Michael Vaughan rebukes England’s attacking approach at Nottingham

Vaughan stated that England has been collapsing too often in Test cricket and need to include a specialist batsman in the middle order.

Michael Vaughan
Cricket commentator and former England Captain Michael Vaughan. (Photo by Ben Radford/Corbis via Getty Images)

Former England skipper Michael Vaughan lashed out at the English top order for not applying themselves in the second Test match at Trent Bridge. The home side was dismissed for 205 in reply to South Africa’s first innings score of 335, handing the visitors a strong position in the game by virtue of a significant first innings lead of 130 runs.

England collpased after Root exit

Despite winning the first Test by a comfortable margin of 221 at Lord’s last week, England batting looked miserable in favourable conditions for the seam bowlers. They lost both the openers for just three runs on the board before their skipper Joe Root came to the rescue yet again. He scored a valuable 78 and strung a significant partnership with Jonny Bairstow (45) before the middle order collapsed to lose their last 7 wickets for 62 runs. Most of the batsmen lost their wickets to attacking shots which riled Vaughan.

“The England batting has been appalling,” Ashes-winning skipper Vaughan said while commentating on BBC Radio’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.”

Agreed, that attack is the first form of defence but when the conditions are adverse, the batsmen must take responsibility and play percentage cricket. Vaughan was of the opinion that most of the batters don’t trust their techniques enough which prompt them to play the big shots. “The (batsmen) don’t trust their techniques to stay in long enough,” he explained.

The former England No. 3 also highlighted how South Africa were prepared to fight it out by applying themselves in the middle.

“That’s a concern. England regularly collapse. It’s always when the ball does a little bit. Look at the way South Africa played.

“A lot of England’s players look like they are premeditating their shots. The best way is to watch the ball and react.

“I worry about the mentality of the Test batting because as soon as the things get difficult — it swings around or spins — they play aggressively.”

‘Need to add a specialist batsman in the middle order’

A lot has been spoken about Ben Stokes but his ability to stick it out when the going gets tough is questionable. England’s middle order is a little shaky with the presence of – Bairstow, Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes – all aggressive players who play in the team as all-rounders. Vaughan suggested that England must get a specialist batsman in the ranks to strengthen their batting.

“England are a batter light,” he insisted.

“You have three all-rounders in Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali and (wicket-keeper) Jonny Bairstow, so pack the batting.

“England lost eight Tests last year. They need to pack the batting. They are not good enough or winning enough games to go with that line up.”

With the Ashes nearly just four months ago, England needs to address their batting woes. The returning Gary Balance, who batted at No. 3 in both Tests, hasn’t got going. If he fails in the next couple of Tests, they need to figure out who will bat at 3 going forward.


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