McCullum admits England have work to do after Lord’s thrashing from South Africa
London, Aug 20 (IANS): England’s rollicking run in Test cricket under the coaching of Brendon McCullum came to a rude halt when South Africa thrashed them by an innings and 12 runs within three days at Lord’s. The defeat was also England’s first defeat since the appointment of McCullum as red-ball head coach.
After the loss led them to being 1-0 behind in three-match series, McCullum praised South Africa’s efforts while admitting England have work to do ahead of the second Test at Old Trafford, Manchester, starting from August 25.
“I thought South Africa played exceptionally well, they utilised the conditions that they were presented with and they deserved the victory. We’ve got a little bit of work to do but you don’t go from being a good cricket team a few weeks ago to a bad team overnight so we’ll try and maintain some of those positives and the beauty is we get an opportunity to come back in a few days’ time. I don’t believe at any stage we got in front of ourselves. We were just outplayed,” said McCullum after the match ended to ‘Sky Sports’.
In the match, England’s batting order was bowled out by a strong South Africa pace attack in 45 overs in the first innings and 37.4 overs in the second innings while conceding a lead of 161 runs. McCullum promised England’s batting will bounce back in style after the crushing loss at Lord’s.
“I thought if anything we were maybe a touch timid. We want to be the best versions of ourselves. It’s not always going to work. As we said at the outset, you’ve got to buckle up for the ride. It’s not nice in times like this but we’ll come back stronger.”
McCullum also threw his support behind opener Zak Crawley, whose Test average has dipped to 16.06 from his ten innings in ongoing home summer after scores of 9 and 13 at Lord’s, with 46 being his top-score in home Tests this year. Overall, Crawley averages 26.06 from 26 Tests, with the highest score of 267 against Pakistan at Southampton in August 2020.
“He is obviously hurting at the moment, but he’s a quality player and I’m sure his time will come. I think there is this expectation on Zak to be this consistent batsman at the top of the order. And there’s been a fair few people who have batted at the top of the order in England who will tell you it’s not necessarily the easiest place to bat at times.”
“His technique and his style, what we’re asking from him is to try and chase great moments, try and embrace the fact that inconsistency will be there because you’re that type of player. It takes an element of trust in that process. Not just from (Ben) Stokesy and myself, and those who are leaders in the side, but also from Zak himself.”