the picture,” he added.

England batsmen Rory Burns (L), Dom Sibley (centre) and Haseeb Hameed (R)(HT Collage)
England batsmen Rory Burns (L), Dom Sibley (center), and Haseeb Hameed (R)(HT Collage)

When asked to comment on the current Indian bowling attack, Jos Buttler said: “Yeah, I think they are a fantastic bowling attack and they are right up there with the best attacks in the world. They cover a lot of different bases, they have a lot of experience as well. I think they are a demanding attack to face, they keep on asking you questions as a batting unit, they do not give you much.”

“I always think that Jasprit Bumrah is a fantastic bowler. In all formats of the game, he excels, he bowls with great pace. He creates different angles and he can move the ball. He is a fantastic bowler,” he added.

England’s top three batsmen have had horrid outings in recent times. Rory Burns has only managed 617 runs in 12 outings since 2020 while Dominic Sibley has scored only 917 runs from 19 Test matches in the last two years. Haseeb Hameed, who came into the playing XI at the expense of Zak Crawley at Lord’s, also failed to make a lasting impression. Haseeb Hameed registered a golden duck in the first innings and only scored nine runs in the second.

England already dropped Zak Crawley from the XI after his string of low scores. Haseeb Hameed was brought back into the England XI after almost five years, but even he looked tentative at Lord’s.  For the 3rd Test, Dawid Malan will bat at No. 3 while Haseeb Hameed and Rory Burns will open as Dominic Sibley has been dropped from the team.
Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
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It’s A Privilege To Compete With Virat Kohli And India, Says Jos Buttler

Jos Buttler, who was at the centre of a number of flare-ups between the Indian and English players during the Lord’s Test, said that the verbal duels are one of the “great pleasures” of facing Virat Kohli. For Jos Buttler, the subplots that develop during the course of a long series are one of the more enjoyable challenges in Test cricket.

The subplot that has come out of the last Test at Lord’s has added spice to the contest. It’s the flaying tempers and verbal volleys exchanged on the last day of the intriguing. Moments after winning the Test, the Indian contingent declared they are a more dangerous side when they are riled up. David Warner had conceded last winter that sledging Virat Kohli is more likely to backfire.

Jos Buttler said that the verbal duels are part of the pleasures of facing Virat Kohli.
Jos Buttler said that the verbal duels are part of the pleasures of facing Virat Kohli. (Reuters Photo)

Jos Buttler On Virat Kohli:

England, under extreme pressure to deliver on home turf, is not going to renege on the ploy of being in the face and getting under the skin of the Indians.

“Virat’s an incredibly competitive guy. He loves the challenge. He is a great batter. To be honest, it’s one of the pleasures of playing against him,” Buttler said of India’s aggressive brand of cricket during an interaction on the eve of the third Test.

“It’s a privilege to be out there in competition with him and his team. We enjoy that. We have incredibly competitive guys on our team. It adds to the fixture,” he added.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]
The Indian team did it in Australia. They are now doing it in England. This Indian cricket team has kept the flame of Test cricket burning bright one series after the other, fuelled intrinsically by their passion for the red-ball format.

Jos Buttler: India Is A Confident Team With Success And International Exposure Behind Them

The tantalizing moments at Lord’s have re-ignited the ‘spirit of cricket’ debate.  But this set of players locking horns are not about taking a backward step.

“At times it becomes a part of the game. It’s interesting to watch as a viewer. It boils down to 22 competitive guys in the field trying to win for their country. At times, there is ego and some words are shared but mostly in good spirits. As a side, we are very focused on what we have to do to get back in the series,” Jos Buttler stated.

England batsman Jos Buttler
England batsman Jos Buttler (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Getting back into the series won’t be easy for England. This Indian team seems to be on a roll and is sniffing the kill. This is more or less the same bunch that suffered a 1-4 drubbing in England three years ago.

“The most notable difference in the Indian team is the experience. This is a side that’s been together for three years. It’s the similar group and same names. They are a confident team with lots of international games and success behind them,” Jos Buttler said.

Jos Buttler also said that the rest of the England batsmen have to step up and assist captain Joe Root. Joe Root has scored 386 runs in just four runs thus far but England’s second-highest run-scorer in the series, Jonny Bairstow, has managed just 118 runs in as many innings.

