Joe Root and Michael Vaughan: Ex-England captain stands by criticism

Joe Root and Michael Vaughan
"The guys do really care - they are desperate to win and perform well," Joe Root (left, with Michael Vaughan) said on Wednesday
Third Investec Test: England v South Africa
Venue: The Kia Oval, London Date: 27-31 July Time: 11:00 BST
Coverage: In-play video clips, Test Match Special radio commentary and text commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC Sport website, tablets, mobiles and app.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has stood by his criticism of the current Test side - which skipper Joe Root admitted "felt a bit personal".

Vaughan said England did not "respect" Test cricket after their heavy defeat by South Africa in the second Test.

"It has been the story of the Test team for two and a half years," Vaughan told BBC Radio 5 live on Wednesday.

"They don't seem to be able to read the situation - they have this gung-ho approach."

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 live's Tuffers & Vaughan programme, Vaughan added: "For such a long period of time they have played as if the only way to approach it is to hit the ball to the boundary. You have to be able to wear the opposition down.

"Jonny Bairstow came out at number five batting on roller-blades, trying to smash everything to the boundary. I don't think they respected the way Test cricket needed to be played.

England slipped to a 340-run defeat - their eighth in 13 Tests - and batted for just 96.1 overs across both innings.

Root had called the comments "very unfair" in his post-match news conference.

But, preparing for his third Test match as England captain on Thursday at The Oval, said he had since spoken to his mentor Vaughan and accepted the comments were "a little bit" constructive.

"It's his job, isn't it, to be opinionated and say what he thinks," the Yorkshireman said.

"At the time I was very disappointed with the way we played and caught a little bit off guard with the question.

"It felt a bit personal at the time, but on reflection you have to understand people have an obligation to do their job and say how they feel they see it."

Vaughan added: "I'm passionate about the England team and I get frustrated when I see a team with so much talent. I don't think they've got the make-up of the side right.

"The batting has been a weakness for a while now. The talent is there and there is all the potential to be a brilliant team, but you don't become a brilliant team without the brains and being smart.

"You've got to have a group of players that are very smart in the middle and one week they play smart cricket and the next they don't. They should be more consistent than they have been over the last year or so.

"They had to take a lot of criticism and rightly so, but they could quite easily turn it around this week."

The four-Test series is level at 1-1 after South Africa beat England at Trent Bridge following their defeat at Lord's.

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