Roy Hodgson
France's coach Blanc hugs England's coach Hodgson after the Euro 2012 Group D match at Donbass Arena in Donetsk. REUTERS

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp has lauded the performance of England midfielders Scott Parker and Steven Gerrard as Roy Hodgson's side opened their Euro 2012 campaign with a draw against France.

Gerrard turned provider for Joleon Lescott's opener after half an hour but France pulled level just before the interval after a fine finish from Manchester City's Samir Nasri.

In a game that failed to sparkle in the sapping humidity of Donetsk both sides will remain satisfied with a point from their first game. England retained the tactical discipline that has become a hallmark of Hodgson's short reign but failed to break down a dogged France midfield after Nasri's equaliser.

Nevertheless, former England midfielder Redknapp believes Hodgson will be happy with how his side limited a potent French attack to just a handful of chances and highlighted the contribution of Gerrard and Parker in the centre of the park.

"I want to pick out the work rate of Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker, although I worry they had too much ground to cover," Redknapp told the Daily Mail.

"It's hard to play with two central midfielders in international football when most rivals, like France, play with three.

"France are a good team but not outstanding and the workload for these two England midfielders was too great.

"That was a hard game for the pair, not because of a lack of fitness or because of a long season but because they were outnumbered.

"I wonder if Roy Hodgson will change it if England go deeper into the competition or at least get one of the forwards to lend more of a hand and drop back."

Hodgson made the brave decision to pick Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ahead of Stewart Downing and Theo Walcott but the teenager found opportunities to impress few and far between in an encounter played out under searing temperatures inside the Donbass Arena.

However, Redknapp insists the 18-year-old will be a useful addition to the England side and backed the winger to impress in the remaining group games against Ukraine and Sweden.

"Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can be a real weapon for England," said Redknapp. "I was a little frustrated with his contribution because there is so much more he can give.

"He had a 'nearly' game, almost wriggling clear a couple of times. The Ox can be an outlet for England, turning defence into attack and giving the defenders a breather by drawing a free-kick or a winning a throw."