Ex-cricketer turned commentator Aakash Chopra pointed out the deficiency in the England team’s batting line-up, claiming they have focused more on quantity rather than quality. The hosts crumbled to a crushing 151-run defeat on Day 5 of the Lord’s Test against India and they now trail 0-1 in the 5-match Test series.
Plenty of concerns have been raised over the English batting order, with the team themselves making plenty of changes ahead of the third Test. Dawid Malan was roped in while Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley were sent back to fine-tune their skills in County cricket.
Speaking on the issue, Chopra claimed that the side is brimming with a lot of batsmen but only one of them is currently at Test match level, and that is skipper Joe Root. The English skipper has top-scored for his side with 386 runs, while the next best is Jonny Bairstow with 118 runs.
“There are so many options but this English team is more about quantity, not about quality. The quality is there in just one player, among the batsmen, and he is Joe Root. The rest of them in Test-match cricket, they are just adding up the numbers at this point in time against India’s fantastic bowling attack.”
“This is the reality, hate it or like it. The job this bowling attack has done, the opposition team has fallen slightly on their knees in the batting department definitely,” Chopra mentioned.
“It seems Haseeb Hameed will open for England” – Aakash Chopra
The hosts have plenty to ponder over for the upcoming Test and with the exclusion of Sibley in the squad, they have all but confirmed Haseeb Hameed as their opener. Also, the injury to Mark Wood and the doubts over his availability point towards a possible cap for Saqib Mahmood.
“Sibley and Crawley, both have been dropped. Dawid Malan and Saqib Mahmood have been called back into the team. Saqib did really well against Pakistan. He was a part of the squad for the second match, he was then released but now because of Wood’s injury, he has been called.”
“Malan, yes he is a T20 champion. Malan’s story is that Dom Sibley has been struggling. It seems Haseeb Hameed will open and in the middle, you can play Malan or Ollie Pope, you can also send Bairstow at No.3,” Chopra added on the possible changes ahead of the next Test.
In order to come back against a strong Indian team, England will have to put the Lord’s defeat behind them and focus on the road ahead. The third Test will start at Headingley, Leeds on August 25, Wednesday.