Ashes 2023: KP, Vaughan blast England for ‘shambolic’ performance, causal approach in second Test

Former captains Kevin Pietersen and Michael Vaughan tore into the England team after Australia hammered them for 339/5 on the opening day of the second Test of the 2023 Ashes series at Lord’s here with the former blasting them being ‘shambolic’ and hoped that coach Brendon McCullum gave them their “biggest hammering”.

Former captains Kevin Pietersen and Michael Vaughan tore into the England team after Australia hammered them for 339/5 on the opening day of the second Test of the 2023 Ashes series at Lord’s here with the former blasting them being ‘shambolic’ and hoped that coach Brendon McCullum gave them their “biggest hammering”.

David started the carnage with an 88-ball 66 and Steve Smith (85 not out) built on it while Travis Head blasted them all over the ground while scoring 77 off 73 balls on Wednesday as Australia made a strong start after winning the first Test at Birmingham a few days back.

England’s approach to the game came in for severe criticism as they made a mess of winning the toss and electing to bowl on a cloud-covered, rain-dotted day which ought to have been right up their pacemen’s street.

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Ben Stokes’ team was careless with its catching, toothless with the ball and might have been taken to the cleaners if not for two wickets in four balls from the part-time spinner, Joe Root (2-19 off 8 overs). Josh Tongue claimed 2-88 while James Anderson (0-29), Stuart Broad (0-72) and Ollie Robinson (1-86) failed to trouble the Australian batters much.

That led to Pietersen tearing into them from the commentary box, calling their performance “absolutely shambolic”.

Pietersen, who had begun the day with the honour of ringing the pavilion bell before the start of play, offered a merciless assessment as Travis Head and Smith tucked in.

“Now it’s one thing walking here, swanning around, saying ‘this is a wonderful team to play in, we’re creating the best environment’. But this is not Ashes cricket,” boomed another hero of 2005 as he took England to task over their lack of edge,” Pietersen said during his commentary stint.

“It’s all too easy, too nice. Are you telling me, Ricky Ponting, in 2005 is going to be talking to Geraint Jones? Do you think Michael Vaughan is going to be standing next to Justin Langer saying ‘Hey mate, what a cool day, it’s overcast, it’s beautiful, what an awesome day, environment here at Lord’s – what do you think of the wicket’?

“Are you joking? Are you absolutely joking? I just hope they’re in their dressing room now and the England coach is giving them the biggest hammering and saying it’s absolutely not good enough,” said the 43-year-old Pietersen, who led England in three Tests.

Vaughan agreed that were too casual in the field throughout the day. “England just not sharp enough,” he said on BBC.

“England have got this approach to Test cricket that is quite casual. They talk the talk, the message after Edgbaston was very positive, with young players coming out with bold statements. “But the casual approach came out today in the middle. You get David Warner out and then Steve Smith walks out, and within 15 balls, he’s got 25 because England bowled utter dross.”

The plan for England now will be to try and bowl out Australia as early as possible on the second day of the match on Thursday.

But for that, they will have to come up with a vastly improved performance from what they produced on the opening day.

 (IANS)