Joe Root has called for England to avoid “shotgun” reactions following their heavy loss in the first Ashes Test in Edgbaston.
England were subjected to a 251-run shellacking by Australia, despite the visitors being reduced to 122-8 on the opening day. Steve Smith scored 144 and 142, his first-innings century leading the fightback on the first day. On the final day, England needed to bat out three sessions to eke out a draw. However, they were bundled out for 146 in 52.3 overs, with Nathan Lyon returning 6-49.
Going into the second Test at Lord’s, it’s Australia who are favourites now.
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) August 5, 2019
In his post-mortem of the match, Root will rue being let down by his senior players – including Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow – but the England captain insisted there won’t be any knee-jerk reactions. “We need to make sure we don’t make any shotgun decisions,” he said.
“This is not your typical England team. It’s up and down, which can be frustrating, but we’re more than capable of going against the trend. I’m fully expecting us to fight our way back into this series.”
Losing veteran bowler Jimmy Anderson four overs into his spell on the first day of the Test proved most costly for England. It meant they were one bowler short for almost the whole match. Anderson, reports suggest, had a recurrence of a calf injury he sustained in July, which ruled him out of the Ireland Test. The pacer is currently waiting for the results of a second scan.
It remains to be seen what Anderson’s role in the rest of the Ashes will be, but Root was adamant he wasn’t rushed to the first Test. “Not at all,” he said when asked if there were any regrets picking him. “He passed every medical test. It was a unanimous decision for him to play.”
Root also threw his weight behind Ali, who had a poor time with match-figures of 3-172: a return made all the more glaring by his counterpart, Nathan Lyon, who picked up nine wickets in the match. “You’ve got to remember how threatening he can be,” Root said. “I’m sure he’ll dust himself down and make sure he’s in a good head space going into Lord’s.”
The second Test at Lord’s begins on August 14.