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Chris Silverwood Getty Images
Chris Silverwood Getty Images
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Chris Silverwood Insists To Stay On As England Coach Despite Ashes 2021/22 Defeat

Chris Silverwood has insisted he wants to stay on as England head coach, despite his team’s 4-0 Ashes drubbing – but admitted he could have shown his teeth more to the players amid accusations of dressing-room coziness.

Since beating India at Chennai last February, England has lost 10 Tests out of 14 and won only one – their worst sequence for 25 years. That has left Chris Silverwood’s fate dependent both on the post-series report by team managing director Ashley Giles and the views of ECB chief executive Tom Harrison and other members of the performance cricket committee, chaired by Andrew Strauss.

Chris Silverwood, England head coach Getty Image.
Chris Silverwood, England head coach Getty Image.

Chris Silverwood Admits That His Job Is Going To Be Under Scrutiny After Abject 2021/22 Ashes Loss

Tom Harrison is believed to have been unimpressed by what he has found during his three weeks in Australia, with England’s worst Ashes batting display since the 1950s compounded by a loss of confidence among the players in Chris Silverwood’s ability, and poor levels of communication. Before one Test, the coach sat down to tell a player he had been dropped, only for the player to say he had already read of his demise in a newspaper.

But Chris Silverwood is adamant that, with the help of a reformed domestic structure that places more emphasis on the red-ball game, he can help turn England’s fortunes around.

‘My job is going to be under scrutiny,’ Chris Silverwood said. ‘But I would love to help effect those changes within the county structures, and I would like to put some of this right. I think I’m a good coach and I would love to be given that opportunity, but there are certain things that are out of my hands at the moment.’

With less than six weeks before England flies to the Caribbean for a three-Test series, Tom Harrison and Andrew Strauss have little time to make their recommendations to the ECB board.

But whoever emerges as head coach may find their powers diluted, with Chris Silverwood struggling to balance day-to-day coaching with the dual demands of the Test and white-ball teams, plus the role of the chief selector. Assistant coaches such as Paul Collingwood, who is in charge of the T20 team’s forthcoming tour of the Caribbean, and Graham Thorpe may be asked to take on greater responsibility.

Paul Collingwood played 68 Tests, 197 One-day Internationals and 36 T20 for England.© AFP
Paul Collingwood played 68 Tests, 197 One-day Internationals, and 36 T20 for England.© AFP

The hierarchy must also decide whether a combination of Joe Root and Chris Silverwood lacks a bad-cop figure to tell the players to home truths, with Joe Root admitting after England lost at Hobart inside three days that there might be times where we need to get a little bit harder.

Chris Silverwood said: ‘With the situation we’ve been living in, I try to work through things with them, rather than shout or growl. But there will be aspects I’ve got to reflect on, because I’m not a finished article as a coach and I want to get better all the time. I’m not afraid to show my teeth, but you sometimes wonder in hindsight whether I should do it more. But then does it make it less effective? I don’t know.’

The farcical conclusion to the fifth Test on Sunday may not work in his favour. England’s last five wickets fell amid a flurry of slogs, misjudgments, and apathy, typified by last man Ollie Robinson, who backed away the first ball to Pat Cummins and lost his middle stump. Chris Silverwood, though, put the surrender down to tiredness.

‘I believe they’re still playing for us,’ Chris Silverwood said. ‘I think what we saw was players that are tired. It was hard to watch. At times, you were thinking, just get stuck in. Let’s show that fight, but we didn’t have that. And there is no point saying we did, because we clearly didn’t. We’ve got to get to the bottom of why that is, and try to make a difference.’

For the time being, Chris Silverwood said he would ‘start planning for the West Indies’ which means considering options outside the 16 who played at least one Test in Australia, where perhaps only Mark Wood and to a lesser extent Zak Crawley emerged with their reputations enhanced.

‘We’ve certainly got to look at what is out there as well,’ said Silverwood. ‘One of the things I will be doing is speaking to the scouts, the performance director. What have we got out there? Do we need to make changes?’

England knew they could not sink any lower when they were demolished for 51 by West Indies in Jamaica in 2009. They vowed to put things right and two years later were crowned the best Test team in the world.

Nasser Hussain and Duncan Fletcher came together in 1999 with England ranked the worst of the lot and began the recovery that was to culminate with the fabled 2005 Ashes victory under Duncan Fletcher and Michael Vaughan. The board has been asleep at the wheel while England is facing up to a year when they will play more international cricket than ever before with their players in the mood to rebel against any further Covid bubbles and restrictions.

Joe Root’s captaincy race is run, Chris Silverwood has to pay the price for being given too much responsibility for coaching and selection. Joe Root cannot survive simply because there is no one else. He has overseen three Ashes without success after admitting before this series that his legacy would be judged by this one.  He needs to go back to the ranks and concentrate on restoring the very high batting levels misplaced during this series.

