Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal feels England should open with Kent batsman Zak Crawley in place of either Dominic Sibley or Rory Burns.
Sibley and Burns have been under fire for not scoring enough runs in England’s top order. In his last four Tests, Sibley has amassed 150 runs from eight innings with the last him he scored fifty was against New Zealand at Lord’s.
Meanwhile, Burns, too, is inconsistent with runs, though he made 49 against India that helped England rebuild its innings.
Zak Crawley should open the batting for England: Kamran Akmal
Crawley, who was dropped after the Nottingham Test, where he scored 27 and 6, hasn’t been impactful since he made 267 against Pakistan last year.
Akmal feels Crawley should be played as an opener in five-six games and that will help him to improve to reach the level of England skipper Joe Root.
“Sorry to say, I don’t want to disrespect anyone, but I haven’t seen such a weak opening pair (Rory Burns and Dom Sibley) in England’s history. I think it is better for England to play Zak Crawley in 5-6 Test matches as an opener. He is a much better cricketer,” Akmal said on his YouTube channel.
The more he plays, he will improve that much. He can be as good as Joe Root in the times to come. He played at No. 3 and unfortunately got dropped. But I think England need to think in that direction now,” he added.
England’s rotation policy has damaged their Test team: Kamran Akmal
Since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) deployed a rotation policy for their players to avoid the toll on their mental health. But Akmal feels that it has damaged their Test team and also pointed that no player except Root is able to score in the current England batting line-up.
“As per my analysis, their rotation policy, though meant for good, perhaps damaged their Test cricket a bit. They have experimented a lot, as a result, players are not being able to settle in. Apart from Joe Root, no one is scoring runs,” Akmal said.
Earlier, England had a middle-order comprising the likes of Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell. They could build partnerships. So even if England lost wickets at the top, these batters could steady the innings,” he added.