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England’s 434-run loss at Rajkot proves they have learnt nothing from the Ashes – Michael Vaughan



Last Updated on 3 months by Charbel Coorey

Cricket News: Former captain Michael Vaughan believes England’s huge 434-run loss in Rajkot is a wake up call for Stokes & McCullum

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has criticised the team’s approach in the wake of their thumping 434-run defeat against India at Rajkot. Vaughan believes the Bazball style of play still has a way to go when it comes to playing the situation, which ultimately cost them a golden opportunity to push India harder in the third Test.

In his column for The Telegraph, Vaughan wrote that England have not learnt from their mistakes in the Ashes. In that series, the Ben Stokes-led side had their chances to seize the initiative in the first two Tests, but eventually lost both in a hammer blow to their hopes of regaining the urn.

“This England team are a bundle of energy and have already brought huge excitement and joy”, Vaughan wrote. “But surely their 434-run defeat to India in Rajkot has to be a wake-up call for captain Ben Stokes and his players.”

England need to learn how to play the situation better – Michael Vaughan

Vaughan singled out Joe Root’s shot on the third morning as a key turning point in the Test. England, sitting solid at 224/2 on a good batting surface in response to India’s 445, completely surrendered the opportunity to at least match the hosts’ first innings score and create a second innings shootout.

“The way they played in the third Test this week gifted India victory”, wrote Vaughan. “I couldn’t believe my eyes the way they batted on day three, especially Joe Root’s shot in the first innings.

“You are 230 behind on day three, thinking a brilliant bowler in Ravichandran Ashwin may play no further part in the Test, and Ravindra Jadeja is looking a bit stiff. It’s 1-1 in the series and you have your best player at the crease. From there, you can see a route to victory, and it involves batting all day.”

Cricket News: Former captain Michael Vaughan believes England's huge 434-run loss in Rajkot is a wake up call for Stokes & McCullum
Joe Root came under criticism for his shot selection on the third morning of the Rajkot Test.

Vaughan was particularly critical of Piers Morgan’s view of Root’s shot during the Test. Morgan said that because England fight fire with fire, fans need to accept when audacious shots go wrong. However, the former England captain was having none of it, calling Morgan’s view “utter rubbish.”

“Utter rubbish Piers,” tweeted Vaughan. “The skipper doesn’t Bazball.. he plays the situation. Joe is far too good to gift India such a cheap wicket 20 mins into a crucial day when they are down to 10 players. Sport is about changing styles at the right time.”

ALSO READ: England’s biggest defeats in Test cricket history (by runs)

Vaughan then echoed those thoughts further in his column. He acknowledged that Root has played such shots before under McCullum and Stokes, but the game situation was different.

“It was no time for extravagant risks, but Root took one. I hear people say “but he played it against Pat Cummins” and, yeah, he did. But England were on top when he did that. Here, they were 221 behind on day three in India, with the series finely poised,” said Vaughan.

“It’s a shot that really worries me,” he continued. “It shows England have learnt nothing from the Ashes. The collapse that followed was reminiscent of Lord’s, when Nathan Lyon hobbled off with England 1-182, and they gifted Australia all those wickets. That’s why they lost that Test, not because Jonny Bairstow was stumped.”

England’s defeat at Rajkot was their second-biggest in history in terms of runs. It is a bad turn of events for Stokes’ team after their magnificent come-from-behind win at Hyderabad at the end of January. Now, they face two must-win Tests if they are to become the first team since 2012 to win a series in India.

“Listen to them, and you would think nothing is ever wrong,” Vaughan continued. “Jimmy Anderson said they would chase 600 in Vizag. Ben Duckett said “the more the better” in terms of their target this week, but they fell 434 short. Duckett also reckons they deserve credit for the way Yashasvi Jaiswal is batting, as if no player in history has ever played an attacking shot.

“They have to be careful that people around don’t think they are smug, or above their station. Root’s shot was another reminder that they are in a bubble. All that matters is their dressing room, and fun. There is a bit more to Test cricket than that.”

Like the Ashes, it seems as though England have left themselves too much to do as a result of their own mistakes. If they are to bounce back and achieve a superb series victory, it will take smarter cricket in key moments.

Otherwise, India will run away with it in the final two matches.

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Coorey
Charbel is the owner & founder of, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at

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