England player ratings vs South Africa: Matty Potts struggles... but which batsman needs a break?

·3 min read
England player ratings vs South Africa: Matty Potts struggles... but which batsman must be dropped? - AP
England player ratings vs South Africa: Matty Potts struggles... but which batsman must be dropped? - AP

England collapsed inside 40 overs as they slumped to a crushing innings defeat to South Africa in the first Test at Lord's. It was the first defeat of the new Ben Stokes-Brendon McCullum era – and Telegraph Sport rates the players after a chastening loss.

Zak Crawley 2

Time for (another) break. Crawley was dropped this time last year and needs taking out again. He averages 16.4 this summer, and does not have the defence to be a Test opener. His problem is England don’t need another option at No 5.

Alex Lees 5

Equal top scored as England collapsed in less than two sessions on Friday but it could have been a lot worse – he was dropped at slip in the third over of both innings.

Ollie Pope 7

Played his best innings at No 3 in tough conditions on day one. Left well, and seemed to cope with the moving ball. Poor dismissal to Maharaj, and he does have a worrying record against spin.

Joe Root 3

He cannot do it every time and Root has looked drained since the early summer Tests with his average white-ball form continuing at Lord’s. Unlucky lbw on day one, but hard-handed prod at Ngidi was out of character.

Joe Root was not at his best at the Home of Cricket - AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
Joe Root was not at his best at the Home of Cricket - AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Jonny Bairstow 3

Two good balls. One iffy shot in the first innings but Nortje produced a beauty to nick him off in second. Bairstow, like Root, looked short of red-ball rhythm.

Ben Stokes 6

Manful effort with the bumper to make the big breakthrough with the wicket of Erwee but just overdid the enforcer role. Still waiting for his first big innings as captain. Caught at deep midwicket but by then the Test was over.

Ben Foakes 3

England always had doubts about Foakes against high pace and he offered little resistance in falling twice to Nortje. Lame second-innings shot was a gift when England still had a chance with Stokes at the other end. Tidy keeping.

Stuart Broad 4

Hunted wickets without concern for figures as he and Anderson embrace the new ways and bowled well but without any real penetrative threat.

Stuart Broad was outbowled by his South African counterparts - PA
Stuart Broad was outbowled by his South African counterparts - PA

Jack Leach 5

Showed South African weaknesses against spin when he came on and found some turn. Good combination with Stokes but was outbowled by Maharaj.

Matt Potts 3

Probably his poorest performance. Struggles with his line to left-handers, and South Africa have two at the top of the order. He is not a bumper bowler, better at line and length but seemed to be under orders to go after South Africa with the short ball.

James Anderson 5

Anderson bowled some great deliveries and troubled both openers but was slapped for 18 in two overs as the game drifted away from England and the tail added crucial runs.