Former greats lash Poms after English cricket team thrashed by South Africa

Cricket: Ben Stokes picked up an injury after he
fielded the ball, threw it back to the stumps all
with his pants falling down.

England captain Joe Root reacts as South Africa claim
victory.

South Africa thrashed England by 340 runs in the
second Test at Trent Bridge overnight as the hosts, set a
mammoth 474 runs for victory, collapsed to 133 all out 40
minutes before tea on the fourth day.

The embarrassing defeat has drawn criticism from a plethora of
former England greats and it seems the words of one former
captain cut deep with incumbent skipper Joe Root.

Root admits his team were comprehensively outplayed by South
Africa but says he was shocked by ‘unfair’ criticism of his
England side from former captain Michael Vaughan.

Vaughan, who has been a close friend of the Root family since
Joe was a boy, suggested the current crop of England batsmen
lacked ‘respect’ for Test cricket.

‘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.”

England captain Joe Root looks on after day four of the second Test.

England captain Joe Root looks
on after day four of the second Test.
Source:Getty Images

When asked about his mentor’s remarks, Root said: ‘I think
that’s very unfair — I can’t believe he’s actually said that to
be honest.

‘We pride ourselves on winning series like this and
unfortunately we’ve played poorly this week but the most
important thing now is to respond well and make sure we put it
right at The Oval.’

Vaughan was not alone in criticising England’s approach in
Nottingham which led South Africa to level the four-match
series at 1-1.

HUSSAIN: ‘ABYSMAL’ SELECTIONS

England batsman Gary Ballance failed twice in the Test.

England batsman Gary Ballance
failed twice in the Test.
Source:Getty Images

Former England captain Nasser Hussain delivered a withering
indictment on the “abysmal” selection behind the current side
following their colossal 340-run defeat by South Africa in the
second Test at Trent Bridge on Monday.

Hussain said too many recent call-ups had failed to deliver the
goods at international level.

That failure reflected poorly on a selection panel made up of
chairman James Whitaker, who played one Test as a batsman for
England in 1986, former Test seamer Angus Fraser, now the
director of cricket at county champions Middlesex and Mick
Newell, who holds a similar position at Trent Bridge-based
Nottinghamshire, a Second Division county.

The trio also receive input from England’s Australian coach
Trevor Bayliss and the captain, in this case Test skipper Joe
Root.

Monday’s reverse, which saw South Africa level the four-match
series at 1-1 with more than a day to spare in Nottingham,
again raised questions about England’s fallible top order.

THE LADS WHO ARE COMING IN AREN’T DOING ANYTHING

England's Stuart Broad looks out from the dressing room balcony as South Africa claim victory.

England’s Stuart Broad looks
out from the dressing room balcony as South Africa claim
victory.
Source:AFP

Former captain Alastair Cook is now onto his 11th opening
partner in Tests in Keaton Jennings since the retirement of
Ashes-winning skipper Andrew Strauss, now England’s director of
cricket, in 2012.

Meanwhile several batsmen have had a go in a top order where
number four Root is the other mainstay.

Jennings and Gary Ballance, recalled for a third crack at Test
cricket this series, were both twice out cheaply at Trent
Bridge but Hussain said they were just two examples of poor
selection in recent years.

“The lads who are coming in aren’t doing anything,” Hussain
told Sky Sports. “They won (the first Test at Lord’s because of
Joe Root … the ones they’ve won before have been because of
Root, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad in
Johannesburg.

“The selectors are going to have to have a good long look at
themselves because their record in the last two years — two
years ago it was one-day cricket, now in Test match cricket —
their selections have been abysmal.

“Name some lads who’ve come in: (James) Vince, (Ben) Duckett,
(Gareth) Batty, (Zafar) Ansari … I can name a long list but
no-one’s coming in and doing well. Ballance, Alex Hales.”

‘BALLANCE HASN’T CHANGED’

Ballance has been in prolific form for Yorkshire this season
but Hussain insisted: “Selection is not just about saying ‘Gary
Ballance has 1,000 first-class runs so Gary Ballance plays’.

“Speak to umpires, speak to bowlers, has he actually changed?
He hasn’t changed a thing and we’re getting exactly what we got
the last two times.

“He’ll go back to county cricket and score runs again but that
doesn’t mean he’s an international cricketer.”

BOYCOTT: ENGLAND HAVE BEEN SUCKED IN

England's Moeen Ali leaves the field after losing his wicket for 27 runs.

England’s Moeen Ali leaves the
field after losing his wicket for 27
runs.
Source:AFP

Meanwhile England great Geoffrey Boycott, one of the
outstanding defensive opening batsmen of his generation, was
deeply unimpressed by the lack of application during Monday’s
collapse to 133 all out.

“They need better batsmen and a better attitude,” Boycott,
himself a former England captain told BBC Radio’s Test Match
Special.

“Only Alastair Cook made any effort to play in the sort of the
way that the situation demanded.

“The rest of them have a flamboyant way of playing. Play shots,
whack it, hit it, get fours. Everybody keeps saying this brave
new England side, attacking England side, we like to play
positive and they have all got sucked into this feeling.

“They believe it now. If you believe that, then what you are
going to get are wonderful successes, like at Lord’s (where
England won the first Test by 211 runs), and these horrible
losses. There is no middle ground.”

with AFP

Originally published as
English legends slam ‘rubbish’ Poms

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