The one outstanding candidate to replace Joe Root is Ben Stokes. For all the reservations many, including this observer, have about overloading such an important player, Ben Stokes could do the job with one important proviso — he would have to give up T20s, the one format where he has never fulfilled his potential which includes the IPL.

If England’s top players are serious about rescuing Test cricket, they must give up a franchise tournament that in itself undermines first-class cricket by taking players away from the red-ball game at the start of each season. There should be a new coach in place by the time England plays their next Test in Antigua in March too.

Duncan Fletcher is the obvious man for the Test job. Paul Collingwood can take charge of a white-ball machine that shows no signs of malfunctioning under captain Eoin Morgan. That move led to the huge success of the 2019 World Cup but it has gone too far now.

Andrew Strauss, who has made a part-time return to administration as chair of the ECB cricket committee, is the best person to redress the balance. He should return to his old job at Ashley Giles’ expense or even replace Tom Harrison. England is missing the leadership of a character like Nasser Hussain to lead them into Tests.

Joe Root Questions How To Provide Incentives In County

Joe Root articulated what has to happen in the short term to ignite that red-ball reset while at his lowest ebb in the aftermath of the pitiful Hobart batting collapse and a three-day last Test defeat.

“What incentives are there in the County Championship to open the batting?’ he asked. ‘What incentives are there to be a spinner or to bowl fast? Anyone coming into Test cricket is doing it in spite of county cricket, not because of it.”

“How do we provide those incentives? We could produce better wickets, hopefully by playing at a better time of year. We could flatten the seam on the ball, maybe by giving our seamers a Kookaburra to work with. That would nullify running in and bowling at 70 miles per hour while encouraging bowlers to create new angles and find different ways to take wickets. And give spinners the chance to bowl in the first half of the season.”

Joe Root
Joe Root Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket

Joe Root understands the need for changes but it looks like he won’t be the one making them.

“Then we could double the batting points in a Championship game and incentivise first innings leads above 400. When do our young batters ever go out under the pressure of replying to 450-500? When do they have to save a match in spinning conditions? There are lots of things we could change quite quickly but for now it’s how we react to this Ashes. Can we use this experience when we’re hurting to grow and come back as better players?”

England lost the first match by 9 wickets at the Gabba, the second game by 275 runs at Adelaide Oval, and the third game by an innings and 14 runs at Melbourne Cricket Ground.  However, they managed to avoid the 5-0 whitewash with a hard-fought draw in the fourth Test at Sydney Cricket Ground. Also, England lost the last match of the series by 146 runs at the Bellerive Oval, Hobart

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes
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Ben Stokes Likely To Opt Out Of IPL Mega Auction

England‘s premier all-rounder Ben Stokes is likely to opt-out from this year’s IPL Mega auction to manage his workload for the home summer. According to a report in London’s Evening Standard, Stokes will take a break between the West Indies tour and home season to stay fresh for the long home season.

Ben Stokes was previously part of Rajasthan Royals in IPL but he missed most part of last season due to a finger injury. The all-rounder was at the center of criticism after the Ashes debacle.

Ben Stokes, England all-rounder
Ben Stokes, England all-rounder (Photo | AP)

“Stokes will sit out this year’s tournament, which will feature 10 teams for the first time and be preceded by a mega-auction in which there are plenty of spaces to fill,” London’s Evening Standard reported.

Notable that Stokes had an underwhelming Ashes down under as the all-rounder scored just 236 runs in 10 innings with an average of 23.6 which included 2 fifties. Also, he could pick only 4 wickets with an average of 71.50.

“Stokes has had a tumultuous time over the last couple of years, with the death of his father Ged 13 months ago preceding a long break in 2021 to prioritise his mental health and fix a finger badly broken at the IPL,” the report added.

Rajasthan Royals batsmen Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson
Rajasthan Royals batsmen Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson Photograph: BCCI/IPL

Ben Stokes played 31 matches for Rajasthan Royals

Stokes missed most part of last home season as he took a break to focus on mental health and recover from a finger injury. England had a torrid time in Test cricket at home last season as they lost the 2-Test match series by 0-1 and are also trailing by 1-2 against India in a 5-match.

“Sitting out represents a significant financial sacrifice but should also allow him some time off to mentally refresh between England’s tour of the Caribbean in March and the international summer in June,” it stated.

Ben Stokes was picked by Rajasthan Royals in the 2018 auction and since then they retained him for 4 years. The all-rounder played 31 matches for them in 4 years.

It will be interesting to see if other English players make themselves available for the mega auction. Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali have already been retained by Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings.

