'Infuriated' Botham blasts Strauss for 'brainwashing' bowlers into negative tactics
London, Aug 4 (ANI): Former Test captain Sir Ian Botham has come down heavily on the England team management for their tactics in the second Test against South Africa, even suggesting the bowlers had been brainwashed into accepting a policy of negative field placings and lack of good catchers.
Andrew Strauss' side had reached 48 for no wicket on Day 2 of the second Test in response to South Africa's score of 419 when bad light and rain brought play to a premature close.
Botham criticized captain Andrew Strauss' perceived lack of aggression in the morning session, while part-time spinner Kevin Pietersen's dismissal of Jacques Rudolph brought the debate over Graeme Swann's omission into even sharper focus.
Strauss dropped Swann and chose to field in the Second Test against South Africa in a bid to help England cling on to their No.1 status.
England fast bowler Stuart Broad dismissed Botham's criticism, saying: It's just Beefy being negative. There's always that expectation and pressure when you win the toss and bowl, that the opposition [shouldn't] get 400. But wicket- wise I don't think it was very dangerous to bat on. I thought we stuck at it pretty well.
The main criticism of analysts centred around the England captain's willingness to remove slip fielders and an obsession with posting sweepers at the boundary at the start of a batsman's innings, The Independent reports.
With South Africa resuming on 262 for 5 after being put in, England still had hopes of bowling the tourists out for under 300 and in doing so retaining a chance of victory in the second Test.
But with Alviro Petersen unbeaten on 124 overnight, Strauss opted for just two slips for the majority of the morning session while rarely posting a gully or a short leg.
Strauss' failure to take the initiative infuriated Botham, who said I'd have got very bored playing this style of cricket. Back yourself, don't wait for the opposition to make a mistake. I haven't seen one bowler even attempt to be attacking. It's almost as if they're brainwashed.
The extravagant turn Pietersen found with his second ball of the day to dismiss the left-handed Rudolph only reinforced the argument that it was foolish to play a Test match without a recognised spinner, the Independent reports. (ANI)