England 58 all out: Michael Atherton criticises 'inept' batting display
"It's the type of pitch that calls for some thought, some technique. There wasn't a lot of that from England's batsmen today"
Last Updated: 22/03/18 7:06pm
Michael Atherton criticised England's "inept" batting display after the tourists were bowled out for just 58 in 20.4 overs on the opening day of the first Test in New Zealand.
Trent Boult took 6-32 and Tim Southee 4-25 as some superb swing bowling did for England's sorry batsmen. Only Mark Stoneman (11) and Craig Overton (33no) managed double-figure scores.
While Atherton praised the skilful bowling of Boult and Southee, he bemoaned the "non-existent" footwork of the England batsmen, suggesting the pitch wasn't as bowler-friendly as they made it look.
"I'm sorry to say, it was pretty inept batting," said Atherton. "Astonishing stuff."
"When England bowled Australia out for 60 at Trent Bridge in the 2015 Ashes, it was on a pitch that had a big, thick carpet of grass. The ball nipped around and you could see why a team could be skittled on a morning like that. I don't think there is that excuse here today.
"There was some swing. But England's footwork was rusty, to be kind, and non-existent if you're being critical.
"Think of the top-order wickets that fell; Alastair Cook playing from the popping crease, Joe Root pushing hard at the ball with no footwork, Moeen Ali missing a full toss.
"There was a little bit of grass, a little bit of nip and some late swing but not a minefield by any stretch of the imagination. It's the type of pitch that calls for some thought, some technique. There wasn't a lot of that from England's batsmen today.
"But brilliant cricket from New Zealand; both the swing bowling from the two lads, Boult and Southee, and great catching to back that up."
New Zealand's fine day continued when they came to bat, with captain Kane Williamson striking an unbeaten 91 as the home side closed on 175-3, a lead of 117 runs.
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