Joe Root’s side were bowled out for just 122 in their second innings in the Edgbaston Test before New Zealand triumphed by eight wickets to register only their third series win in England and their first since 1999
Joe Root led England to their first home series defeat against New Zealand this century
England captain Joe Root admits his team must learn to “manage pressure” more efficiently after their comprehensive eight-wicket defeat to New Zealand at Edgbaston.
The Black Caps took just an hour to complete their victory – and a first series triumph in England since 1999 – on the fourth morning, chasing down a modest target of 38 in their second innings.
The match was effectively decided by England’s woeful performance with the bat the previous afternoon, when they collapsed to 76-7 against New Zealand seamers Matt Henry, Neil Wagner and Trent Boult.
“You can have bad sessions on occasions with the ball but you can’t have a session like that with the bat,” Root observed. “That’s where it’s really cost us.
The best of the action from day four at Edgbaston as New Zealand wrapped up victory over England in the second Test to seal a famous series win
“We could have been better in other areas as well and throughout the game New Zealand definitely outplayed us. But I think more than anything it’s managing those situations and scenarios.
“If we do lose a couple of quick wickets, how we’re going to get through to a break or how we’re just going to manage a bit of pressure for 10-over periods and calm things down again.
“So I think, rather than looking at anything technically we’ve got to make sure mentally we’re very resilient and manage passages of play better.
“It’s about using the experience of the dressing-room and the coaches around you and trying to make sure, when you find yourselves in that situation again, you don’t make the same mistakes and you’ve got a clear method of how you’re going to manage those difficult scenarios.
New Zealand’s Ross Taylor (L) shakes hands with James Anderson after his side’s eight-wicket win against England at Edgbaston
“The fact of the matter is, New Zealand outplayed us. They played some really good cricket and we’ve not matched it.
“That’s the disappointing thing – we know we’re a better side than this and we’ve all come in with game time under our belts.”
England eventually stuttered to 122 all out in their second innings at Edgbaston, with not-out batsman Olly Stone falling to Boult’s first ball of the day.
Sky Sports pundit Michael Atherton felt England’s poor performance was at least partly influenced by events in the opening Test at Lord’s, when New Zealand invited them to chase 273 in the final two sessions.
The home side made no attempt to pursue that target, instead batting out time to finish on 170-3 from 70 overs and ensuring a draw.
“I actually think what happened at Lord’s was worse than what happened yesterday [at Edgbaston],” said Atherton. “England played really timid, frightened cricket when given a chance to go for a win.
“That wasn’t a gimme of a declaration from Kane Williamson at Lord’s, but it was a fair declaration and any side with confidence would have shown intent to win the game.
“That tells you a lot about the state of mind and lack of confidence in a young batting line-up and those chickens came home to roost yesterday.”
England captain Joe Root was dismissed for 11 as the home side slid to 122 all out in the second Test against New Zealand
However, Root insisted he would not have approached that situation any differently with hindsight, saying the Lord’s wicket made his side’s target an unrealistic one.
“I don’t look back and see that any differently,” he added. “Having batted on that surface it felt like it was a real challenge to go and score at seven, eight an over for a good period of time.
“If they’d have bowled spin at one end for the rest of the game then we’d definitely have had a dip at it but that wasn’t going to be the case.
“You could really shut the ball down on that wicket. Given how slow it was with an uneven bounce, it was always going to be too much.”