Also read Virat Kohli Pushes Himself To The Maximum- Simon Katich

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England, PTI
England, PTI
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England’s Pathetic Performance In Ashes May See ECB Barring Them From Playing IPL 2022

England has produced a pathetic performance in the ongoing 2021-22 Ashes series against Australia. The Joe Root-led side has already surrendered the series and is currently 0-3 down after 4 Tests concluded.

The below-par performances of the England cricketers in Ashes have now put their participation in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in jeopardy. It has been learned that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is planning to conduct a full review into England’s defeat Down Under.

England(AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)
England(AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

England May Ban Test Cricketers From Participating In IPL 2022 After Ashes 2021/22 Defeat: Report

According to a report, director of cricket Ashley Giles would be preparing a report which will include a number of recommendations to improve the Test team’s fortunes. Baring English cricketers from taking part in the IPL would be one of the ideas.

The Indian T20 league usually lasts two months, however, this year it’s set to get longer with the introduction of two new teams namely Ahmedabad and Lucknow. The IPL 2022 is set to clash with the initial phase of England’s Test summer as the knockout stages are likely to overlap with their first Test against New Zealand in June.

Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Buttler in action | Sportzpics for BCCI / Pankaj Nangia
Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Buttler in action | Sportzpics for BCCI / Pankaj Nangia

The IPL 2022 players auction is scheduled to take place in February in which a lot of England players are expected to take part. So far, only Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali have been retained by their respective franchises. It has also been learned that the players participating in the IPL will be asked to cut short their time in India so that they can feature in some domestic games to prepare for the New Zealand Tests.

Michael Atherton Criticized England Cricketers For Emphasizing IPL Over International Fixtures

On the other hand, former England players have time and again criticized current players for emphasizing IPL over international fixtures. Michael Atherton, former England captain, stressed the fact that the cricketers should not miss national duties for the cash-rich T20 league.

“The leading multi-format players are paid seven-figure sums, but, incredibly, the ECB washes its hands of them for two months of the year during the Indian Premier League,” Atherton wrote in his column.

Michael Atherton Image Source : GETTY IMAGES
Michael Atherton Image Source: GETTY IMAGES

“The players should be told that, while the ECB will be accommodating of the request to play in IPL, a 12-month contract is exactly that, and the granting of a no-objection certificate to play in IPL and other franchised competitions is contingent on it being in the best interests of the England team,” he added.

Also, from 2022, the Indian Premier League is set to become grander, as the Indian T20 League will be a 10-team affair. This means that there would be more matches, and the tournament might extend into June. Chennai Super Kings (CSK) has decided to retain the services of all-rounder Moeen Ali, while the Rajasthan Royals (RR) have retained Jos Buttler.

The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) emerged as the champions of the 2021 edition of the IPL, and won the IPL title for the 4th time, beating the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) side in the summit clash of the tournament. A total of 27 players were retained in the retention list by the eight existing teams. Ace players like Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, and Kane Williamson have been retained by their respective teams ahead of the mega auction in 2022.

Eoin Morgan, who led Kolkata Knight Riders to IPL 2021 final, was released by the franchise. Ahead of the second leg of IPL 2021, Jonny Bairstow (SRH), Dawid Malan (PBKS), and Chris Woakes (DC) had pulled out of the tournament due to personal reasons.

All three players were released by their respective franchises. Ben Stokes and pacer Jofra Archer also were released by the franchise after they couldn’t participate in the entire season due to various injuries. Punjab Kings duo of Chris Jordan and Adil Rashid along with Delhi Capitals pacer Tom Curran are the other released players from England.

List of England players to be available for IPL 2022 auction: Adil Rashid, Ben Stokes, Chris Jordan, Chris Woakes, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, Sam Billings, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Jofra Archer (doubtful).

James Anderson, left, and Stuart Broad were still standing at the end of the Test RICK RYCROFT/AP
James Anderson, left, and Stuart Broad were still standing at the end of the Test RICK RYCROFT/AP
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James Anderson Suggested That ‘Stressed’ Stuart Broad Was Confident That The Former Would Survive The Final Over Of 4th Ashes Test

James Anderson and Stuart Broad, the England team’s senior pace campaigners showcased immense composure with the bat to help England salvage a famous draw against Australia in the penultimate Ashes Test. The rearguard action from the English duo came in the 4th Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Stuart Broad took to his social media accounts to react to the thrilling finish. In one of the pictures shared by Stuart Broad, he was captured heaving a sigh of relief after the closely fought battle. The opposite  James Anderson’s comments on the post caught the attention of many fans. The veteran pacer cheekily suggested that Stuart Broad was confident that James Anderson would survive the final over and save the Test for their side.

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

James Anderson Suggested That Stuart Broad Was Confident The Former Would Survive The Final Over But The Latter Admitted He Was Nervous

Stuart Broad, in his reply, mentioned how he was quite nervous instead. James Anderson had the challenging task of saving his wicket in the ultimate over on Day 5. The 39-year-old rose to the occasion and played out Steve Smith’s entire over to draw the Sydney Test. England eked out a nail-biting draw in the fourth Ashes Test in Sydney as Stuart Broad frustrated the Australians, helping the tourists return 270/9 at the close of play on the final day.

