England's Batting Order Is Fragile: Michael Vaughan, Shane Warne, Mark Waugh Blast England
Michael Vaughan (L), Shane Warne and Mark Waugh
Michael Vaughan (L), Shane Warne and Mark Waugh
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England’s Batting Order Is Fragile: Michael Vaughan, Shane Warne, Mark Waugh Blast England

England’s recent 1-0 defeat to New Zealand in a two-match series at home has put up big question marks over their batsmen.  The New Zealand series was the second time when the England batsmen 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 has 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 2021 is the Ashes year as well, former stars including Australian leg spinner Shane Warne, England batsman Michael Vaughan, and former Australian batsman Mark Waugh have suggested changes Joe Root must make to succeed.

England skipper Joe Root
England skipper Joe Root Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket

England’s Batting Order Is Fragile Admits Michael Vaughan Who Feels Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, And Chris Woakes’ Inclusion Will Improve The Team

Speaking on Fox Cricket’s ‘Road to the Ashes’ podcast, Michael 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. Michael 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.

England batsman Jos Buttler
England batsman Jos Buttler (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

“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.

Injuries to pacer Jofra Archer and all-rounder Ben Stokes have been compounded by rest breaks for the likes of Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Chris Woakes, Moeen Ali, and Mark Wood.

Zak Crawley is having a poor run as he averaged a mere 8.75 against Sri Lanka, 16.75 against India, and 5.25 against New Zealand in the Test series, but is still being persisted with. Dominic Sibley’s average hasn’t been above 35 in any of the series against Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, and New Zealand.
Joe Root managed only 97 runs averaging a mere 24.25, Dominic Sibley managed 103 runs averaging 34.33, Daniel Lawrence managed 81 runs averaging 40.5 while Rory Burns managed 238 runs averaging 59.5 in the Test series against New Zealand.

Mark Waugh Wants To Exclude Dom Sibley While Shane Warne Feels England Missed A Trick By Playing Rory Burns And Dom Sibley As Openers

Mark Waugh also backed the idea of the exclusion of Dom 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. Mark Waugh added that there is no depth to the England batting as no player including the likes of Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, and Dan Lawrence have shown any intent or quality.

Zak Crawley-Twitter
Zak Crawley-Twitter

Meanwhile, Shane Warne echoed the same sentiments as Mark Waugh and Michael Vaughan. The spin legend asserted that England is missing a trick by playing Rory Burns and Dom Sibley as their opening pair. He also criticized the two England batsmen by saying that they don’t pose any threat to the opposition team and play into the opposition bowlers’ hands.

Speaking about the changes, Shane Warne suggested that England needs to persist with middle-order batsman Zak Crawley as he is a class player but is going through a lean patch. He also wants Jonny Bairstow to be recalled.

The likes of James Bracey, Joe Denly, Tom Lammonby, Joe Clarke, Will Rhodes, Sam Northeast, James Vince, Gary Ballance, and Dawid Malan are in contention for Test recall, debut, or more opportunities.