England’s lack of fight allowed the Test to end as a draw
Former England Test captain Sir Ian Botham has announced that he is extremely “infuriated” by the tactics England used in the second Test at Headingley against South Africa.
Botham has suggested that captain Andrew Strauss may have “brainwashed” his bowlers into accepting the negative field placements and lack of good catchers in the team.
England, who were hammered at The Oval by an innings and 12 runs, did not showcase much more aggression at Headingley, which aggravated Botham, as the second Test ended in a draw.
The question of whether Graeme Swann’s omission from the squad was a right move got mixed reviews since part-time spinner Kevin Pietersen took four wickets in the match.
Strauss dropped Swann and elected to field since he thought this would give England a higher chance of hanging on to their number one Test team ranking.
However, England pace bowler Stuart Broad dismissed the harsh words from Botham, and said: “It’s just Beefy being negative. There’s always that expectation and pressure when you win the toss and bowl, that the opposition [shouldn’t] get 400. But wicket- wise I don’t think it was very dangerous to bat on. I thought we stuck at it pretty well.”
The main criticism towards Strauss from all the cricket pundits was directed at the fact that the England captain, during the early periods of South Africa’s innings, was so willing to remove slip fielders and place them at the boundary instead.
Strauss’ failure to showcase any real passion and aggression angered Botham, who said: “I’d have got very bored playing this style of cricket. Back yourself, don’t wait for the opposition to make a mistake. I haven’t seen one bowler even attempt to be attacking. It’s almost as if they’re brainwashed.”