Three things that the England Test team must improve before Lords

The England Test team will hope to put in an improved performance at Lords.

The England Test team struggled at Trent Bridge – in fact it took another Joe Root masterclass and constant rain to save their blushes. The game was in the balance but it really shouldn’t have been. India were 52-1, needing another 157 to win. England might have still won but that would be down to individual rather than team brilliance.

So, what can England do to improve at Lords?

1. Fielding 

It has to be said that England Test team were woeful in the field during the Test. They dropped simple chances and missed easy run outs. KL Rahul – the highest run-scorer for India was given multiple chances.

Slip catching was really poor throughout and England need to look at themselves. Were the fielders positioned too close to the stumps or was it just a lack of concentration? It definetley wasn’t the quickest pitch and neither were England’s bowlers delivering the ball at 90 miles an hour.

India’s KL Rahul bats on the fourth day of the first cricket Test match of the India Tour of England 2021 between England and India at the Trent Bridge cricket ground in Nottingham, central England, on August 7, 2021. – – RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. NO ASSOCIATION WITH DIRECT COMPETITOR OF SPONSOR, PARTNER, OR SUPPLIER OF THE ECB (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. NO ASSOCIATION WITH DIRECT COMPETITOR OF SPONSOR, PARTNER, OR SUPPLIER OF THE ECB (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

The home team need to step up their game if they are to challenge India at Lords. Giving second and third chances to the likes of Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant could be detrimental.

2. Shot selection

Jonny Bairstow was recalled to the Test team as a lot of first-team players were out at Trent Bridge. The likes of Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes are unlikely to feature in this series and so the Yorkshireman’s shot selection was baffling to say the least.

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND – AUGUST 07: Jonny Bairstow of England hits out during the fourth day of the 1st LV= Test match between England and India at Trent Bridge on August 07, 2021 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Philip Brown/Popperfoto/Popperfoto via Getty Images)

Bairstow made good starts in both innings but lost concentration during the first innings to be leg-before wicket. He then played a pull shot to find the only man in the deep in the second. His Test record suggests that he has the pedigree to score big runs and Lords could be a vital game for his career.

Dom Sibley was also guilty – having worked his way to 28 in England’s second innings,  he played a very uncharacteristic shot against Jasprit Bumrah and was caught behind trying to play a booming cover drive.

 

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3. Lower-order runs

The England Test team tail subsided pretty quickly in both innings and it took Sam Curran to score some handy lower-order runs to prevent a total rollicking. Jasprit Bumrah can be lethal with his yorkers and he showed exactly that at Trent Bridge. Stuart Broad, who is now likely to miss the second Test, struggled in both innings.

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND – AUGUST 04: James Anderson of England is bowled by Jasprit Bumrah of India during the 1st LV= Test match between England and India at Trent Bridge on August 04, 2021 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Philip Brown/Popperfoto/Popperfoto via Getty Images)

Jimmy Anderson was castled with a yorker in the first innings and remained not out in the second. Mark Wood may have slightly better batting credentials currently but the England Test team will likely rely on Ollie Robinson to support Sam Curran. Both are more than capable with the bat.

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