LONDON – England captain Joe Root admitted his team had been comprehensively outplay ed by an inexperienced Pakistan side in their nine-wicket loss to the tourists in the first Test at Lord’s.
England were bowled out for 184 on the first day after Root won the toss and never recovered as they suffered their first defeat in a May test at the home of cricket following series losses in Australia and New Zealand.
“We got it wrong, we know that,” Root told reporters. “These conditions suit us as well. It’s a talented team and there are guys in there who will do great things for England.”
Pakistan scored 363 in their first innings and England collapsed to 110/6 in their second before a seventh-wicket partnership of 126 between Jos Buttler and Dom Bess spared the embarrassment of an innings defeat and took the match into the fourth day.
“We have been out-performed in all three departments, we have to be better,” Root said. “There have been a number of collapses recently and we have to find a way as a group.”
The last time England lost the first Test in a home summer was in 1995 against West Indies and they only have four days to regroup before the second and final match at Headingley starting on Friday.
“We have to be more patient and take our opportunities when we get them. We can do that next week and we must take that chance,” Root said.
“We can’t ignore this, we have to learn from it quickly. A lot of the things that we do are very good.”
England, fifth in the world test rankings, are unlikely to make changes to their side, although batsmen Mark Stoneman and Dawid Malan are under particular pressure following lean runs.
“We are ambitious, we want to win but sometimes we make poor decisions,” Root said. “It’s about the number of runs you score, not how long it takes you and maybe we need to absorb a bit more. You have to recognise the right times to attack.”
England’s last home Test series loss came in 2014 against Sri Lanka and they have won five and two drawn two since.
They host top-ranked India in a five-test series starting in August.
“I am very proud of my team,” Pakistan captain Sarfraz said. “We have a very inexperienced team but we are very confident in our players. Our bowlers did a great job for us.”
Meanwhile, England and Australia have backed their players following allegations of corruption in the sport made in a documentary.
The programme “Cricket’s Match Fixers” is understood to allege details of a plan to fix England’s scheduled Test match against Sri Lanka in Galle in November and Australia’s Test against Sri Lanka at the same venue in 2016.
Match-fixing has become a major concern for the sport in recent years and the International Cricket Council (ICC) has launched an investigation.
“There is nothing we have seen that would make us doubt any of our players in any way whatsoever,” England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison said yesterday.
“The limited information we have been given has been discussed with all the England players. They emphatically deny the allegations, have stated categorically that the claims are false and they have our full support,” Harrison added.
“Neither ECB nor the ICC is aware of any credible evidence connecting any England players to any form of corruption.”
England captain Joe Root reacted strongly to the allegations. “It’s outrageous that England players have been accused of this,” Root said after the Test at Lord’s.