Former England cricketer and renowned commentator David Lloyd dished out criticism on England’s selection strategy for the fourth Test. England might have already squandered the advantage after compiling a below-par first innings total following their decision to bat first. David Lloyd believes that England have been too defensive, handing India an advantage even before taking the field to play.
England won a crucial toss on the first day of the fourth Test and elected to bat first. However, the tourists could not capitalize on the decision on a reasonably batting-friendly surface as they managed only 205 in the first innings. Ben Stokes top-scored with 55, followed by Dan Lawrence crafting a vital knock of 46. Once again, England faced issues in handling spin as they sacrificed eight wickets to it.
David Lloyd accused England of being too defensive, stating that playing seven batsmen and only three frontline bowlers signalled that they were happy to have a draw. Lloyd reminded that a team has to take 20 wickets to win a Test and England need a victory to square the series. The 73-year old called for Mark Wood’s inclusion and that they did not need Dom Bess.
“England’s selection smacked of defensiveness. Playing seven batsmen and only three frontline bowlers told India they were happy to get a draw. You need to take 20 wickets to win a Test and England need a victory to square the series. I’d have gone with Mark Wood on a well-prepared pitch. I don’t think they needed Dom Bess,” Lloyd said as quoted by Sportsmail.
England’s batsmen have been slow to learn against spin: David Lloyd
David Lloyd also pointed out that England’s batsmen have not been quick enough to learn against spin as their bats have been on the wrong angles and so their heads and bodies. The Lancashire-born highlighted that Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley played like novices while Ollie Pope danced down the pitch, but his bottom hand came through, hitting it through mid-on instead of between the bowler and mid-off.
“England’s batsmen have been slow to learn against spin. Angles are all wrong with their bats, heads and bodies. Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley played like novices. Ollie Pope got down the pitch but his bottom hand was coming through and he was hitting it to mid-on, rather than between the bowler and mid-off,” he added.