England v South Africa - Third LV= Insurance Test Match: Day Four
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 11: Ollie Robinson of England celebrates dismissing Khaya Zondo of South Africa during day four of the Third LV= Insurance Test Match between England and South Africa at The Kia Oval on September 11, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
England v South Africa - Third LV= Insurance Test Match: Day Four

The English side has become the victim of some heavy scrutiny after a disastrous opening day of the second Ashes Test at Lord's.

After winning the toss, captain Ben Stokes selected to send the Australians in to bat with an overwhelming amount of cloud cover proving the main factor in the decision. The pitch also presented a green cover which should have given the English attack the advantages in the opening sessions.

However, the result has left the English scratching their heads after the tourists amassed a score of 5/339. Some standout performances include Steve Smith, Travis Head and David Warner who were all able to score more than 60 runs despite rain delays.

The fourth session saw Head put together another century stand with Smith Smith until a late double-strike from Joe Root helped England even out the score line.

The English attack was selected with four seamers, seeing a newcomer in Josh Tounge who was brought in to replace spinner Moeen Ali. The bowling unit was notably criticised by England great Kevin Pietersen, who described their efforts as "shambolic."

"Not a lot has caught my eye from an England perspective, it's been shambolic, absolutely shambolic," the former skipper said.

"You have overhead conditions, a wicket that suits your bowlers and you've got bowlers running in at 125 km/h.

"It's one thing walking here, swanning around, and saying, 'Hey this is a wonderful team to play in, we're creating the best environment', but this is not Ashes cricket. I've played Ashes cricket. I've played 30 Test matches against Australia."

Pietersen also touched on how the Australian batters were left waiting for the English side to take the field after a break in play.

"The Australians here were out to bat before the English bowlers," he said.

"The English bowlers this morning should've been on those stairs saying, 'We want to bowl at Australia, we're desperate to bowl at Australia', (but) these two Australian batters are out there waiting for England.

"It's all too easy and all too nice. Are you telling me Ricky Ponting in 2005 would be talking to Geraint Jones? Do you think Michael Vaughan is going to be standing next to Justin Langer saying, 'Hey mate, what a cool day'. Are you joking?

"I just hope they're in that dressing room now and the England coach is giving them the biggest hammering.

However, Tongue, who dismissed Warner for 66 during a spectacular performance that included bowling both of Australia's openers, believed the final result did not accurately reflect the calibre of England's effort.

“We were really unlucky in the first hour – going into lunch they could easily have been four or five down,” he said. “But I felt as a unit we stuck at it really well.”

England will have an opportunity later today to change the momentum of the match with Australia still having four players yet to bat. With rain expected to play a heavy factor, Australia could well remain at the crease until the conclusion of day two.