England's Stuart Broad. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)
England’s Stuart Broad. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)

Stuart Broad also played a crucial role with the bat as he hung on for 35 deliveries and was instrumental in England eking out a thrilling draw against their arch-rivals. England’s lower order denied Australia a victory in the 4th Ashes Test. Along with Stuart Broad and James Anderson, Jack Leach also played a handy role with his knock of 26 from 35 deliveries.

Stuart Broad hung around in the middle for 35 deliveries and found able support from Jack Leach, who survived 34 balls before getting out to Steve Smith on 26. James Anderson was the other batter to return unbeaten with Stuart Broad as England’s number eleven played the final six deliveries of the day.

Stuart Broad quoted alongside the last pair’s photo on Instagram in which he captioned, “Test Cricket. Battle for 5 days & it comes down to the last ball. Loved playing at the S.C.G. Special place.” James Anderson was quick to react to the post as he left a comment, which read: “Looks like you had a lot of faith in me.”, but Stuart Broad replied that he was stressed.

Michael Vaughan Praised Huge Courage Shown By England To Draw 4th Test

Former England captain Michael Vaughan commended Joe Root and co. for their courageous outing against the in-form Aussies to save the fourth Test. He wrote on Twitter that while a draw might not make much difference at this juncture, the visitors were impressive and showed a fighting spirit. High-quality half-centuries from Zak Crawley and Ben Stokes and a brave 105-ball 41 from Jonny Bairstow had earlier put England in a position to save the Test.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Michael Vaughan wrote: “That’s a step in the right direction .. Huge courage shown by the England side this week .. A draw might not seem much when you are 3-0 down but to me it is .. well done Joe Root & the team .. that’s what spirit is all about .. Ashes.”

The two cricketing giants will resume their battle for one-upmanship on Friday, January 14. England and Australia will lock horns in the fifth and final Test of the ongoing Ashes series in Hobart. Australia has already clinched the series and is 3-0 up.

England 294 (Bairstow 113, Stokes 66, Boland 4-36) and 9 for 270 (Crawley 77, Stokes 60, Boland 3-30) drew with Australia 8 for 416 dec (Khawaja 137, Smith 67, Broad 5-101) and 6 for 265 declared (Khawaja 101*, Green 74, Leach 4-84)

Ben Stokes (right) insists he has no desire to succeed Joe Root as England Test captain. Photograph: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/AP
Ben Stokes (right) insists he has no desire to succeed Joe Root as England Test captain. Photograph: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/AP
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Joe Root Praised Ben Stokes For Playing A Crucial Knock Braving Injury To Save 4th Ashes Test

Joe Root, England’s captain has narrated how all-rounder Ben Stokes braved his injury to play a crucial knock and help his side salvage a dramatic draw in the fourth Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

Incidentally, Ben Stokes suffered a side injury while bowling on Day 2 of the 4th Test at Sydney that restricted him from bowling in Australia’s second innings. He is in doubt for next week’s Ashes series finale in Hobart, after sustaining an injury to his left side on the second day of play at SCG.

Ben Stokes, Joe Root ECB Twitter
Ben Stokes, Joe Root ECB Twitter

Joe Root Praised Wholehearted Efforts From Ben Stokes

Joe Root believes Ben Stokes’ performances will motivate his teammates ahead of the next match.

Joe Root added: “It is obviously difficult when you see one of your most influential players walk off the field as he did clearly in a lot of pain and you know the rest of the seamers and Jack [Leach] had to pull up more workload which you don’t plan for going into the game.” 

“There was a wholehearted effort in many respects from Ben and from the rest of the guys. His performance with the bat was more like Ben Stokes near his best which is really exciting thing to see going into the last game.”

Jonny Bairstow Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Jonny Bairstow Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Ben Stokes produced two fighting half-centuries to lift England’s batting alongside Jonny Bairstow after flop shows in the last three matches. The New Zealand-born all-rounder has three days to recover and be available for selection for the final showdown in Hobart.

Zak Crawley Top Scored With 77 But It Was The Last 10th Wicket Pair Of James Anderson And Stuart Broad That Ensured The Test Was Drawn

England lost the plot once again after Zak Crawley’s fighting 77-run knock. They lost a couple of wickets at regular intervals before Ben Stokes (60) and Jonny Bairstow (41) stood tall yet again to eat up quite a few deliveries. An injury-ridden Jos Buttler also used up 38 balls for his 11. Australia had their tail-up with the new ball in hand but Jack Leach and Stuart Broad survived well to take the game deep.

