BBC Sport cricket


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 12:17 GMT, Sunday, 8 February 2009

England 'too matey' with Windies

Chris Gayle and Andrew Flintoff at Sabina Park
Chris Gayle chats with Andrew Flintoff on day three of the first Test

Former England spinner Robert Croft has accused England of being too friendly on the field with the West Indies.

The Glamorgan star hit out after England crashed to an innings defeat on day four of the first Test in Jamaica.

Croft, who believes Ian Bell and Monty Panesar should be dropped, told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I was a bit annoyed to see how matey it looked.

"There was a lot of smiling, a lot of patting on the back between England and the opposition from day one."

The 38-year-old added: "I'm not one of those guys who says you have to growl at the opposition all the time - before and after the game, fine, have a chat.

"But during the match there seemed a lot of matey-ness going on, which for me isn't what gets the best out of teams."


Croft, who played 21 Tests for England between 1996 and 2001, says Owais Shah and Graeme Swann should come in for the second Test starting in Antigua on Friday.

He praised the West Indies team for "turning the clock back" as they set up a first-innings lead on day three at Sabina Park.

"We're used to seeing batsmen flay the ball everywhere but they just ground it out and once they got in front, England folded like a pack of cards," he said.

"Three tours ago England got bowled out for 46 but that was on a bad pitch.

"This time I was amazed to see it - it looked like the team lacked a lot of character the way they just folded."

Now Croft is calling for changes in England's batting and bowling line-ups for the second Test in Antigua.

Robert Croft
Croft wants to see more focus from the England team

"Ian Bell needs to go, and that's with the greatest of respect because Ian Bell is a good player but the form has gone," he said.

"You can't keep playing somebody hoping he's going to get better so I think (Owais) Shah deserves his turn, in fact he deserved to play in this Test (in Jamaica)."

Croft also believes Panesar could lose his place after claiming just one wicket in 47 overs.

He added: "The other one I think needs to be looked at is Monty Panesar.

"I think Graeme Swann should play largely because he's bowling better than Monty Panesar and if you look at the West Indies top order, there's a lot of left-handers in there especially the ones who hurt England so badly in the first Test.

"Depending on the surface, I would imagine Swann would be the only spinner playing so for me the changes I'd make would be those."

Print Sponsor

see also
Flower plays down 'distractions'
08 Feb 09 |  England
England collapse angers Strauss
07 Feb 09 |  England
Gayle glad to avenge 2004 defeat
07 Feb 09 |  West Indies
England crash to innings defeat
07 Feb 09 |  England
West Indies v England photos
07 Feb 09 |  England

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.