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Chris Woakes (above) and Simon Kerrigan had a terrible outing on their first day in Test cricket during the fifth Ashes game at The Oval © Getty Images

Aug 22, 2013

Simon Kerrigan and Chris Woakes may have had a very poor Day One on debut in the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval, but the legendary Ian Botham has said that it would be too early to judge them. Shane Watson scored a brilliant hundred and attacked the two debutants. Kerrigan, the left-arm spinner, in particular was given some harsh treatment.

Writing in his column for Mirror, Botham expressed, “Let’s not rush to judgement on the two new boys. I have always approved of giving youth its chance in Test cricket, and one tough day in the field — with the Ashes already won — is not going to make me abandon that principle.”

Botham wrote about the two players, “We have seen enough of Woakes in one-day internationals to know he is a handy cricketer, and I don’t think he did a lot wrong yesterday. Sometimes the learning curve is steep, and this time he found the gradient hard work. Kerrigan’s nerves were the obvious worry, and you have to feel for the lad. Shane Watson was always going to go after him from the start. But if it made for awkward viewing at first, all is not lost for Kerrigan.”

The former England captain concluded by saying that Kerrigan would have a chance to redeem himself in the second innings. Before start of play, Botham had handed the two debutants their England caps.