Zak Crawley-Twitter
Zak Crawley-Twitter

Jack Leach edged Steve Smith to slip with 12 balls remaining, only for tailender Stuart Broad to defend an over from Nathan Lyon before the last batsman James Anderson resisted Steve Smith to put curtains on the gripping Test match. Joe Root highlighted that this week’s fight will help them ahead of the next tie.

“We never make it easy for ourselves, do we?” said Joe Root.

“Before this match, I spoke about putting some pride back into English cricket. The fight, desire and character shown in the five days has done that in a small way. It was a dark day at the end of the last Test. It would have been very easy to roll over for the last two. When you find yourself out of the series, it’s really important that you front up. Everyone has done that this week,” Joe Root concluded.

It’s worth noting that Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, and Jonny Bairstow all played through the pain of injuries. The visitors managed to save the fourth Test by a whisker with 1 wicket remaining, needing to chase a target of 388 on the final day in Sydney.

Joe Root-led England has performed terribly and has already lost the 5-match Ashes series by losing the first three games. England lost the first match by 9 wickets at the Gabba, the second game by 275 runs at Adelaide Oval, and the third game by an innings and 14 runs at Melbourne Cricket Ground.

High-quality half-centuries from Zak Crawley and Ben Stokes and a brave 105-ball 41 from Jonny Bairstow had earlier put England in a position to save the Test. The fifth and final Ashes Test starts on January 14 at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart.

England 294 (Bairstow 113, Stokes 66, Boland 4-36) and 9 for 270 (Crawley 77, Stokes 60, Boland 3-30) drew with Australia 8 for 416 dec (Khawaja 137, Smith 67, Broad 5-101) and 6 for 265 declared (Khawaja 101*, Green 74, Leach 4-84)

England, PTI
England, PTI
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Nasser Hussain Praises England For Their Commendable Effort To Draw 4th Ashes 2021/22 Test

Nasser Hussain feels Joe Root-led England did a commendable job in drawing the fourth Ashes Test in Sydney. Nasser Hussain lauded England for its defiant display despite enduring several hardships.

England successfully avoided a 4-0 result in Sydney on day five as James Anderson and Stuart Broad ensured a thrilling draw. Although the tourists had a minor wobble after looking comfortable at one stage, their experienced pair had other plans. They batted for 102 overs to save the Test.

Nasser Hussain. (Image Credits: Getty)
Nasser Hussain. (Image Credits: Getty)

Nasser Hussain: England’s Performance In The 4th Test Was Commendable As They Were Affected By Covid-19, Were 3-0 Down And Key Players Were Injured

Nasser Hussain stated England’s efforts deserved praise amid injuries and the coaching staff affected with COVID-19. The 53-year old feared another hammering when England was 36-4 in the first innings, hence a draw was a big step forward.

He wrote: “They have been through a lot and have been getting hammered because of their performances in this Ashes. So to have the strength to put on that performance at 3-0 down, without half their coaching staff and with injuries to key players, is commendable.”

Joe Root, Jos Buttler , ECB Twitter
Joe Root, Jos Buttler, ECB Twitter

“It did look like the whitewash was inevitable when England were 36 for four in their first innings, the true low point of this tour, and England had to dig very deep to pull that escape off. Yes, it’s only a draw and, yes, England were nine down at the close but it was very pleasing for all England fans to finally have something to be happy about.”

It was the seventh time in Test history that England’s tenth-wicket partnership saved them. It’s worth noting that Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, and Jonny Bairstow all played through the pain of injuries. Skipper Joe Root also declared Jos Buttler’s unavailability for the final Test. The visitors managed to save the fourth Test by a whisker with 1 wicket remaining, needing to chase a target of 388 on the final day in Sydney.

Joe Root-led England has performed terribly and has already lost the 5-match Ashes series by losing the first three games. England lost the first match by 9 wickets at the Gabba, the second game by 275 runs at Adelaide Oval, and the third game by an innings and 14 runs at Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Nasser Hussain: The Highlight Was The Performance Of Zak Crawley On 5th Day

Nasser Hussain shed light on opener Zak Crawley’s 77, observing that his timing and shot selection was flawless. He felt the youngster showed the blueprint to batting in Australia.

“For me the highlight on Sunday was the performance of Zak Crawley. Crawley was putting away anything loose with grace, style and timing in his 77 and that fluency was great to see after all England’s, and his own, problems at the top of the order. And it showed you cannot have a top three that are purely looking to survive. You have to counter-punch, look to be aggressive and attack these Aussies.”

Zak Crawley-Twitter
Zak Crawley-Twitter

High-quality half-centuries from Zak Crawley and Ben Stokes and a brave 105-ball 41 from Jonny Bairstow had earlier put England in a position to save the Test. The fifth and final Ashes Test starts on January 14 at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart.

