‘Right call’ for England to bowl first, says Lewis

England made the “right call” by bowling first in the second Test against New Zealand, according to fast bowling coach Jon Lewis.

Ben Stokes inserted the Kiwis with the Trent Bridge pitch looking green and some cloud overhead – opposing captain Tom Latham would have done the same.

But on what turned out to be a dry surface, New Zealand reached 318-4.

“We took the aggressive option. We wanted to bowl New Zealand out. It was the right call,” Lewis told BBC Sport.

England are looking to seal the series after winning the first Test at Lord’s by five wickets.

“The important thing about the toss was it was the aggressive play after last week,” added Lewis, who played one Test for England in 2006.

“The toss is a really interesting thing in cricket. You shouldn’t expect things to happen just because of what happens at the toss.

“You hope it might happen, but you have to do the business in the field. I thought at times we bowled incredibly well and we worked incredibly hard.”

However, former captain Michael Vaughan said England’s decision betrayed a lack of confidence – the win at Lord’s was only their second in 18 matches.

“A good side would have arrived this morning and not have even have hesitated to say ‘bat first’,” Vaughan told Test Match Special.

“New Zealand will be delighted. I think it’s a pretty good pitch.”

England’s position at the end of the first day was not helped by four missed catches.

Daryl Mitchell, who moved to 81 not out, survived a straightforward chance to first slip Joe Root when he had only three.

Root also missed a harder chance off Tom Blundell, who later edged between second slip Zak Crawley and Jonny Bairstow at third.

Blundell is unbeaten on 67 in a fifth-wicket stand of 149 with Mitchell.

England’s poor display is in contrast to their performance at Lord’s, when their fielding was faultless.

“Some days you catch the ball, some days you don’t,” said Lewis. “Unfortunately we missed a couple of chances. We could have easily bowled them out for 250.”

England must now look to make inroads into the New Zealand lower order on Saturday morning with a second new ball that is only seven overs old.

When they do wrap up the Black Caps first innings, an inconsistent England batting line-up faces the prospect of having to play Stokes’ side back into the match.

“England are a team who still have deficiencies, despite the win at Lord’s,” said Vaughan, who played 82 Tests for England.

“Today’s fielding isn’t anything new from England. We hoped what we saw at Lord’s would be something new, but it’s back to what we have seen over the past few years. I would be amazed if New Zealand field in that fashion.

“It was a day where eight wickets should have fallen, and England are going to have bat very well now.”

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