BUMBLE ON THE TEST: We expected some quick games under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum, but I didn’t think this one would be over today… South Africa have an incredible attack, but England need some new openers
- England lost to South Africa by an innings and 12 runs at Lord’s in the first Test
- It was England’s first defeat since all-rounder Ben Stokes took over as captain
- South Africa’s pace attack shone after their batters registered a good score
- England have plenty to think about, including selection, tactics and injuries
England were blown away today in the first Test against South Africa at Lord’s, losing by an innings and 12 runs as the visitors’ pace attack dominated England’s batsmen.
England eventually dismissed South Africa for 326 this morning before crumbling with the bat, all out for 149 inside 38 overs as they were dealt their first loss of the Ben Stokes – Brendon McCullum era.
Sportsmail’s DAVID LLOYD picks out his talking points from the day.
England captain Ben Stokes saw England suffer defeat for the first time under his leadership
SOUTH AFRICA AHEAD IN ALL AREAS
Well, I said we might be in for some quick Tests but I didn’t expect this first one to be over before tea on the third day.
England were totally outplayed by a highly impressive South Africa. It’s nothing to do with the attacking way England have been playing.
Dean Elgar’s side played with great discipline and a really potent attack but this win was set up by diligent play from their batters in getting them above 300. With this attack a score of 326 is very competitive…
Anrich Nortje (right) took three wickets in the second innings to help South Africa to victory
NEW OPENERS, PLEASE…
It was a case of same old same old for England at the top of the order and you would think they need two new openers for the second Test at Old Trafford. But where are they going to get them from? The Hundred?
They have absolutely nowhere to go in selecting a side because there’s no first-class cricket.
This is a very important Test series and we’re getting spannered as much by our own scheduling as the opposition. It’s a shocking state of affairs..
Opener Zak Crawley failed again for England, scoring just 13 runs before he was out LBW
THE CHEF HAS A FACE FOR RADIO
Sir Alastair Cook is going really well on Test Match Special. A very amiable character, he brings a light touch to the coverage.
The former England captain’s way is not to be too critical but he is perceptive and gets his point across in a polite way.
There are different styles. Geoffrey Boycott would go for the jugular – and you definitely need that hard hitter. I miss him on the airwaves.
Alastair Cook has impressed on the radio with Test Match Special – I like his commentary style
VERNON SPOT ON WITH ENGLAND’S TACTICS
Mind you, Vernon Philander was hard-hitting enough on TMS on the subject of England’s tactics on the third morning.
Vernon was apoplectic about them banging in a brand new ball halfway down the pitch with a legside field. He said bowlers around the world would be mystified about what was going on.
Philander was an archetypal wicket to wicket bowler for South Africa and a mild-mannered lad but I thought he was going to get a petition up!
A LOT OF LOVE FOR BOYCOTT
Talking of Geoffrey, he’s got a new book out – ‘Being Geoffrey Boycott’. I asked him what it was about and he blanked me!
Some time ago a chap sent me two signed pictures of Fred Trueman in full flight. Boycs said to me: ’You don’t need two. I’ll swap you for one of my hundred hundreds china plates. And remember, I got another 51 hundreds after that plate were made!’
There really is no one quite like him….
BEN’S INJURY ISSUES A CAUSE FOR CONCERN
The state of Ben Stokes’ left knee is a concern to England and I think to Ben himself. The medics have been across it and he has protective strapping on it now. But when he’s in the moment you won’t get the ball off him.
There are similarities with Andrew Flintoff here and his injury problems finished him in the end. It’s significant Steve Harmison, who knows Ben well, said he’s worried about it on his talkSPORT podcast. One to keep an eye on….
Stokes has some niggling injury issues and his left knee is a cause for concern for England