Ashes 2015: England 'shot themselves in the foot' with pitch

Ben Stokes is bowled
Both Ben Stokes (pictured) and Alastair Cook were bowled off the inside edge on Saturday

England "shot themselves in the foot" with the pitch for the second Test, says former captain Michael Vaughan.

England were thought to have requested a slow surface at Lord's to negate the Australia fast bowlers and protect their 1-0 Ashes series lead.

But Australia won the toss and amassed 566-8, then dismissed England for 312.

"It hasn't been good for England or for cricket," Vaughan said. "It just gave Australia the opportunity to get that confident buzz back into the side."

Former England opener Geoffrey Boycott
"England have two top-class opening bowlers in Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson, but this pitch has neutered their impact. England can't complain because a slow pitch is probably what they ordered to stop Australia's tall quick bowlers."

The Australians, who lost the opening match of the series at Cardiff by 169 runs, opted not to enforce the follow-on at Lord's and added 108-0 with little alarm to extend their lead to 362 with two days remaining.

"There needs to be a balance between bat and ball - England need a little bit of movement in the pitch to help them out," Vaughan said on BBC Radio 5 live's 6-Duck-6.

"The toss was always going to be important. We saw a pitch here against New Zealand a few weeks ago that had zip, carry, a little bit of everything.

"By preparing a real slow wicket, you're basically saying you don't trust your top seven, which is a really poor message to send."

England all-rounder Ben Stokes, who hit 13 fours and a six in an attacking 87, admitted his team were in a difficult position.

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"We've got to get our head around the fact that we are probably going to have to bat 150 overs to try and save the game," he said.

"If there's ever a wicket to do it on it's this one.

"There are no real demons in it, there's not too much pace and there's not too much turn."

Australia counterpart Mitchell Marsh said: "Hopefully we can bat well and really put England under pressure tomorrow afternoon and on day five."

On the subject of how far ahead they might be when skipper Michael Clarke makes a declaration, Marsh added: "I'm sure Michael has a total in mind, but I'm not sure [what it is]. I imagine it will be around the 450 to 500 mark."

Listen to Geoffrey Boycott and Jonathan Agnew review the third day's play on the TMS podcast, and watch a summary of Saturday with our Pint-sized Ashes video.

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