Rory Burns and Dominic Sibley have managed partnerships of 0, 37, 23, and 1 in the two Tests at Nottingham and Lord’s – a stark contrast to Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul who have managed 275 runs in four innings for the first wicket. With Dominic Sibley’s poor form leading to his exclusion from the squad, Haseeb Hameed who registered scores of 0 and 9 at number three in the second Test, is likely to return to his favoured slot at the top.

Jasprit Bumrah (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP)
Jasprit Bumrah (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP)
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England Lost Track By Concentrating On Intimidating Jasprit Bumrah Rather Than Getting Him Out, Says David Lloyd

David Lloyd mentioned that England lost track by concentrating on intimidating Jasprit Bumrah, who put on 89-run for the ninth wicket with Mohammed Shami, rather than trying to get him out. Entering the fifth day of the Lord’s Test as favourites to win the match, England was blind-sided by Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami’s counterattack.

The pair added an unbeaten 89-run partnership for India’s ninth wicket, and its effect was such that England could never recover from their dogged batting and eventually lost the match, chasing 272 to win. Mohammed Shami, in fact, recorded his second Test fifty and along with Jasprit Bumrah took India from 209/8 to 298/8 before captain Virat Kohli declared.

Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah leave the field after putting India in front
Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah leave the field after putting India in front © Getty Images

David Lloyd Opens Up On England Losing The Plot

The spirited fightback from the duo caught England off guard, and needing to survive 60 overs in the day, the hosts were bowled out for 120 in 51.5 overs, with Mohammed Siraj grabbing 4/32. That England was put on the defensive by India’s tail is a topic many former cricketers have offered their views on, with David Lloyd mentioning that the home team lost track by concentrating on intimidating Jasprit Bumrah, rather than try and get him out.

“The Test went away from England when Jasprit Bumrah came into bat. They just seemed intent on knocking lumps off him rather than getting him out. There’s always something great about a tail-end partnership. Bumrah and Mohammed Shami had fun at England’s expense. It looked as if England had lost the plot,” Lloyd wrote in his column for The Daily Mail.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd © PA Photos

Another department where India scored points over England was their top order. KL Rahul scored a century, aided by Rohit Sharma’s 83 and Virat Kohli’s 42 in the first innings. In the second innings, Cheteshwar Pujara (45) and Ajinkya Rahane (61) stitched a 100-run partnership which bailed India out of trouble.

David Lloyd Unimpressed As England Openers Were Dismissed Without Scoring In The 2nd Innings

England in contrast was nowhere near, with only captain Joe Root providing some substance. David Lloyd in particular was not impressed with England’s opening pair of Dominic Sibley and Rory Burns, who went for ducks in the second innings.

“That’s the first time both England openers have been out for naught in the same innings of a home Test. An incredible stat. The pair of them, Rory Burns and Dom Sibley were very square on again. I keep on seeing a lot of their back shoulders. You just can’t play that way at this level I’m afraid, however good the bowling is,” David Lloyd added.

Rory Burns Getty Images
Rory Burns Getty Images

If Jasprit Bumrah stole the show with bat and ball (3/33 and 34*), Mohammed Siraj (4/32) wasn’t ready to miss the opportunity to shine at the Home of Cricket as India took a 1-0 lead in the five-match series. Ishant Sharma, who did not play in the first Test due to a niggle, returned to the XI for the Lord’s and picked up three wickets in the first innings and two in the second.

While Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah were the leaders, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami (1/13) cannot be ignored for putting in the right support. Mohammed Shami (56* & 1/13 in 10 overs) and Jasprit Bumrah (34 n.o. & 3/33 in 15 overs) played innings of their lives and then rocked the England top-order, before Ishant Sharma (2/13 in 10 overs) and Mohammed Siraj played their part to perfection to give the visitors a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

Joe Root
Joe Root Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket
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England Can’t Win Tests With Only Joe Root Scoring: Nasser Hussain

Nasser Hussain believes the hosts England will find it difficult to win a Test match with only their skipper Joe Root scoring runs consistently. The comments came in the wake of England’s humiliating 2nd Test defeat against India at the historic Lord’s on Monday despite having an upper hand before heading into the 5th Day.

