England batters Dom Sibley and Dan Lawrence are “out of their depth” in Test cricket, says former captain Michael Vaughan.
The hosts were shot out for 183 on the first day of the opening Test before India reached 21-0 at Trent Bridge.
Opener Sibley made 18 off 70 balls, while number six Lawrence fell for his third duck in four Test innings.
“Sometimes you have to look at players and ask if they are good enough at this level,” Vaughan told BBC Sport.
“Dom Sibley doesn’t offer a great deal – he can’t give you that counter-punch.
“Dan Lawrence is young and may come back, but while he has that technique, when he first goes out there you hide behind the curtains. You’re not sure what he’s trying to achieve in the first 20 balls.
“They are two players that look a little bit out of their depth.”
Warwickshire’s Sibley, 25, has managed one score in excess of 50 in his past 13 Test innings.
Lawrence, the 24-year-old from Essex, made 81 not out in England’s previous Test – a defeat by New Zealand – yet his average across eight matches is just above 27.
England have been bowled out for less than 200 in eight of their past 12 completed Test innings, passing 300 only twice.
However, batting coach Marcus Trescothick said he was “not worried” about the players in the top order.
“I see them play and practise, and the talent that they have,” said the former England opener. “We just need to remain positive about what goes on.
“Today has not been the ideal day, but that does not define how the rest of the game or the series is going to go.”
England have had little preparation for this five-Test series. Five members of their top eight – captain Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Lawrence, Jos Buttler and Sam Curran – had not played any first-class cricket since at least the New Zealand defeat in June, while Zak Crawley’s only County Championship innings lasted six balls.
Vaughan, who made 5,719 runs in 82 Tests, said England’s failings are not only down to their build-up.
“This team has baggage – a baggage of collapses,” he said.
“You can say the England players haven’t been given enough first-class cricket leading up to this, but India didn’t either. We’re giving England too many excuses.
“They can blame preparation – it’s not ideal – but let’s go back to the New Zealand series. That top order had four or five county games and still failed.”
Trescothick, who played in Vaughan’s victorious Ashes-winning side of 2005, said England’s preparation could have been “slightly better”.
“We would have wanted the batters to have played a certain amount of red-ball cricket, but there is no easy solution,” he said.
“We don’t want to use that as an excuse, but we’d love to have more time out in the middle, bowling with and facing the red ball.”