Zak Crawley smashed a brilliant 77 runs off 100 balls including 13 boundaries. Zak Crawley made a promising start to his career with a stellar 267 against Pakistan at Southampton. Although he averaged 52.73 amassing 580 runs in 7 Tests in 2020, his average dipped to a low in 2021, where he averaged a mere 10.81 managing only 173 runs in 8 Tests. He will want to silence his critics in 2022.

England 294 (Bairstow 113, Stokes 66, Boland 4-36) and 9 for 270 (Crawley 77, Stokes 60, Boland 3-30) drew with Australia 8 for 416 dec (Khawaja 137, Smith 67, Broad 5-101) and 6 for 265 declared (Khawaja 101*, Green 74, Leach 4-84)

Jos Buttler
Jos Buttler
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Geoffrey Boycott Reckons England Should Axe Out Of Form Jos Buttler From Test Squad

Geoffrey Boycott, the former England opener has advocated for out of form Jos Buttler’s omission from the Test side, considering his recent failures. Geoffrey Boycott wants Jonny Bairstow to don the gloves instead, as he is also a better batter than Jos Buttler in Test cricket.

Jos Buttler has been poor with the bat and gloves during the ongoing Ashes 2021/22 series. The 31-year old has averaged a dismal 16, with a best of 39, across four Tests and seven innings. Behind the stumps, he fluffed a couple of catches in Adelaide, which proved key in England’s defeat.

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

Geoffrey Boycott: It’s Time To Move On From Jos Buttler

Geoffrey Boycott said that England must move on from Jos Buttler, and not pick him based on his white-ball reputation. The 81-year old noted Jos Buttler’s inability to deliver under pressure.

“It’s time to move on from Buttler. England can’t be sentimental or be seduced by his brilliant performances in one-day cricket. The fact is he isn’t doing enough to keep his Test place. He only has two centuries in 57 Test matches.”

Geoffrey Boycott. (Image Credits: Getty)
Geoffrey Boycott. (Image Credits: Getty)

“In the Ashes, he has played 14 Test matches, and averaged 19. That isn’t good enough. Buttler should now go. He isn’t as good a wicketkeeper as Bairstow, and Bairstow is a better batsman against quality bowlers – that’s the important thing. For some time now, Buttler hasn’t delivered in Test cricket when the pressure is on,” Geoffrey Boycott said.

The keeper-batter will miss the final Test in Hobart due to a finger injury, as revealed by Joe Root. With Jonny Bairstow also doubtful, England may have to manage with Ollie Pope or Sam Billings behind the stumps. England also has to deal with injuries to Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow ahead of the fifth Ashes Test.

Jos Buttler is set to fly home from England’s tour of Australia, after sustaining a broken finger that hampered his performance in the drawn fourth Test at Sydney. Jos Buttler suffered the injury while keeping on the second day at the SCG, and struggled to grip the bat while making a duck in England’s first innings. Jos Buttler fronted up for England’s rearguard on the final day, however, making 11 from 38 balls.
The injury nevertheless completes a desperate campaign for Jos Buttler, who made 107 runs at 15.28 across the four Tests, with his most significant contribution being an innings of 26 from 207 balls in England’s failed attempt to save the second Test at Adelaide.

Geoffrey Boycott Reckons Jonny Bairstow’s Ton Might Revive His Test Career

Geoffrey Boycott referred to England’s 36-4 in the first innings in the Sydney Test and blasted them for their recurring top-order collapses. He pointed out that it has become a regular occurrence, which has put more pressure on the middle order to perform.

“England or any other country can’t win Test matches if they keep being three or four wickets down for next to nothing; they were 36-4 in the first innings, and all through the series, it’s been like that,” Geoffrey Boycott said.

“The middle and lower order are nearly always fighting an uphill battle by the time they come in. The opposition fast bowlers are on top and high on confidence,” Geoffrey Boycott said.

Jonny Bairstow Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Jonny Bairstow Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

The 108-Test veteran reflected on Jonny Bairstow’s defiant first-innings hundred in Sydney and thinks that might revive his Test career.

In this regard, Boycott wrote: “Bairstow looks as if he has turned the corner with his batting – about time, too. It shouldn’t have taken that long to solve his problems. It’s not as if he has never done it at Test level because this is his seventh century, to go with 22 half-centuries,” Geoffrey Boycott said.

“He might not be able to play the next Test match because of his thumb injury, and if he does play, keeping wickets with a damaged thumb would be stupid,” Geoffrey Boycott said.

England batted 102 overs on the fifth day of the fourth Test to avoid going down 4-0 in the series. The last-wicket pair of James Anderson and Stuart Broad survived two overs to thwart hosts Australia. The final Test starts on 14th January in Hobart. The fitness of Ben Stokes (side strain) and Jonny Bairstow (right thumb) will also be monitored in the upcoming days.