The cracks in England’s fragile batting line-up were out in broad daylight against a world-class Indian pace attack. The hosts were bundled out for just 120 in the second innings to lose the match by 151 runs.

Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Nasser Hussain: England Can’t Win Tests With Only Joe Root Contributing By Scoring Much Needed Runs

Former England skipper Nasser Hussain stressed that other batters need to start contributing if England has to make a comeback in the series.

“Robinson has been an incredible find when there have been so many injuries to bowlers. So let’s not write them off just yet, but they desperately need others to score runs,” he added.

Rory Burns Getty Images
Rory Burns Getty Images

Joe Root has amassed 1277 runs playing 10 Tests in 2021, averaging 57.21, and has hit 5 tons. He scored 228 and 186 against Sri Lanka and hit 218 in the 1st Test against and in India while scoring 109 and an unbeaten 180 in the first two successive Tests when India toured England.

The opening combination of Rory Burns and Dominic Sibley has failed repeatedly and may be changed for the 3rd Test, which begins on 25th August. The top three England batsmen especially have been under fire since the start of this year. England already dropped Zak Crawley from the XI after his string of low scores.
Haseeb Hameed was brought back into the England XI after almost five years, but even he looked tentative at Lord’s. He made a golden duck and a patient 45-ball 9 in the first and second innings respectively. Hence, Dawid Malan and James Vince, both of whose last Test came in 2018, are both under serious consideration to fill the opener’s spot for the third Test.

Nasser Hussain Loved The 2nd Lord’s Test As It Was Cricket At Its Absolute Best

England’s top three batsmen have had horrid outings in recent times. Rory Burns has only managed 617 runs in 12 outings since 2020 while Dominic Sibley has scored only 917 runs from 19 Test matches in the last two years. Haseeb Hameed, who came into the playing XI at the expense of Zak Crawley at Lord’s, also failed to make a lasting impression. Haseeb Hameed registered a golden duck in the first innings and only scored nine runs in the second.

Zak Crawley-Twitter
Zak Crawley-Twitter

Fans were treated to some end-to-end cricket at Lord’s with players giving their all to win the well-contested Test match. The cricketers from both sides had a couple of fiery exchanges but Nasser Hussain felt everything was well within the line.

“No. I love the way Kohli plays his cricket and this India side will not be bullied. The theatre and drama was exceptional. You don’t want people to get physical but we didn’t see that at Lord’s. It’s a heated game and there is a lot on the line. I loved what was going on out there over the five days. It was box office — Test cricket at its absolute best,” Nasser Hussain concluded.

With India 1-0 ahead, the third match of the series will commence on August 25 at Headingley in Leeds.

Ian Chappell
Ian Chappell
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Joe Root Isn’t The Right Man To Be England Skipper As He Loses The Plot: Ian Chappell

Joe Root, England skipper has come under the scanner after England’s capitulation against India at Lord’s, with Australian legend Ian Chappell saying that Joe Root is not the first guy to captain England. England had the 2nd Lord’s Test under control at one stage on day 5 with Rishabh Pant back in the hut. After that, Joe Root’s England deployed a strange tactic of unleashing a barrage of bouncers against India’s tail instead of targeting their wickets.

Resuming from 181-6, leading by only 154 runs, India was soon reduced to 209-8, losing both their overnight batsmen in the form of Rishabh Pant and Ishant Sharma before the pair of Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah’s partnership changed the course of the match, tilting it in favour of India.

Joe Root
Joe Root Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket

Joe Root Isn’t The Right Man To Be England Skipper As He Loses The Plot: Ian Chappell

Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah negated the bouncers easily and added a record 89 runs for the ninth wicket to post a target of 272 which was enough for the visitors to seal a win. Speaking to Wide World of Sports, Ian Chappell raised concerns about Joe Root’s leadership skills with the Ashes to follow later this year.

“He just loses the plot,” Ian Chappell said. “His main problem is he doesn’t have a feel for the situation. England have got themselves in a corner, because somebody should have realised a while ago that Joe isn’t the right guy, especially against the better teams.”

Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah leave the field after putting India in front
Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah leave the field after putting India in front © Getty Images

He further added: “What are you going to do? Change captain on the eve of an Ashes series? That’s not a good idea. But by picking him as captain, you’re giving yourself very little chance of winning.”

Ever since he took over the job from Alastair Cook in 2017, Joe Root has led England in 54 matches and has won 26 out of them with a winning percentage of 48.14. England lost the plot with their bowling strategies against Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami in the first session on Day 5.

Mohammed Shami hit a fifty and Jasprit Bumrah hanged around for a solid unbeaten 34 as the two tail-enders added unbeaten 89 runs for the 9th wicket. India then returned to the field with their pacers charged up. After picking up 2 wickets early, India went on to bowl England out for 120 in less than 52 overs to go 1-0 up in the 5-match series.

Ian Chappell: England Has Got Serious Problems Now

Ian Chappell, who led Australia in 30 Tests, stressed that England has a lot of questions to answer before they tour Australia for the all-important Ashes.

“They’ve got serious problems now, because they’ve let the situation deteriorate, to the point where they have to make changes at a time when you don’t want to be making changes,” Ian Chappell said.

Ian Chappell. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Ian Chappell. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

“At this point, they really want to be settled against India leading into the Ashes. But they’re anything but settled,” he added.

The opening combination of Rory Burns and Dominic Sibley has failed repeatedly and may be changed for the 3rd Test, which begins on 25th August. The top three especially have been under fire since the start of this year. England already dropped Zak Crawley from the XI after his string of low scores.
Haseeb Hameed was brought back into the England XI after almost five years, but even he looked tentative at Lord’s. He made a golden duck and a patient 45-ball 9 in the first and second innings respectively.  Dawid Malan and James Vince, both of whose last Test came in 2018, are both under serious consideration to fill the opener’s spot for the third Test.
Sir Ian Botham(Getty Images)
Sir Ian Botham(Getty Images)
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Ian Botham Criticizes England’s Rest And Rotation Policy

Ian Botham, former England all-rounder did not mince words on England’s contentious rest-and-rotation policy. The legendary all-rounder called said that he would not have liked someone ordering him to take a rest after a couple of good Tests during his playing days.

England’s rotation policy, devised to manage the workload of multi-format players and avoid lengthy periods in bio-bubbles, got underway before the tour of Sri Lanka earlier this year. However, since then, the management led by Chris Silverwood and Ashley Giles has repeatedly forced the team to field second-string sides for crucial Test matches, leading to defeats against India (3-1 in 4 Test Series) and New Zealand (1-0 in 2 Test Series).

Ian Botham
Ian Botham. (Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images)

Ian Botham: Rotation Is An Absolute Garbage

As part of the policy, England rotated several key players for important assignments – including the tour of India earlier this year – including Jos Buttler, James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Moeen Ali, Mark Wood, and Jonny Bairstow, as the team drew flak from former cricketers.

England batsman Jos Buttler
England batsman Jos Buttler (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Ian Botham gruffly brushed aside the need for workload management, saying athletes should look to get and stay fit by playing regularly more games and rotation is absolute garbage as one stays fit by bowling.

“I am not sure we are picking the right players. Rotation, I think, is the biggest load of b******s of all time. Absolute garbage. I tell you what, I would like to have seen someone say to me when I was playing “well done, but you’re having a rest next game”. Er no I’m not. Bowl, get fit and stay fit by bowling,” Ian Botham was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

Ian Botham: England’s Batting Is A Big Worry

Ian Botham also slammed the England team management and players for their 1-0 loss against New Zealand. He said their decision to draw the 1st Lord’s Test by not chasing a competitive target of 273 from 75 overs wasn’t the best for Test cricket, adding that the series defeat was ‘what they deserved’.

“I think our batting is a big worry. Last month, England had a great opportunity at Lord’s when they were given the opportunity of a last-day run chase against New Zealand. People had been waiting for months and months to see live sport and to go out and bat like that in the final innings with no intent was appalling.”

