Cricket Expert & Columnist
England v India, second Test: Hosts' senior players must help out captain Alastair Cook
'England need a clear plan, but everything is looking rosy for visitors'
Last Updated: 21/07/14 6:07pm
England’s senior players must up their game after a ‘shambolic’ display at Lord’s, according to Andrew Strauss.
Alastair Cook’s side collapsed to 223 all out on day five of the second Test to lose to India by 95 runs, with Ishant Sharma (7-74) shell-shocking the hosts’ batsmen.
Strauss says it is up to England’s seasoned campaigners to lift them out of a slump that set in during the Ashes whitewash over the winter.
And the former England skipper has pleaded with Cook’s side to come up with a fixed plan of attack in order to end their winless run in Test cricket, which currently stands at 10 matches.
“It was a shambolic Test for England and very disappointing to watch,” Strauss told Sky Sports.
“They have fluffed their lines continuously and some very good players who have given a lot over the years were not at the races.
“England need to start thinking about how they are trying to win cricket matches because at the moment it is a bit haphazard.
“They really need a methodology and to focus on scoring 400 runs and putting pressure on opposition teams.”
Sir Ian Botham – who feels under-fire skipper Cook is in need of a break from cricket – was highly critical of England’s bowling and batting after the Lord’s result, which leaves the home side 1-0 down to India with three matches left in the series.
The former all-rounder expects alterations to be made ahead of the third Test at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl - which commences, live on Sky Sports, on Sunday – and reckons wicketkeeper Matt Prior should and paceman Stuart Broad could miss out.
“There needs to be some changes because England were not good enough,” said Beefy.
“The experienced seamers – after bowling first on a green surface – blew it, the batters blew it, too and it was like a stack of cards falling over.
“I don’t think Prior is fit and he is not the bubbly and bouncy guy I know.
“At the age of 32 injuries don’t just disappear like they do at the age of 22 and I think he may not play in the next game.
“I also think Broad is carrying an injury as he doesn’t look his normal comfortable self and if that is the case and we want him in the World Cup then surely they should get him sorted now.”
India look in fine fettle, though, after winning at Lord’s for the first time since 1986 and Strauss lavished praise on each facet of the tourists’ game.
“The way their batsmen applied themselves first up on a green seamer when they could have been blown away for 150 was outstanding,” added the Sky Cricket expert.
They are not donkeys in the field anymore. They are an athletic and lively bunch.
Strauss on India
“[Ajinkya] Rahane scored the hundred in the first innings but [Cheteshwar] Pujara played well and [Murali] Vijay has looked really high quality.
“They have a good bank of solid Test-match batsmen in their ranks and the bowlers out-bowled England’s, too.
“[Bhuvneshwar] Kumar bowled simple lines and lengths really effectively, while Ishant, who has revelled in being the leader of the attack, adapted to conditions, bowling full at certain points and then some great short stuff late in the game.
“They are not donkeys in the field anymore either and are an athletic and lively bunch.”