Sport Comment: England cannot perform as badly at Lord’s

Andy Lloyd
I WOULD be disappointed if the performance at Trent Bridge is not the worst this summer, because England are better than that, especially with the bat.

Batsmen put you in a position to win, bowlers finish it off. That’s why James Anderson, with 10 wickets, was man of the match in that narrow first Test victory and not Ian Bell.

You cannot underestimate the importance of Bell’s hundred in the context of the game though. If he had got out then, England would have lost.

Plenty thought the hosts would win the series comfortably and I still maintain Australia are not good enough to win a match. The selectors have confirmed an unchanged 13-man squad for the second Test, which starts at Lord’s on Thursday and I would go one further and name an unchanged team, which means Steven Finn keeping his place in the bowling attack.

He didn’t have his best game, but in the first innings we didn’t bat well and Finn had them on 12-2 in reply.

He’s playing on his home pitch, with a bit more pace than Trent Bridge, which should suit him and I would definitely give him another go.

Teenager Ashton Agar produced probably the surprise performance of the first Test with the bat, but I’m yet to be convinced that he is a match-winning bowler.

For Australia to win a game they must pick their four best bowlers, and if he is one of them then their fifth can’t be very good. But if in future he bats at No8 because he scored 98, then good luck to them.

The first Test was bizarre, with technology issues and questionable calls from the umpires. How Agar was not given out when he was stumped on six I don’t know. Then the Jonathan Trott dismissal was embarrassing and it’s unacceptable.

Batsmen don’t walk anymore, that’s become an accepted part of the modern game now. I don’t think anyone in the Australia dressing room would blame Stuart Broad, who definitely should have been given out on the third day when he was caught, because he made so much contact with the ball they were pulling splinters out of it.

Some ask why they don’t embrace the technology in India, well here is a pretty clear example of why.

Going forwards as long as both teams, the umpires and world governing body the ICC are content that the system they are using is consistent then there is no problem. How the third umpire interprets the findings from the technology is still open to human error however.

Andy Lloyd is a former England Test cricketer, who has also been chairman and captain of Warwickshire.