Zak Crawley-Twitter
Zak Crawley-Twitter

“I thought ‘you guys need to wake up a bit, you rely on the public’. Their reason for why they didn’t do it was because Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes weren’t playing. Excuse me. That gives a chance for someone else to come through. I thought it was very weak. They got what they deserved in the end, to be quite frank,” added Ian Botham.

England will host India for 5 Tests, starting on August 4 at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.

Among England batsmen, Zak Crawley is having a poor run as he averaged a mere 8.75 against Sri Lanka, 16.75 against India, and 5.25 against New Zealand in the recent Test series, but is still being persisted with. Dominic Sibley’s average hasn’t been above 35 in any of the series against Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, and New Zealand.

Joe Root managed only 97 runs averaging a mere 24.25, Dominic Sibley managed 103 runs averaging 34.33, Daniel Lawrence managed 81 runs averaging 40.5 while Rory Burns, England’s highest scorer managed 238 runs averaging 59.5 in the 2 match Test series against New Zealand.

File image of Alastair Cook. Reuters
File image of Alastair Cook. Reuters
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England Batsmen Can’t Handle Pressure Of Test Cricket, Says Alastair Cook

Alastair Cook, England’s legendary opening batsman delivered a stinging rebuke to the current team’s batsmen by saying they “can’t handle” the pressure of Test cricket as they suffered a humiliating Test series loss to New Zealand at Edgbaston on Sunday.

New Zealand won a two-match Test contest 1-0, taking just 11 overs and 52 minutes playing time on the fourth day to complete a convincing eight-wicket win in the second Test after being set a meager target of 38. Tailender Olly Stone was out to the very first ball of Sunday’s fourth day but by then the damage had already been done, with England resuming on their overnight score of 122/9.

Stand-in skipper Tom Latham is congratulated by the injured Kane Williamson // Getty
Stand-in skipper Tom Latham is congratulated by the injured Kane Williamson // Getty

Alastair Cook: England Batsmen Can’t Handle Intensity Of Test Cricket Under Pressure

New Zealand overpowered England by eight wickets in the second Test at Edgbaston on Sunday as they sealed a 1-0 series win with more than a day to spare. That actually represented a recovery after England had subsided to 76/7 in their second innings inside 27 overs on Saturday.

Although current England skipper Joe Root, Alastair Cook’s successor as England captain, boasts an impressive Test average of 48.68, the next best in his side belongs to opener Rory Burns, with 33.23 — a worrying sign ahead of their bid to regain the Ashes in Australia later this year.

Alastair Cook. Pic/AFP
Alastair Cook. Pic/AFP

Meanwhile, the form of batsmen Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, and Ollie Pope remains a concern, not least to Essex opener Alastair Cook, who retired from Test duty in 2018 as England’s leading scorer with 12,472 runs at an average of 45.35, including 33 hundred. Having only retired in 2018 and while the team contains fresh faces Alastair Cook knows some of the key senior figures better than anyone, including his successor Joe Root.

“From what I’ve seen of this batting line-up when the pressure comes on, the intensity of Test cricket, the scrutiny of it, they can’t handle it,” said Alastair Cook while commentating for BBC Radio’s Test Match Special on Sunday.

“They have quirky techniques, but they’ve scored a lot of runs in county cricket and at times scored Test runs. When the pressure comes, they are not handling the mental pressure that you need to do,” Alastair Cook added.

“It is a massive area of concern for me,” saids Alastair Cook.

New Zealand on Sunday toppled India to become the number one ranked Test team in the world. The Kiwis achieved the feat after defeating England 1-0 in the two-match Test series on Sunday. New Zealand now has 123 points in ICC Team Test Rankings while India has 121 points. Sunday’s defeat, which followed a draw at Lord’s, meant England had lost a home Test series for the first time since a 1-0 reverse against Sri Lanka in 2014.

Joe Root Warns Against Wholesale Changes As He Feels It Would Be The Wrong Time To Panic

But Joe Root, ahead of a five-match Test series at home to India — who face New Zealand in next week’s inaugural World Test Championship final at Southampton, warned against wholesale changes.

“It would be the wrong time to start panicking and rip up all the hard work we have done for such a long period of time,” he said. “Historically we’ve done that going into major tournaments and going into major series and it’s made things even worse.”
He added: “We’ve been outplayed in all three departments and particularly batting.”

