"There were lads out there chasing the ball," said an incredulous David Lloyd, the England coach. "That smacks of a lack of confidence to me. What was needed was to stay there, extend the batting into the second day. But the big worry for me is once again we were blown away."
Sadly, those capable of hanging around, notably Michael Atherton and Alec Stewart, did not, nor did opener Mark Butcher. While the stars formerly known as the Brat Pack - as Thorpe, Hussain and Ramprakash were dubbed when they first appeared on the Test scene - left the ship sinking. The anchorman, Stewart, went shortly after lunch and so, with the captain already overboard, all that stood between England and utter humiliation was a straggly tail.
Lloyd admitted he had to strike a balance between crushing what little confidence may be left when, on paper at least, four more days remain in which England can try to salvage something. "I agonised about whether to, but in the end..." Lloyd trailed off. "They have let down the captain and myself badly. They have let themselves down as well. I am bitterly disappointed with today's performance, and frustrated."Reuse content