Media Wrap: England’s batting worries

Blog Opinion

That Pakistan won the first Test against England at Lord's came as a bit of a shock to most in the media, with pre-match talk putting the hosts as the favourites, while Mohammad Amir dominated the headlines.

Here's a wrap of what the papers and internet had to say about the 75-run win for Pakistan, with a day to spare.

George Dobell of Cricinfo said that England's batting weakness was just waiting to be exposed, and Pakistan had the attack to do so: "While it is no disgrace to lose to such a side – a side who may well have the best bowling attack in Test cricket – England will know that their batting let them down in this match. Not for the first time, their vulnerability was exposed but this time, with no Ben Stokes and both Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root pushed a place up the order, they lacked the depth to rebuild. It has been an accident waiting to happen for some time."

Mark Nicholas, also on Cricinfo, too pointed out how impressive Pakistan's bowling was: "Whatever their value, such additions are transient. The one constant in Pakistan cricket is the inherent quality and variety of the bowling. These men rejoice in making a cricket ball talk. The use of the ball, its leather and its seam, is a culture, forensically explored and widely envied."

Former England batsman Geoff Boycott lamented the side's top order in the Telegraph: "The opposition will look at England’s batting line up and think if we dismiss Alastair Cook and Joe Root cheaply the rest will not cause us too much trouble because they will get themselves out. Too much is expected of England’s late and middle order. They constantly have to get the top order out of jail. As a collective top five they do not give the innings any security."

The Guardian's Vic Marks looked at spinner Yasir Shah's impact: "Yasir’s greatest virtue is an unspectacular one but absolutely crucial for any spinner; he is patient and accurate. He gives the batsmen very little even though he propels the ball from the back of his hand, a process that is so much more difficult than that undertaken by finger spinners. He makes the batsmen work hard."

Former England all-rounder Ian Botham opined in the Daily Mirror that England will fight back: "This is going to be a cracker of a series and I do expect England to bounce back straight away in Manchester. Shot selection let them down badly in both innings and that is the most obvious thing they need to fix before they get to Old Trafford. We've seen England hit the buffers like this before and we've seen them come back and show what they've made of."

Lawrence Booth of the Daily Mail looked into Stuart Broad's batting misery: "Broad’s batting is going less well than his bowling. His dismissal for a single means that, since making an unbeaten 32 in the first innings at Durban over the winter, he has scored only 60 runs in nine innings – a sorry sequence from a man who made 169 when Pakistan last played at Lord’s in 2010."

David 'Bumble' Lloyd, also in the Mail, wrote of adding Adil Rashid to the squad for Old Trafford: "There is an opportunity to include two spinners if they can get the balance of the side right. From what I've seen, Adil Rashid is on top of his game and no mug with the bat. Key to it all will be the weather. It’s been Monsoon-like there!"