Cricket Expert & Columnist
Nasser Hussain and Sir Ian Botham slam England after first Test defeat to Pakistan
Nasser Hussain says "the time for a ‘gently, gently’ approach has gone" while Sir Ian Botham says there is "no excuse" for England's "whimpish" first Test defeat to Pakistan at Lord's
Last Updated: 27/05/18 10:46pm
Nasser Hussain and Sir Ian Botham slammed England after their nine-wicket drubbing by Pakistan in the first Test of the summer at Lord's, with Hussain saying the team must "buck up" their ideas.
Botham, meanwhile, described England's performance as "whimpish" as they suffered three mini batting collapses in innings' of 184 and 242 in the Test.
Hussain called for captain Joe Root to be tough on his team following the defeat and ahead of the second Test at Headingley - live on Sky Sports Cricket on Friday - saying the time for a 'gently, gently' approach has gone.
"This is the most worrying of recent defeats for England," Hussain said. "Like a lot of sides, England struggle away from home but they haven't lost a series at home in four years, so it's a dangerous combination when you can't win games away from home because your bowling is innocuous and you can't win games at home because your batsmen can't play the moving ball.
"England better buck up their ideas and turn it around. The time for 'gently, gently' has gone - it's now the time for 'this is not good enough' and Root has to go hard at his players.
"It hasn't been good enough for quite some time - it wasn't good enough in the Ashes, in New Zealand, and it hasn't been good enough here.
"Pakistan have been absolutely fantastic. They have out-batted, out-bowled, out-fielded, out-captained, out-coached and out-thought England in every single department. So much so, that if you had just turned up this week, you would say the guys in green were the home team.
"The game was already lost when England were bowled out for 184 in the first innings - immediately you're chasing the game, with bowlers going out there searching for wickets. You can't keep collapsing; England lost five for 16 in the first innings, four for 19 and four for six in the second innings.
"There is no one in the team saying 'enough, we've lost a couple of wickets, I'm going to stop this'. The only time it happened, and the only session England won, was with Jos Buttler and Dom Bess' century stand.
"Is it any coincidence that those two haven't been involved? It was Bess' first game so he has no mental scarring or baggage and Buttler was coming back into the side full of confidence from what he has done recently in white-ball cricket.
"That's what I'd put to the selectors; make sure the players you pick aren't going out there thinking 'oh, here we go again, another collapse'. Show some fight."
Botham echoed Hussain's sentiments, saying there is 'no excuse' for England's poor showing in the first Test and urging a rethink to the team's approach.
"There is no way England should perform like that at home," Botham said. "It's really not good enough.
"There is no excuse. Pakistan haven't done anything special - they have done the basics, bowled line and length, put a price on their wickets and caught better.
"It was wimpish to watch from England - it was schoolboy stuff, there was no fight. What England are doing right now isn't working. So you've got to rethink, restructure."