Former captain Michael Vaughan has blasted England for not playing a spinner in the ongoing two-Test series against New Zealand. He further opined that Joe Root’s men need to win on good surfaces in order to taste success against India and in the Ashes later this year.
While the first Test at Lord’s ended in a stalemate, the hosts are now staring down the barrel in the second rubber as they lead by just 37 runs with one wicket in hand and two full days remaining. Michael Vaughan stated that rain saved England in the opener but claimed they made the same mistake at Edgbaston.
“They got lucky at Lord’s because it rained. But to make the same mistake two weeks in a row – that is a glaring tactical error. The wicket was not gripping and offering a lot of turn, but you need a variation when it is hot and dry at Edgbaston,” Michael Vaughan told The Telegraph.
Michael Vaughan joined a chorus of expert opinion slamming the English management for leaving out left-arm spinner Jack Leach. The 2005 Ashes-winning captain added that skipper Joe Root could indeed have managed the workload of his pacers better by fielding Leach.
“You actually end up bowling your seamers more in a four-man seam attack each than with three seamers and the spinner – so if they had picked Jack Leach, Joe Root could have also kept his seamers fresher. I hope England do not make the same mistake against India,” the 46-year-old explained.
A long English summer beckons, with the most high-profile event being the five-Test series against Virat Kohli’s men starting August 4.
“I do not believe playing on green tops against India will do England any good” - Vaughan
The series versus India is sandwiched between several white-ball series, including the T20 World Cup in October. But Joe Root and Co. have already set their sights on The Ashes, which start on December 8 in Brisbane, in a bid to wrest the urn.
Michael Vaughan believes England need to steer clear of preparing green tops against India.
“Even though England have struggled on these pitches [against the Kiwis], I believe they have to continue playing on good wickets, which is what Chris Silverwood said he wanted this summer. I do not believe playing on green tops against India – even if it gets them a couple of cheap Test wins – will do them any good whatsoever as they build to Australia away and beyond.
“They need to learn how to play, and win, on good Test pitches. The past few weeks have been perfect wickets for Test cricket and regarded the team who has played the better cricket. England just have not been good enough, It has been a stark reminder that this Test match team have a long way to go before they can really think about beating Australia in Australia,” Vaughan elaborated.
After going down 1-3 in India in February-March this year, England are on the verge of suffering their second successive series defeat. Can the rain clouds again save the Joe Root-led side? The Birmingham weather suggests otherwise.
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