Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt feels that England could have adopted the aggressive approach during the fourth innings chase against India at Lord’s. He said that Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler might have given England a good start, thereby making the target achievable.
Top-order woes for the Englishmen aren’t something they are new to. Since the retirement of Alastair Cook, England has struggled with opening partnerships. Keeping this in mind, Butt pointed out that England had the option of trying something new by getting Bairstow and Buttler to open.
“The Bumrah-Shami partnership put England on the backfoot. But I feel, tactically, they missed a trick. England could have opened with Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler at Lord’s. They could have been given a free hand to attack the Indian bowlers. Anyways, they lost even while playing for a draw.“
“Even if Bairstow and Buttler would have got out, the others could have then tried for a draw. But if they had given England a good start – Chasing 272 in 60 overs is quite a normal target in modern-day cricket. So you can see the difference in approaches between India and England,” Butt mentioned on his YouTube channel.
“Credit to Joe Root for admitting he could have done better” – Salman Butt
Butt also praised England skipper Joe Root for accepting his tactical mistakes. While being on top of the match on Day 5, Root spread the field out and opted for the short-ball strategy against tail-enders, Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.
The duo took the easy singles on offer and went on to build a crucial 89-run partnership for the ninth wicket. This let India off the hook and the visitors also declared the innings, before knocking over England in just over 50 overs.
“Credit to Joe Root for admitting that he could have done better in the second Test. This is the hallmark of a top professional. It is easy to find excuses for losses. However, accepting mistakes and errors in judgement is a big thing. That proves you are learning genuinely,” Butt added.
Despite a batting masterclass, Root came under the scanner for his captaincy. Nevertheless, he has time to reflect on his mistakes until the next Test at Headingley, Leeds, which starts on August 25.