Former England captain Michael Vaughan has criticized the hosts for failing to learn from their mistakes and repeating their blunder from the Lord’s Test last year at Edgbaston on Saturday (July 2). Vaughan was referring to the short-ball tactic used against Indian captain Jasprit Bumrah on Day 2 of the fifth Test.
Bumrah clubbed an unbeaten 31 off 16 balls, including 29 off one over from Stuart Broad, a new record for the most runs scored by a batter in an over in Test cricket. Thanks to the Indian skipper’s cameo, India ended their first innings on 416, after resuming the day on 338 for seven.
Questioning England’s tactics in the first session of play on Saturday, Vaughan told Cricbuzz during a discussion:
“England got it completely wrong in the morning. I am a massive fan of Ben Stokes and Baz (Brendon) McCullum. I like inventive, creative, and out-of-the-box thinking. But that comes when the pitch is flat and the conditions aren’t quite in your favor.”
Pointing out the bowler-friendly conditions in Birmingham on Day 2 of the fifth India-England Test, he added:
“At Edgbaston, the clouds were around. You just had to hit the top of off stump. You’ve got Broad and (James) Anderson, two of the greats of the game, bowling to Jasprit Bumrah, who can bat just a little bit. They decide to go short with all the field spread out. It was very similar to what happened at Lord’s last year. I can’t believe they haven’t learnt from what happened at Lord’s."
During the Lord’s Test last year, England’s bowlers tried to bounce out Bumrah and Mohammad Shami in India’s second innings. However, the ploy backfired as the duo featured in an unbeaten 89-run stand. India went on to clinch the Lord’s Test by 151 runs.
The former batter was also surprised with England’s decision to send in Jack Leach as a nightwatchman towards the end of the day’s play. According to him, this goes against the team’s policy of being aggressive. He stated:
“In the Bazball era, sending a nightwatchman in with 25 minutes left, I suddenly thought - where’s that come from? I was expecting Ben Stokes to go out there and play some shots. They have committed to aggressive cricket. They can’t suddenly go - wait, we have got to be safe. They played safe in the morning as well.”
After conceding 416 runs in the first innings, England find themselves in trouble with the bat as well. They went to stumps on Day 2 at 84 for five, trailing India by 332 runs.