Michael Atherton says England struggles on day three of first Test ‘very odd’
Michael Atherton clarified England’s attempts on day three of the first Test against New Zealand as”very strange” as the Black Caps assembled a first-innings lead.
Together with New Zealand starting the day 144-4, still monitoring by a few 209 conducts, England may have had hopes of securing a commanding lead themselves but, after accepting only two wickets in the day, the tourists today trail by 41 as the Kiwis closed on 394-6, together with BJ Watling (119no) scoring a fine hundred.
Atherton considers a’flat’ looking England missed a large opportunity criticising the use of Jofra Archer.
“I thought it was a really odd afternoon from England,” Atherton informed Ian Ward at the end of play. “England had their opportunity in the morning; they didn’t bowl Archer in the onset of the day, despite what happened yesterday evening when he clonked Henry Nicholls on the mind.
“I thought that was odd. He is not then bowled by to with another new ball – following a break along with also a refresh – .
“Not that Archer may perform all the bowling, but not to bowl at the vital times was odd.
“And Ben Stokes, we understand, is fully healthy and so for him to bowl only four overs before tea – when you’re searching for something to happen and he is among these players – that I thought that was strange.
“And England only looked a bit flat in the morning, somewhat lethargic, as it had been a day to actually try and catch the match ”
Atherton was, nonetheless, reluctant blame captain Joe Root because of his use of both Archer and urged that individuals need to”quantify their hopes” of their 24-year-old quick bowler who is playing in just the fifth Evaluation of his fledgling career.
“Captains will find matters otherwise. There are several ways to skin a cat, and you may never say just like a pundit or a commentator’you need to do it this way’,'” additional Atherton.
“Certainly, using the second new ball, then you can view logic behind the decision. [Sam] Curran has got the snap, he’s a swing bowler, and if you don’t give him the ball, is he’s likely to swing it later on?
“It’s not the way I would have gonebut you can definitely understand that logic.
“I only thought it had been stranger at the beginning of the day. You place yourself in Nicholls’ shoes immediately, what is he will be thinking about? He is likely to be thinking about the ringing blow to his head and Archer.
“However we must quantify our expectations too. It can not only be a case of throwing Archer the ball and he’s the guy who’s currently going to have wickets.
“We also need to quantify our expectations regarding the speed he could bowl. It is hard to run up and bowl 150kmph each time he bites.
“But there are crucial circumstances where you want him and I believed England missed people now.
“Suddenly, they find themselves in a pretty awkward situation. You could sense that frustration growing throughout the daytime.
“But that’s the point I am making really. They missed their chance at the beginning of the afternoon and, once you miss your opportunities, very superior sides – and this is a really great, hard-grafting New Zealand team – they will force you to pay for this.”
See day among the first Test between New Zealand and England live on Sky Sports Cricket from 9.30pm on Saturday.