Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja feels that current England openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley are not good enough to withstand a quality Indian bowling attack. Raja also opined that it would be tough for England to come back in the series after the Lord’s defeat.
Set a target of 272 to win, England got off to a horrific start, losing both their openers for ducks. While Burns has scored 67 runs in the series at an average of 16.75, Sibley has managed only 57 while averaging 14.25.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Raja described England’s top order as ordinary, reckoning:
“England’s top order is extremely ordinary. Their openers, Rory Burns and Dom Sibley, are of no use. Haseeb Hameed, who was making a comeback, also looked nervous. Against a strong India bowling line-up, if you are not mentally and technically sound, you will be exposed.”
The former Pakistan batter also praised the visitors for pushing England on the back foot despite beginning Day 5 under pressure, saying:
“Even if this Test was drawn with the hosts 7-8 wickets down, it would have been a moral victory for India. But following this defeat, it will be very difficult for England to stand up in the remaining Test matches. They should have drawn this game, but India forced them into a corner with their aggression, and made life difficult for them. England did not play their natural game because of India’s exemplary bowling, and the innings became stagnant.”
“India looked hungry to make an impossible situation possible. Shami’s counter-attack flattened England. The same fighting spirit was seen in India’s bowling as well. They sensed that England’s weak batting could be put under pressure,” Raja concluded.
If you are stupid, you do not deserve to win Test matches: Geoffrey Boycott lambasts England
England legend Geoffrey Boycott questioned the tactics employed by Joe Root and co after India made an extraordinary comeback to win the Lord’s Test by 151 runs.
India went into Day 5 with a lead of 154 runs and four wickets in hand. However, after England sent back Rishabh Pant and Ishant Sharma, Root inexplicably pushed the fielders back, allowing the partnership between Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami to flourish.
In a column for The Telegraph, Boycott slammed Root’s captaincy and England’s top three for another failure. He wrote in this regard:
“This Test match has proved two things. Firstly, if you are stupid, you do not deserve to win Test matches. As much as we love Joe Root for his magnificent batting, he cocked up with his tactics. Secondly, England cannot keep relying on Joe for all their runs. There has to be an improvement from the top three very soon because it is getting beyond a joke.”
Set to chase 272 in 60 overs, England were skittled for 120 in 51.1 overs as India took a 1-0 lead with three Tests to go.