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Former English cricketers unhappy with the team’s performance

Naseer said that selectors will have to take a call as performances like these isn’t expected from a side like England.

Ben Stokes of England
Ben Stokes of England reacts after being caught and bowled by Vernon Philander. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

After a scintillating victory over visitors in the opener, England found themselves in an abysmal position in the second of four match Test series. The return of South African skipper Faf du Plessis has certainly injected the belief in the team which was missing from quite some time now.

Having won the toss Faf opted to bat against the mighty bowling line up and posted mammoth 335 runs on board which helped their side to be in the driver’s seat. English batsmen lost the plot and were finding it difficult to keep the right foot which eventually helped the Proteas equal the series.

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Nasser Hussain believes that ‘players coming in’ lack intent

However, former English cricketers seemed to be unhappy after their side was outplayed in every department right through the 4 days of the game. Nasser Hussain wasn’t happy with the ‘players coming in’ and feels that youngsters lack intent which is required for Test cricket.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Nasser said, “The lads who are coming in aren’t doing anything. 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.”

He further added that selectors will have to take a call as performances like these isn’t expected from a side like England.

“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,” he added.

He believes that the players who are being backed by the selectors haven’t been able to stand up to their expectations.

“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,” he added

Ballance has had a good run with Yorkshire in the domestic circuit but Hussain felt it shouldn’t assure a spot in the XI. “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,” he concluded.

Geoffrey Boycott unimpressed by team’s performance

On the other hand, Geoffrey Boycott, famous English cricketer was unimpressed by England’s performance. He believes that Test cricket is all about how a player adapts to the demanded situation.

“They need better batsmen and a better attitude,” Boycott, the former England skipper, 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,” Boycott added.

“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,” he concluded.

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