Former England skipper Michael Vaughan termed England's batting collapse against Ireland at Lord's as an embarrassment after the hosts were cleaned up for merely 85 on the first day of the Test.
This was England’s first international assignment following their glorious World Cup win on July 14 and they looked all at sea against an inspired Ireland on a surface that was offering help to the pace bowlers. Tim Murtagh was the star for Ireland claiming 5 for 13 in nine overs as the world champions came crashing down to earth.
The shocking performance will be a cause of worry for England as they prepare for the Ashes which begins with the first Test at Edgbaston next week. England managed to bat only 23.4 overs against Ireland, playing just their third Test after defeats to Pakistan and Afghanistan in their first two. In response, Ireland were bowled for 207.
"When the ball does anything you shut your eyes and hope England get through it," Vaughan told the BBC’s Test Match Special, according to a Reuters report.
"There were some good balls but there was also some timid play and poor strokes. Let’s be honest, it’s an embarrassment, you’re at the home of cricket, in a test against Ireland and you’re all out for 85, there is no other word to describe it," he added.
England’s batting coach Graham Thorpe admitted that the World Cup euphoria may have had a part to play in the team's shocking batting collapse at Lord's. "I would say the players have to show an enormous amount of character and mental strength as well to be able to come back down from last weekend and to be playing this week. We can’t run away from today’s performance, can’t make excuses, it’s been a bad day," Thorpe was quoted as telling the media.
Thorpe also stated that this performance was a clear wake-up call for England with the Ashes coming up, and that the team will need to pull up their socks very quickly. "Hopefully the bump in the road puts some of the players back in a better place and we will be ready for Australia next week.
"But the first task is to try and stand up over the next two to three days and put Ireland on the back foot. They had a great day today and it is up to us to counter-attack tomorrow and get ourselves back into the test match," explained the former England batsman.
--By A Cricket Correspondent