Jos Buttler is likely to be replaced in the playing XI by Sam Billings – who is expected to make his Test debut and don the gloves. Sam Billings has played 25 ODIs and 33 T20Is for England.

Ricky Ponting. Image- Twitter
Ricky Ponting. Image- Twitter
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Ben Stokes Only Person Who Can Take Over As England Test Skipper After Ashes 2021/22 Series Loss – Ricky Ponting

Ben Stokes, England’s all-rounder is the only player who can replace Joe Root as Test captain and turn their fortunes around following the team’s meek surrender in the Ashes 2021/22 series, former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting said on Saturday.

Joe Root has come under intense pressure since England lost the third Test last week as Australia took an unassailable 3-0 Ashes lead. The visitors managed to save the fourth Test by a whisker with 1 wicket remaining, needing to chase a target of 388 on the final day in Sydney.

Ben Stokes, Joe Root ECB Twitter
Ben Stokes, Joe Root ECB Twitter

Ben Stokes Only Person Who Can Take Over As England Test Skipper From Joe Root: Australia Ex-Skipper Ricky Ponting

Ben Stokes is the only man who can be the captain of England’s Test side, believes former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting. He added that Ben Stokes could improve his own game with the leadership thrust to him. With England’s Test fortunes crumbling under current captain Joe Root, questions have been asked on whether a change in captaincy will revive the team in the longest format of the game.

“The only person that can take over is Ben Stokes,” Ricky Ponting told Cricket Australia’s website.

“I think Stokes would actually grow as a player if he was the captain of that side. I think with a bit of extra responsibility, he might become an even better player and that might have a good impact on the rest of the team.”

Ricky Ponting (Image Credit: Twitter)
Ricky Ponting (Image Credit: Twitter)

“I don’t know Stokes that well, but if I was trying to change the face of English cricket and trying to give a bit more of a heartbeat and a bit more soul, then I think he’d be the one that I’d be looking at to lead the team.”

Joe Root-led England has performed terribly and has already lost the 5-match Ashes series by losing the first three games. England lost the first match by 9 wickets at the Gabba, the second game by 275 runs at Adelaide Oval, and the third game by an innings and 14 runs at Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Ben Stokes States He Has No Ambition To Be England Captain

Ben Stokes, who scored 66 runs in the first innings of the fourth Test as he battled through a left side strain, has also been considered a viable option to replace Joe Root by former England skipper Mike Atherton. However, Ben Stokes said before the fourth Test that he has no ambition to be captain and backed Joe Root to remain in the England role despite calls for the Yorkshireman to stand down.

Ben Stokes, England all-rounder
Ben Stokes, England all-rounder (Photo | AP)

Australia, 3-0 up, having dominated the game, had their dreams of a whitewash shattered as England finally salvaged something from the wreck of this Ashes tour with Jack Leach, Stuart Broad, and James Anderson surviving 64 balls under floodlights to secure a thrilling draw at the SCG.

Jack Leach and Stuart Broad faced 52 of them, most of which were against Pat Cummins, Scott Boland, and Mitchell Starc before bad light forced Australia to turn to Steve Smith and he almost became a hero with the ball. He prized out Jack Leach, his first Test scalp since 2016, caught at slip after England’s spinner had battled well for 34 balls without error.

Stuart Broad and James Anderson survived six balls each from Nathan Lyon and Steve Smith respectively and England’s veterans held on. It was only the second time in Ashes history a team had saved a game nine-down in the fourth innings, the first being the famous 2005 draw at Manchester.

High-quality half-centuries from Zak Crawley and Ben Stokes and a brave 105-ball 41 from Jonny Bairstow had earlier put England in a position to save the Test.

England 294 (Bairstow 113, Stokes 66, Boland 4-36) and 9 for 270 (Crawley 77, Stokes 60, Boland 3-30) drew with Australia 8 for 416 dec (Khawaja 137, Smith 67, Broad 5-101) and 6 for 265 declared (Khawaja 101*, Green 74, Leach 4-84)

Michael Vaughan. (Image Credits: Getty)
Michael Vaughan. (Image Credits: Getty)
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Michael Vaughan In Favour Of Zak Crawley Being Given A Longer Run In Tests After His Impressive 77 In 2nd Innings Of 4th Test

Michael Vaughan, the former England captain on Sunday said that opening batter Zak Crawley can seriously play and he needs to be given a consistent run in the Three Lions squad.

Michael Vaughan’s remarks came as Zak Crawley impressed one and all with his 77-run knock in the second innings of the ongoing fourth Ashes Test here at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Michael Vaughan: Zak Crawley Needs To Be Given A Long Run In England’s Test Team

Opener Zak Crawley replaced Rory Burns in the English Test team after the poor batting technique and performance of the latter in the first few Ashes games. Meanwhile, Zak Crawley scored just 18 runs in the first innings of the Sydney Cricket Ground Ashes Test, however, in the second innings he looked amazing and smashed brilliant 77 runs off 100 balls including 13 boundaries.

