Former England captain Michael Vaughan has said that head coach Chris Silverwood too should be held accountable for the team’s defeat against the Virat Kohli-led India in the second Test at Lord’s, which the tourists won in a fifth-day thriller.
India bowlers Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj did the star turn as the visitors defeated England by 151 runs registering their third-ever victory in 89 years at Lord’s, the Mecca of cricket.
In a long Facebook post late on Saturday, Vaughan wrote, “A lot has been said about this being a big six months for Joe Root as England captain, but the same is true for Chris Silverwood as coach — and perhaps even more so. It is four months since the removal of Ed Smith made Silverwood the all-powerful head coach, with free rein over selection. And in that time England’s record in Tests reads: played four, drawn two, lost two — and those two draws would probably have been defeats had the weather not intervened," Vaughan wrote.
“The statistics are worrying — particularly with the Ashes looming in December — but of more concern to me is that we are yet to really have a sense of what kind of team Chris Silverwood wants England to be. He has spoken about the importance of first innings runs and then bowling with discipline but that’s just common sense Test cricket which applies to every team on the planet. There has been no sense of what England are aiming for either tactically or in terms of their mentality: the performances have been a mish-mash, with a few outstanding individual displays glossing over a lot of very average cricket," added Vaughan.
Vaughan said that tactical mistakes made in the 80 minutes before lunch on the final day had made the difference between victory and defeat for the hosts.
“The nadir came in that hour and 20 minutes before lunch on the fifth day of the second Test, which must rank among the worst stuff I’ve seen from an England Test team in years. Plenty has been written and said about how England lost the plot in attempting to bounce out Jasprit Bumrah, and Joe Root was undeniably let down by some of his senior players who should have intervened with him sooner, but I also wanted to see something from the coach.
“International coaches might not have the advantage of having a tactical time-out like we see in the Hundred — an innovation which I would actually welcome in the Test game — but there are still ways of intervening. Why was Silverwood not sending someone out onto the pitch with a drink, asking Root what the hell was going on and getting him to change tactics? I know that is what Duncan Fletcher would have done with me had I suffered a brain-fade on the field. Every Test match essentially boils down to a handful of moments which dictate the outcome: the best teams rise to them and find a way to win them. This was the big moment in the second Test and England blew it, and Silverwood has to take his share of responsibility for that."
Vaughan said that Kohli’s India was riding on a high, while England were “not thinking straight and making silly mistakes".
“But he (Silverwood) has to show that he is capable of changing England’s momentum in this series, because at the moment it is only going one way and that is in the direction of Virat Kohli, who has his hosts right where he wants them - hot under the collar, not thinking straight and making silly mistakes."