England’s recent 1-0 defeat to New Zealand in a two-match series at home has put up big question marks over their batters. The New Zealand series was the second time when the England batters failed to produce a comprehensive performance.
Earlier in the year, during their tour of India, England, barring the series opener in Chennai, failed to match India in a 1-3 series defeat.
England have a chance to avenge the loss when they host India for a five-match series starting August 4 but they need to sort out their batting in order to avoid a second straight series defeat at home. Considering this is the Ashes year as well, former stars including Shane Warne, Michael Vaughan and Mark Waugh have suggested changes Joe Root must make to succeed.
Speaking on Fox Cricket’s ‘Road to the Ashes’ podcast, Vaughan opened up on the discussion by issuing a warning to the England side that they can’t go into Ashes with a batting order this fragile and incompetent.
Vaughan believes that the inclusion of Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, and Chris Woakes will improve the team but it won’t be sufficient as the team management needs to take some harsh calls.
“The batting line-up is fragile, it is as simple as that,” he said. “[Jos] Buttler, [Ben] Stokes will come back in, [Chris] Woakes - yes, they will improve the team but unless that batting line-up changes and can learn and understand how to get big scores against good bowlers, I can’t see how they can compete. It’s going to be tough to beat India on these shores but Australia will get 450-500, I can’t see it unless they make one or two changes.”
“I’d bring in Dawid Malan back in at No. 3,” he said. “Apparently he is not popular but you know what, who gives a hoot if he scores runs, that’s what I like to see. He’s got a bit of experience, he played well against you guys in Australia last time.
“I’d put him at No. 3, I’d put [Zak] Crawley in to open. I know that’s a bit of fortune for Crawley because he hasn’t got as many runs but I think he can play. I’d leave [Rory] Burns, Crawley, Malan, Root, Stokes, Ollie Pope at six, Buttler at seven, Woakes at eight. Will that be a good enough eight to get big, big scores? I think it’d be a better chance than the seven I saw against New Zealand. They were very, very fragile,” he added.
Waugh also backed the idea of the exclusion of Sibley from the side as he believes that the batter isn’t a Test player and shouldn’t have been selected in the team in the first place.
Waugh added that there is no depth to the England batting as no player including the likes of Burns, Sibley, Crawley, Ollie Pope, and Dan Lawrence have shown any intent or quality.
Meanwhile, Warne echoed the same sentiments as Waugh and Vaughan. The spin legend asserted that England are missing a trick by playing Burns and Sibley as their opening pair.
He also criticised the two England batters by saying that they don’t pose any threat to the opposition team and play into the opposition bowlers’ hands.
Speaking about the changes, the Warne suggested that England need to persist with Crawley as he is a class player but is going through a lean patch. He also wants Jonny Bairstow to be recalled.