Michael Vaughan blasted England’s “appalling” batting in the ongoing second Test against South Africa at Trent Bridge, saying they need to show more respect for five-day cricket.
England lost seven wickets for 62 runs as they slumped to 205 all out on Saturday’s (July 15) second day in reply to South Africa’s first innings 335.
The hosts’ collapse left South Africa with a huge advantage of 130 runs as they looked to level the four-match series at 1-1 after a 211-run defeat in the first Test at Lord’s last week. Only Joe Root (78), the captain, and Jonny Bairstow (45) made scores of note, with Ben Stokes out for a duck.
“The England batting has been appalling,” Vaughan said while commentating on BBC Radio’s Test Match Special. “Maybe it’s a lack of respect about what the game is.”
Vaughan, one of the outstanding batsmen of his generation, added: “They look like they are playing a Twenty20 game. I look at the approach — yes, the ball has done a little bit but it’s not been drastic. They have this approach of attack, attack, attack. There is no thought or feeling of seeing off a bowler or wearing a team down.”
England’s lack of runs from the top order has been a worry for some time and Vaughan said batsmen needed to master the art of occupying the crease. “They don’t trust their techniques to stay in long enough,” he explained. “That’s a concern. England regularly collapse. It’s always when the ball does a little bit. Look at the way South Africa played.
“A lot of England’s players look like they are premeditating their shots. The best way is to watch the ball and react. I worry about the mentality of the Test batting because as soon as the things get difficult — it swings around or spins — they play aggressively.”
Looking ahead to England’s defence of the Ashes in Australia later this year, Vaughan said the team needed to include an extra specialist batsman at the expense of one of their allrounders.
“England are a batter light,” he insisted. “You have three allrounders in Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali and Jonny Bairstow, so pack the batting. England lost eight Tests last year. They need to pack the batting. They are not good enough or winning enough games to go with that line up.”