Former England captain Nasser Hussain has criticized England batters’ approach on Day 5 during the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s, which ended in a draw. Although England were set a mammoth target of 273 in just 75 overs, the way they batted and approached the target was just not acceptable.
The openers started slowly as Rory Burns and Dom Sibley assessed the pitch before the former was dismissed by Neil Wagner. Sibley then held one end strongly, but the others weren’t quite interested in going for the target as they kept batting till the end of the day.
Thus, there was a lot of criticism on social media and many fans as well as commentators were unhappy with the approach. “There only seemed to be one side that were keen to win it and that’s why Kane Williamson stayed on, even at the end.” Hussain said, as reported in Sky Sports.
It looked like only Kane Williamson was the one playing positive cricket. His team declared with more than 70 overs left and decided to go for the kill. England, on the other hand, were not looking positive even at a single stage in the innings.
“He (Williamson) could have shaken hands at 15 overs to go but he didn’t because he was the one playing the positive cricket,” Hussain added.
He also pointed out that the unavailability of Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler in the middle-order prompted the young batsmen to play for a draw. “If they were playing, I think there would have been more intent. They’re trying to occupy the crease and bat long, that’s what they’ve asked Dom Sibley to do and that’s what he did do.”
“But I think at least try to go at it hard, show some intent, and if you get four or five down, then you can block, then you can say ‘no, we’re not going any further,” he concluded.