Zak Crawley made a promising start to his career with a stellar 267 against Pakistan at Southampton. Although he averaged 52.73 amassing 580 runs in 7 Tests in 2020, his average dipped to a low in 2021, where he averaged a mere 10.81 managing only 173 runs in 8 Tests. He will want to silence his critics in 2022.

“Zak Crawley can seriously play … Not many positives from this Tour but he is certainly one who needs to be given a long run in this Test team,” tweeted Michael Vaughan.

Zak Crawley-Twitter
Zak Crawley-Twitter

Former Australia all-rounder Tom Moody replied to Michael Vaughan’s tweet and stated that young talent needs to be given an opportunity to grow in Test cricket. He also mentioned the name of Ollie Pope and opined he needs to be given more opportunities.

To this tweet, former Australia all-rounder Tom Moody replied: “I’d agree with you, once you identify the young talent they need the opportunity to grow into test cricket, Ollie Pope is the other.”

Defending a target of 388, Australia is only two wickets away from beating England in the ongoing fourth Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday. Zak Crawley scored a fine 77 while Ben Stokes also scored a fighting fifty.

Scott Boland has taken 3 scalps while Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon have taken two wickets each and Cameron Green also bagged a wicket, so far.  England is presently 247/8 chasing a stiff 388. England needs a further 141 runs to win with 2 wickets remaining.

Usman Khawaja Scored Centuries In Both Innings

Usman Khawaja scored his second century of the match to place Australia in a commanding position. The Pakistan-born Usman Khawaja has been in imperious form in his comeback from a 30-month Test exile, hitting 137 in the first innings before adding an unbeaten 101 to break English hearts.

Usman Khawaja celebrates making 100 runs against England during the fourth day of their Ashes cricket test match in Sydney.(AP)
Usman Khawaja celebrates making 100 runs against England during the fourth day of their Ashes cricket test match in Sydney. (AP) 

His domineering 179-run partnership with youngster Cameron Green set up a late declaration and left a beleaguered England having to defy history with a formidable target of 388.

England's Stuart Broad holds the ball to celebrate taking 500 wickets Martin Rickett/Pool via AP
England's Stuart Broad holds the ball to celebrate taking 500 wickets Martin Rickett/Pool via AP
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Stuart Broad Replaces Ollie Robinson As England Name Playing XI For Sydney Test

England has announced their playing XI for the 4th test match which will commence on Wednesday. Despite a horrible show in the first three tests, England resisted the temptation to make too many changes in the final XI. The visitors made one change as Stuart Broad makes a return in place of Ollie Robinson.

England batting coach Graham Thorpe has confirmed on Tuesday that Ollie Robinson and Chris Woakes would not be available for the 4th Test match as both of them are carrying some niggles. Ollie Robinson is England’s highest wicket so far in the series as he picked 9 wickets with an average of 26.

England's Stuart Broad. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)
England’s Stuart Broad. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)

Stuart Broad played only one Test match in this series.

“We felt like it was too much of a risk to go in with a couple of lads who are carrying niggles, So, therefore, it was right to bring Stuart back in,” Graham Thorpe said.

Earlier in the Stuart Broad showed his disappointment for missing out on two more suited surfaces for his bowling. So far Broad played the only test in this series as he picked 2 wickets in the pink ball Test at Adelaide.

“As a wobble-seam bowler, I feel as though I missed out on two of the best wobble-seam pitches (Brisbane and Melbourne) in Australia. Only playing once has made this a very disappointing trip, one that has not met my personal expectations,” Stuart Broad wrote in his column for Dailymail.

However, batting coach Graham Thorpe backed him to turn things around in Sydney. Thorpe referred Broad and Stokes as their caged tigers. Stokes also had a poor series so far as the left-hander scored only 101 runs in 6 innings so far and picked only 4 wickets with an average of 62.25.

Ben Stokes (right) insists he has no desire to succeed Joe Root as England Test captain. Photograph: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/AP
Joe Root and Ben Stokes. Photograph: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/AP

“We’ve got a couple of caged tigers coming into this match, Ben being one of them, and Stuart Broad is another one, I want them to be able to perform to the best of their ability, and seeing them in training that’s what I’m seeing,” Thorpe said.

The stand-in head coach also backed Joe Root & Co. to put a better show in the 4th Test.

“I’m hopeful that our boys will get their minds absolutely right for tomorrow. I feel that they are in a good place,” he said.

England (Playing XI): Haseeb Hameed, Zak Crawley, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Mark Wood, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad, James Anderson

Also read Australia Confirms Their XI For Sydney Test, Usman Khawaja Replaces Travis Head While Scott Boland Holds His Place

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