England entered this match amid the off-field furore caused by the suspension of Ollie Robinson for historic racist and sexist Twitter posts.

Joe Root, however, insisted: “I don’t think that dripped into the way we played and it would be a bit of an excuse, to be honest.”

Ben Stokes, England all-rounder
Ben Stokes, England all-rounder (Photo | AP)

England, already without the injured all-rounder Ben Stokes and pacer Jofra Archer, rested batsman Jos Buttler, all-rounder Chris Woakes, batsman Jonny Bairstow, and spin all-rounder Moeen Ali from this series after their return from the now-suspended IPL 2021. Rest and rotation, initially a response to the pressures of ‘bubble’ life amid the coronavirus pandemic, has been a feature of England’s selection for more than a year.

England coach Chris Silverwood, now in sole charge of picking the side has repeatedly defended the policy. But England, beaten 3-1 in India earlier this year, appear to be nowhere near good enough to avoid selecting their best-available team.

“That’s out of my hands, to a degree,” said Joe Root. “In terms of having our best XI, I’d like to think that if we are all fit and ready, that will be the case for the five-Test matches against India.”

Zak Crawley is having a poor run as he averaged a mere 8.75 against Sri Lanka, 16.75 against India, and 5.25 against New Zealand in the ongoing Test series, but is still being persisted with.
Dominic Sibley’s average hasn’t been above 35 in any of the series against Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, and New Zealand. Joe Root managed only 97 runs averaging a mere 24.25 Dominic Sibley managed 103 runs averaging 34.33. Daniel Lawrence managed 81 runs averaging 40.5. Rory Burns managed 238 runs averaging 59.5.
England skipper Joe Root (Photo | PTI)
England skipper Joe Root (Photo | PTI)
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We’ve Been Outplayed In All Three Departments, Particularly The Batting: Joe Root

Joe Root said that his side England needs to learn some hard lessons after losing the two-match series against New Zealand. Neil Wagner and Matt Henry took three wickets each as England was bundled out for 122 in the second innings, and in the end, New Zealand won the second Test on Day Four comfortably by eight wickets at Edgbaston, Birmingham as they reclaimed the top spot in ICC Test rankings.

Joe Root
Joe Root
Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket

Joe Root Admits Having Been Outplayed In All Three Departments Particularly The Batting Which Was Poor In The 2nd Innings

England’s batters from No. 3 to No. 7 scored just 59 runs between them in the second innings while in the first Daniel Lawrence – with an unbeaten 81 – scored more than three times as many runs as the other four middle-order batsmen combined.
The difference was that openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley were dismissed for single figures in the second innings – Rory Burns, England’s leading run-scorer for the series with 238 at 59.50, fell for a duck – exposing England’s middle-order frailties before tea on the third afternoon.
“It’s been a frustrating and disappointing performance this week. I don’t think we’ve given a fair account of ourselves. We’ve been outplayed in all three departments, particularly the batting. We didn’t get the runs in the first innings.
“We missed chances in the field and didn’t help our bowlers in that respect. And with the bat in the second innings, we were poor,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Joe Root as saying.
Rory Burns in action (Reuters)
Rory Burns in action (Reuters) (Action Images via Reuters)

“Sometimes in Test cricket, you can have a poor session with the ball and you’re still very much in the game. But a session that like can cost you a Test. That’s where we find ourselves. It’s cost us the series and we have some hard lessons to learn. We have to look at where we can get better individually and collectively. We need to be honest about that. We have to have some hard conversations and move forward,” Joe Root added.

No England batter was able to stay at the crease for a long time in the second innings and as a result, the hosts were bundled out for 122. For the Kiwis, Matt Henry and Neil Wagner scalped three wickets each.

