An exasperated Ben Stokes after being dismissed on the fifth day against the Kiwis.
An exasperated Ben Stokes after being dismissed on the fifth day against the Kiwis.

UK press rip ‘insipid’ Poms for capitulation

ENGLAND'S batsmen have been labelled by the UK press as "timid", "feeble" and just "plain stupid" after surrendering to New Zealand on the final day of the first Test at Mount Maunganui.

England entered the final day with seven wickets in hand and hoping to hang on for a draw.

Instead they were crushed by an innings and 65 runs with an hour to spare in the match.

It was the worst possible start for England under new coach Chris Silverwood, who has been given the task of reclaiming the Ashes in two years' time.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan, writing for The Times, labelled England "timid" and "lacklustre" in their attempts to save the Test.

"This was a shockingly bad display all around, one that brought its just deserts 45 minutes after tea on the final day," he wrote.

"To lose to this hard-to-beat New Zealand team in their own conditions is one thing; to lose by an innings having had the advantage of batting first on a plum pitch is another."

England have now lost three of their past four Tests to the Kiwis but Atherton said this latest capitulation that was the worst of the lot.

"From the start of day three, England played as poorly and as timidly as they have for a long time and were given a thorough schooling in the art of playing Test cricket on a batting-friendly surface that demanded diligence and discipline," he wrote.

New Zealand celebrate winning the first Test.
New Zealand celebrate winning the first Test.

Never shy of an honest assessment, fellow ex-England captain Geoffery Boycott said England's shot selection had made him "cringe".

"Joe Root was caught at point off a bowler, Colin de Grandhomme, who is slightly better than me, and I was poor," he wrote in the Telegraph.

"Every batsman needs to hate giving his wicket away. It should really hurt to get out. Our guys can't stop playing silly shots.

"England lost badly and embarrassingly."

England captain Joe Root is under mounting pressure after their third loss to New Zealand in four tests.
England captain Joe Root is under mounting pressure after their third loss to New Zealand in four tests.

John Etheridge, writing for The Sun, slammed the English batsmen for gifting their wickets.

"One after the other, they tossed away their wickets to shots that were careless, reckless or plain stupid," he wrote.

"It made for a nightmare first Test for the combination of new head coach Chris Silverwood and captain Joe Root, whose mission statement is to regain the Ashes in two years' time.

 

 

"England are going to have to improve a heck of a lot if that is going to happen."

Etheridge said the performance was indicative of their recent efforts away from home.

"They fail to score enough runs in their first innings, surrender massive totals to the opposition and then crumble in their second innings when there is a match to be saved."

Dean Wilson, meanwhile, described England's display as "insipid" in his column for the Daily Mirror.

"From Joe Root's indecision that offered a tame catch in the gully, to Ollie Pope's extraordinary carving of a wide full toss to Mitchell Santner-Claus at cover, to Jos Buttler's criminal leave that bowled him, England were a country mile away from producing the skills required to draw the game," he wrote.

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