England’s decision to not go for the target of 273 in 75 overs to win the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s has split opinion among fans and pundits.
One of the most aggressive white-ball teams, England’s go-slow approach on Sunday has not gone down well with all fans, who think that the target could have been breached if they had shown a little more intent.
After the Kiwis declared at 169-6 on Day 5 of the first Test, the English openers began on a rather cautious note. The first wicket put on 49 runs but took 23.4 overs to do so, which took away the momentum from the game. Rory Burns was the first to depart after Tim Southee latched onto a brilliant catch, with the pacer bending forward at second slip to give the team the first wicket of the day.
Though Zak Crawley departed for just two, his knock came in 25 deliveries, as it became increasingly evident that the home side were looking to play out the day instead of going for the target. Joe Root made 40 off 71 with five fours, but it all seemed too late in the end.
Some felt England’s approach was dictated by the quality and the skills of the team chosen.
Hello, this is less a reflection of England’s intent and more a reflection of their ability. #ENGvNZ
— Isabelle Westbury (@izzywestbury) June 6, 2021
England’s batting order contains five men under 25, one averaging more than 34, four on a pair, and is missing its two best attackers.
What they should have done is simply breeze their way to a total of 273 in 75 overs against a top team who have dominated them since day 1.
— Will Macpherson (@willis_macp) June 6, 2021
The only logical conclusion is that the team themselves knew they couldn’t realistically chase this total down. They might well be right but surely worrying that an England batting unit would not have the confidence to attempt it at any point, given the pitch is no minefield.
— RZ (@ReyLionz) June 6, 2021
Realistically, England were never likely to take on a target of 273 in 75 overs despite the early declaration. England happy to draw a match New Zealand dominated.
But the apparent lack of form, confidence and fluency of many of the top seven is a worry going forward.
— John Etheridge (@JohnSunCricket) June 6, 2021
However, others thought that England should have had a go of some sort, with their responsibility not just to keep their chances of a series win alive, but to entertain the fans watching at home and in the ground.
We’ll get the strokey-beard reaction to this, the ‘Well, real cricket people know the truth’ stuff, but it’s not like they’re 2-1 up at Sydney – this was an open game with no real jeopardy & the chance on a rare day not dominated by foota to get people going for the stuff to come
— Phil Walker (@Phil_Wisden) June 6, 2021
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) June 6, 2021
No World Test championship points on offer for this series … A young batting line up with all in front of them … surely the energy should be to be more pro active to try and chase this total … !!!! #ENGvNZ
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) June 6, 2021
I didn’t expect them to come out and smash 4s & 6s but some intent to score would have been good. Take quick singles / twos and put some pressure back on NZ. It’s shown that allowing players go to the IPL was a mistake, it’s left Root with little to work with.
— Andy Priestley (@Priestley_AP) June 6, 2021
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