By News Team
15th July 2020
England’s batting line-up failed to show up in the first Test defeat to West Indies but will bounce back in the second Test with the return of captain Joe Root, according to William Hill ambassador Michael Vaughan.
England suffered a four-wicket defeat to West Indies at the Ageas Bowl last week, with the hosts largely failing to impress with the bat in hand, being dismissed for 204 in the first innings.
Root was absent from Southampton due to the birth of his second child but is set to return to the side for the second Test at Old Trafford, and former captain Vaughan feels the skipper can inspire his struggling team-mates to victory.
“Did England get it wrong in selection [in the first Test]? It wasn’t the selection that was the problem, it wasn’t the toss of the coin, it was the fact that the batters just didn’t show up. The batting for such a long period of time has been inconsistent,” Vaughan told William Hill.
“204 in the first innings when they should have got around 260. In the second innings they were 240-odd for three, but 60-7 later they give the West Indies 200 to chase in the second innings. They should have got 380-400 in the second innings, then England would have got something out of that Test match. If they’d have taken some of their chances on the last day as well I think they would have won the game.”
Vaughan added: “But I do think England will bounce back. Joe Root the batsman is back and I think the batsman is more important in a way than the leadership of Joe Root because I thought Ben Stokes did a decent job [as stand-in captain].
“But I think it’s the batting of Joe Root that the England side missed. I think they’ll bounce back, I think they’ll play better. I think with Joe in that position at four they’ll get more runs and put the West Indies under a bit more pressure because of more runs on the board. I’m backing Joe Root to be the leading scorer for England.”
With Root returning to the side, a member of the top order is set to give way, while Vaughan is also expecting a change to the bowling attack with Stuart Broad missing out last time.
“I don’t think Joe Denly can play [with Root returning],” Vaughan said. “I think Zak Crawley has to keep his place in the side.
“England may change the bowling. I hope it’s not because Stuart Broad made noise, because I didn’t think the bowling was the problem at the Ageas Bowl, but it may be that a bowler or two might need a rest with back-to-back games coming up so thick and fast.”
Vaughan added: “I thought Dominic Bess bowled nicely [in the first Test]. I think he can be the leading wicket taker at Old Trafford if England bat first. He might get a little bit of purchase.”
Vaughan was impressed with what he saw from West Indies last week but feels England have a habit of overcoming a first Test defeat to go on and win the series.
“The West Indies were just too good for England [in the first Test] and better in all the facets of the game. From the West Indies perspective, again how are they going to show up, how are they going to rock up with their bodies because they bowled quite a few overs [in the first Test], particularly Shannon Gabriel. I think he was magnificent.
“I’m going for Kemar Roach, who was very unfortunate at the Ageas Bowl, for the leading wicket taker, and for bat in hand it’s Roston Chase. He looks in good nick, two decent knocks in both innings at Southampton.
“But England will be too strong, they’ll find the right motivation. They generally lose the first Test match of the series – they did it in South Africa, they’ve done it here, they did it against Australia, they did it in New Zealand, so it’s not something that we should be surprised by. That’s generally what happens. They lose the first Test, get fired up and then they come back and I think that is exactly what will happen.”