After the first match of the two-match Test series between England and New Zealand ended in a draw, the visitors ensured this fate of the second match works in their favour as they registered a breezy victory by eight wickets. England team captain Joe Root was obviously and evidently disappointed by the unexpected loss. He gave credit to the Kiwis for outplaying them and also admitted that England displayed a disappointing performance.
“It’s been a frustrating and disappointing performance this week,” Root said. “I don’t think we’ve given a fair account of ourselves. We’ve been outplayed in all three departments, particularly the batting.
“We didn’t get the runs [we should have done] in the first innings. We missed chances in the field and didn’t help our bowlers in that respect. And with the bat [in the second innings] we were poor.”
England got bundled up in just 122 runs in the second innings. No batsman could register even 30 runs, including Joe Root himself. New Zealand’s Neil Wagner and Matt Henry took three wickets each, while Trent Boult, who returned in the second Test after having missed the first game, and Ajaz Patel clinched two wickets each.
The loss was even more disappointing for England as it is the first home Test series defeat since 2014. For skipper Joe Root, it is the first one as a captain. For New Zealand, they achieved a remarkable feat by winning their first Test series in England since 1999.
Root admitted that the experience has given them some hard lessons to learn.
“Sometimes in Test cricket, you can have a poor session with the ball and you’re still very much in the game. But a session that likes can cost you a Test. That’s where we find ourselves. It’s cost us the series and we have some hard lessons to learn.
“We have to look at where we can get better individually and collectively. We need to be honest about that. We have to have some hard conversations and move forward. We have to front up, look to get better and learn some hard lessons sometimes,” he said. “We’ve all underperformed this week.”
While he admitted their were mistakes they made, he also asserted that every thing they have worked hard for up till now should not be ripped up amid the panic from the defeat. He also backed up the boys saying that each one of them possesses the ability to make the team better.
“But we have to be constructive. I think every single one of those guys has proven they can score big Test runs. I think it would be the wrong time to start panicking and trying to rip up all the hard work we’ve done for such a long period of time. It’s something that historically we’ve done going into big tournaments and big Test series and it’s made things even worse.
“There’s a huge desire to keep getting better as a team. We know there’s talent and ability in the group. Sometimes you really learn about a group of players, going through a difficult period like this. We have had a poor week, a poor series, and have got to front up to that. But it doesn’t make them bad players.”
Root is now looking forward to the next Test assignments scheduled for England this year.
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