Wednesday 9 June 2021 9:30 am

Chris Tremlett: England should ditch negativity and return to more positive approach in second Test with New Zealand

England were accused of passing up the chance to win the first Test of an important summer against New Zealand last weekend.

And I can understand why. New Zealand made a brave declaration, and England’s target of 273 from 75 overs on a good wicket looked achievable.

I was surprised that England didn’t chase hard from the start, knowing they could play it safe and bat out a draw if they lost early wickets.

With no Test Championship points on offer and some new batsmen keen to make their mark, it was an opportunity to go for it.

Instead, what the Lord’s crowd was served up was pretty negative, with no real indication that England wanted to win.

I went to the match on the first day and the pitch was quite slow. 

Mark Wood was rapid with his deliveries at times but the ball wasn’t really carrying.

The batsmen who did well were the ones willing to graft for hard-fought runs, like Devon Conway and Rory Burns.

Bowlers from both sides bowled well and had it not been for the day lost to rain, we would surely have seen more spin.

Why momentum is key in an Ashes year

This is just the start of a big summer leading up to another Ashes tour for England, so momentum is huge.

That was drummed into us ahead of the 2010-11 series. Our goal was to win every single match in the lead-up, even tour games. It worked.

Joe Root will know the importance of momentum. Every result makes a difference. If you can’t win then at least don’t lose, as that of course creates momentum of the wrong kind.

In the end, a draw left England and New Zealand satisfied ahead of this week’s second and final match.

The Black Caps are always underestimated and are used to similar conditions to us, so they are tough visitors.

For England, the positives were that Burns and Dom Sibley got time in the middle, and the debut performance of Ollie Robinson. More on him shortly.

In the second Test, which starts at Edgbaston on Thursday, I’d like to see the hosts play the more exciting brand of cricket they have favoured in recent years.

Robinson shines but is overshadowed

Robinson, 27, performed very well on his first Test appearance, with both bat and ball. 

I hadn’t seen too much of him for Sussex, but I knew his bowling average was impressive, around the 22-23 mark.

He more than lived up to that at Lord’s, with seven wickets and 42 runs against New Zealand.

It was a real shame that some old social media posts containing material that nobody could condone came to light and overshadowed his debut. 

This material should have been put to bed years ago, in my opinion. Hopefully he will receive a slap on the wrist and can get back out there. 

I thought he showed a lot of resilience to not let it affect him during the first Test.

Tall bowlers are always an asset in Australia, so England could do with someone like Robinson this winter.

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