England performance 'worst'

2013-03-08 11:10
Ian Botham (File)

Dunedin - England great Ian Botham described the team's first innings performance in the opening Test against New Zealand as possibly the worst he had seen on Friday.

England were skittled for 167 in two sessions on a tame pitch Thursday to put New Zealand in control of the match as they cruised to 131 without loss at stumps, looking to build a bid lead on the third day on Friday.

Botham was full of praise for Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum's tactical nous but at a loss to explain England's dismal performance against the eighth-ranked Test team in the world.

"(It's) one of the worst, if not the worst," said Botham, who is commentating on the Test for Sky television.

"How do you explain it? I thought New Zealand did well and the captain was exceptional but you can't get bowled out for 167 on this surface.

"You've got a spinner making his debut (Bruce Martin) and he picks up four without turning a ball, very strange, very, very strange."

New Zealand were looking comfortable at 157 without loss early on Friday, with Peter Fulton bringing up his half century off 153 balls, including seven fours, and Hamish Rutherford unbeaten on 94, closing in on a century on debut.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan also lashed the England performance, calling the batsmen "sloppy", while Geoffrey Boycott said they appeared poorly prepared and in holiday mode.

Read more on:    england  |  ian botham  |  cricket

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Under fire Proteas coach Russell Domingo has blamed player workloads and fatigue as the reason for the national team's woeful showing in the Tri Series in the Caribbean. Your thoughts?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.