Joe Root’s team was eliminated by just 122 in their second inning in the Edgbaston test before New Zealand triumphed by eight wickets to record just their third series win in England and their first since 1999.
Joe Root led England to their first home series loss to New Zealand this century.
England captain Joe Root admits his team must learn to “handle the pressure” more efficiently after their extensive eight-field loss to New Zealand at Edgbaston.
It took the Black Caps just an hour to complete their victory, and a first series win in England since 1999, on the fourth morning, chasing a modest goal of 38 in their second inning.
The match was effectively decided by England’s woeful performance with the bat the previous afternoon, when they collapsed to 76-7 against New Zealand sailors Matt Henry, Neil Wagner and Trent Boult.
“You can have bad sessions with the ball sometimes, but you can’t have a session like that with the bat,” Root observed. “That’s where it really cost us.
“We could have been better in other areas as well and throughout the game New Zealand definitely beat us. But I think more than anything they are handling those situations and scenarios.
“If we lose a couple of fast wickets, how are we going to move to a break or how are we going to handle a little pressure for periods of 10 and up and calm things down again.
“So I think instead of looking at anything technically, we have to make sure that mentally we are very resilient and we handle passages of play better.
“It’s about using the experience of the dressing room and the coaches around you and trying to make sure, when you find yourself in that situation again, you don’t make the same mistakes and you have a clear method of how we’re going to handle those difficult scenarios.
“The fact of the matter is that New Zealand beat us. They played really good cricket and we haven’t matched it.
“That is the disappointment, we know that we are a better team than this and we have all arrived with playing time under our belt.”
England finally stuttered to 122 in their second inning at Edgbaston, with batter Olly Stone falling to Boult’s first pitch of the day.
Sky Sports insider Michael Atherton felt that England’s underperformance was influenced, at least in part, by events in the opening test at Lord’s, when New Zealand invited them to chase 273 in the last two sessions.
The home team made no attempt to pursue that goal, instead wasting time to finish 170-3 of 70 overs to secure a draw.
“In fact, I think what happened at Lord’s was worse than what happened yesterday. [at Edgbaston]”Atherton said.” England played cricket really shy and scared when they were given a chance to go for the win.
“That wasn’t a statement from Kane Williamson at Lord’s, but it was a fair statement and either side would have confidently shown intent to win the game.
“That tells you a lot about the mood and lack of confidence in a young batting lineup and those chickens came home yesterday to sleep.”
However, Root insisted that he would not have approached that situation differently in hindsight, saying that the Lord’s window made the goal on his side unrealistic.
“I don’t look back and see that differently,” he added. “Having hit that surface, I felt like it was a real challenge to go and score seven, eight and more over a good period of time.
“If they had bowled at one end for the rest of the game, we would definitely have gotten off, but that was not going to be the case.
“You could really stop the ball at that wicket. Given how slow it was with an uneven bounce, it was always going to be too much.”