Joe Root: It Would Be The Wrong Time To Start Panicking As Every Single Batsman Has Proven They Can Score Big Test Runs

Zak Crawley is having a poor run as he averaged a mere 8.75 against Sri Lanka, 16.75 against India, and 5.25 against New Zealand in the ongoing Test series, but is still being persisted with. Rory Burns, despite his 132 and 81 in the two Tests, averaged a mere 5 against Pakistan and 14.5 against India in the two preceding series. Dominic Sibley’s average hasn’t been above 35 in any of the series against Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, and New Zealand.
Joe Root, the captain of the side managed only 97 runs averaging a mere 24.25 in stark contrast to Rory Burns who managed 238 runs averaging 59.5. Dominic Sibley managed 103 runs averaging 34.33. Daniel Lawrence managed 81 runs averaging 40.5.

“We have to front up, look to get better and learn some hard lessons sometimes. We’ve all underperformed this week. But we have to be constructive. I think every single one of those guys has proven they can score big Test runs.

“I think it would be the wrong time to start panicking and trying to rip up all the hard work we’ve done for such a long period of time. It’s something that historically we’ve done going into big tournaments and big Test series and it’s made things even worse,” said Joe Root.

Zak Crawley-Twitter
Zak Crawley-Twitter

“There’s a huge desire to keep getting better as a team. We know there’s talent and ability in the group. Sometimes you really learn about a group of players, going through a difficult period like this. We have had a poor week, a poor series, and have got to front up to that. But it doesn’t make them bad players.

“There’s been a lot of talk about technique and batting. My view is batting is very much an individual thing. There’s no right or wrong way of doing it. Look at the best players in the world: they all have different methods of how they play. How they stand, their bat paths, where they score their runs,” Joe Root added.

Talking about his own form, Joe Root said: “As the leading run-scorer within our squad currently I feel like I’ve put a lot of pressure on those guys by not performing myself. As a captain, you pride yourself on getting big runs and leading from the front and I’ve not managed to follow through on that. So I’ve probably compounded that situation slightly.”

England will now lock horns against India in the longest format as both these teams will play five Tests against each other, beginning August 8.

New Zealand 388 (Young 82, Conway 80, Taylor 80, Broad 4-48) and 41 for 2 (Latham 23*) beat England 303 (Lawrence 81*, Burns 81, Boult 4-85) and 122 (Wood 29, Wagner 3-18, Henry 3-36) by eight wickets

Yuvraj Singh. (Photo by Marty Melville/Getty Images)
Yuvraj Singh. (Photo by Marty Melville/Getty Images)
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New Zealand Will Have An Edge As Lack Of Test Cricket Can Hurt India: Yuvraj Singh

Yuvraj Singh, a former Indian all-rounder who played only 40 Tests for the country and amassed 1,900 runs, feels it will be Kane Williamson & Co. who will have an edge in the English conditions.

The whole of the cricketing fraternity is eagerly awaiting the ICC World Test Championship final (WTC). Virat Kohli-led Team India and Kane Williamson’s New Zealand, the top-two ranked Test sides respectively, will square off against each other in the summit clash with an aim to win the first-ever WTC.

Yuvraj Singh | Oli Scarff/AFP
Yuvraj Singh | Oli Scarff/AFP

Yuvraj Singh Feels 3 Tests Will Be Ideal And New Zealand Will Have An Edge

Ahead of the marquee encounter — which is to be held at The Rose Bowl, Southampton from June 18-22 — many former cricketers, experts, and pundits of the cricket fraternity have already opined on which side will have an edge over the other.

Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Yuvraj Singh also agreed with the likes of Indian team head coach Ravi Shastri and Ravichandran Ashwin that the WTC final should ideally be a best of three affairs.

In a conversation with Sports Tak, Yuvraj Singh said, “I feel in a situation like this, there should be a best of 3 Tests, because if you lose the first one then you can come back in the next two. India will have a slight disadvantage because New Zealand are already playing Test cricket in England.”

Yuvraj Singh further opined, “There are 8-10 practice sessions (for Team India) but there’s no substitute for match-practice. It will be an even contest but New Zealand will have an edge. I do believe India is very strong because lately, we have been winning outside the country. I think our batting is stronger, in bowling they are at par.

Prior to the team’s departure for the United Kingdom, Shastri and captain Kohli had addressed the media where the former had said, “Ideally, in the long run, if they want to pursue with the Test championship, a best-of-three final would be ideal — a three-match final as the culmination of two and a half years of cricket around the globe. Best of three would have been ideal,” he maintained.

