London [UK]: After winning the one-off Test match against Ireland, skipper Joe Root labelled the Lord’s wicket “substandard”, saying the match did not offer a fair contest between bat and ball.
“I don’t like saying this but the wicket was substandard for a Test match. I thought it wasn’t… not even close to a fair contest between bat and ball throughout the whole game,” ESPN Cricinfo quoted Root as saying.
England were bundled out for 85 in the first innings as Tim Murtagh scalped five wickets.
Ireland went on to score 207 runs, gaining a 122-run lead, but England managed to score 303 runs in their second innings, giving Ireland a target of 182 runs.
Ireland clearly showed inexperience as they were dismissed for 38 (seventh-lowest total in the history of Test cricket), handing England a win by 143 runs. Chris Woakes scalped six wickets in the second innings whereas Stuart Broad dismissed four batsmen.
Despite the win, Root said that the team was not at their best in the match.
“We weren’t at our best by any stretch. We managed certain periods very well. We were put under pressure by Ireland. They exploited the conditions on that first morning in particular extremely well,” Root said.
“But we found a way to win a game. First innings, last innings, when you are getting scores like that, that tells a story in itself when the scores are as low as that on a surface that you play on,” he added.
England will next take on Australia in the Ashes and the team is expected to announce their squad later today.
Root said the team would be ready for the Ashes challenge.
“Yeah, pretty confident. We’ll have a final meeting today at some point and make sure that we’re all very clear but it’s an exciting time for everyone. It’s nice to go into it with this win and to have managed some pressure situations, come out the other side,” Root said.
“But you know Ashes cricket is very special and the guys will be getting very much their minds around that now, the next few days off and then when we turn to practice it will be all go,” he added.
The Ashes is slated to begin on August 1.