According to England’s fast bowling coach, Jon Lewis, bowling first in the second Test against New Zealand was the “correct call.”
With the Trent, Bridge surface looking green and some cloud overhead, Ben Stokes introduced the Kiwis; opposing captain Tom Latham would have done the same.
New Zealand, on the other hand, scored 318-4 on what turned out to be a dry surface.
“We chose the more forceful approach. We aimed to knock New Zealand out of the tournament. “It was the correct decision,” Lewis said.
After winning the first Test by five wickets at Lord’s, England is eager to wrap up the series.
“The most crucial aspect of the toss was the aggressive play following last week,” Lewis, who played one Test for England in 2006, added.
On the other hand, former captain Michael Vaughan thought England’s decision showed a lack of confidence, given that the victory at Lord’s was only they’re second in 18 matches.
Four failed catches did not improve England’s position at the end of the opening day.
Daryl Mitchell, who is now 81 not out, avoided a simple chance to first slip Joe Root when he only had three runs.
Root also squandered a more difficult chance against Tom Blundell, who later edged between second slip Zak Crawley and third slip Jonny Bairstow.
In a 149-run fifth-wicket stand with Mitchell, Blundell is undefeated on 67.
England’s dismal performance stands in stark contrast to their flawless fielding at Lord’s.
With a second new ball that is only seven overs old, England must now look to make inroads into New Zealand’s lower order on Saturday morning.
An erratic England batting line-up faces the threat of having to play Stokes’ side back into the match if they can wrap up the Black Caps’ first innings.
“Despite the triumph at Lord’s, England is still a side with flaws,” Vaughan, who played 82 Tests for England, remarked.
“England’s fielding today isn’t anything new. We had hoped to see something new at Lord’s, but it’s the same old stuff we’ve seen for the past few years. I’d be surprised if New Zealand fielded in that manner.