New Zealand Drew With England In The 1st Test

England 275 (Burns 132, Southee 6-43) and 170 for 3 (Sibley 60*, Wagner 2-27) drew with New Zealand 378 (Conway 200, Nicholls 61, Robinson 4-75) and 169 for 6 decl. (Latham 36, Robinson 3-26)
Ollie Robinson PA Images via Getty Images
Ollie Robinson PA Images via Getty Images
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Ollie Robinson To Miss 2nd Test vs New Zealand After Being Suspended Pending Investigation

Ollie Robinson will miss next week’s second Test against New Zealand at Edgbaston after being suspended from all international cricket pending an investigation into racist and sexist Twitter messages, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced Sunday.

Sussex quick Ollie Robinson made an impressive on-field England debut in the drawn first Test at Lord’s concluded Sunday. But his efforts with bat and ball were overshadowed by the re-emergence of racist and sexist social media messages the 27-year-old had posted as a teenager in 2012 and 2013.

England’s Ollie Robinson said he was embarrassed and ashamed of the offensive tweets he made between 2012 and 2014. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images/Reuters
England’s Ollie Robinson Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images/Reuters

Ollie Robinson Suspended From All International Cricket Pending Disciplinary Investigation Following Racist Tweets In 2012-13

The paceman led England’s attack with 4-75 in the first innings at Lord’s and followed up with 3-26 in the second while in between making a useful 42 with the bat.

England fought hard to earn a draw in Lord’s Test against New Zealand Having lost day three’s play due to rain, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson made a bold declaration at 169-6 at lunch to set England a target of 273.

But England openers Rory Burns and Dominic Sibley arrived at the crease focused only on blunting the new-ball bowling attack in a bid to save the Test. England finished on 170/3 to draw the Test with Dominic Sibley unbeaten on 60 off 207 balls.
Dominic Sibley
Dominic Sibley. Getty Images.

“England and Sussex bowler Ollie Robinson has been suspended from all international cricket pending the outcome of a disciplinary investigation following historic tweets he posted in 2012 and 2013,” said an ECB statement.

“He will not be available for selection for the LV= Insurance second Test against New Zealand starting at Edgbaston on Thursday 10 June. Robinson will leave the England camp immediately and return to his county,” it added.
But Ollie Robinson found himself making an unreserved apology after stumps on Wednesday, his first day in Test cricket, for tweets that included comments suggesting Muslim people were linked to terrorism and derogatory remarks about women and people of Asian heritage.

His messages re-emerged after both teams lined up before play on Wednesday for a ‘Moment of Unity’ designed to show their opposition to discrimination, with England wearing T-shirts stating Cricket is a game for everyone. Ollie Robinson, in a statement issued after play on Wednesday, said he was “embarrassed” and “ashamed” by the posts.

“I want to make it clear that I’m not racist and I’m not sexist,” he added.

The tweets, sent between April 2012 and June 2013, include the use of the ‘N’ word, comments suggesting Muslim people were linked with terrorism, and derogatory comments about women and people of Asian heritage.

Ollie Robinson was aged 18 and 19 at the time and representing either Leicestershire, Kent, and Yorkshire in second-team cricket.

Joe Root: Ollie Robinson Showed Lot Of Genuine Remorse

Joe Root, however, added Ollie Robinson had shown a “lot of remorse” that was “very genuine”.

England captain Joe Root speaking after stumps on Sunday but before Robinson’s suspension had been announced, said of the tweets: “I couldn’t believe them, personally.”

England skipper Joe Root (Photo | PTI)
England skipper Joe Root (Photo | PTI)

Turning to Robinson’s first match as a Test cricketer, on the field at Lord’s, the skipper said: “He has had an exceptional debut…He’s showed high levels of skill and he’s definitely got the game that can be successful in Test cricket.”

Root, however, insisted: “In regards to the stuff that’s happened off the field, it’s not acceptable within our game. We all know that.”

“And if we continue to keep trying to better the game right now, then in years to come this shouldn’t be an issue. We’ve got to move forward from this, learn from this and do everything we can to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Ollie Robinson has a separate employment contract with Sussex so he is free to play, if selected, for the south coast county during his international suspension.