Geoffrey Boycott’s typically forthright answer when quizzed on England’s batting vs India
Geoffrey Boycott has delivered his verdict on England’s top order ahead of the second Test against India
England ‘s top order has come under a lot of scrutiny this summer, following a largely poor showing in recent years.
Across England’s last nine Test matches, their favoured top three of Rory Burns, Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley have managed just one century between them – 132 by Burns against New Zealand in June.
In that same time, Burns, Sibley and Crawley have been dismissed for a staggering nine ducks and 24 single figure scores.
Following a poor display in the first Test against India, where neither player managed more than 28, there have been calls for change in England’s top three.
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Former England opener Geoffrey Boycott is among those far from impressed with England’s top order and he delivered a typically forthright response when asked by a fan who he would like to see make up the top three.
In a post that Boycott quote tweeted, a fan wrote: “Just helped @GeoffreyBoycott take his luggage off the train at King’s Cross.
“Asked him who he would play in @englandcricket’s top 3 tomorrow, he replied “me, in all 3 places” Miss him on @bbctms”.
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In a recent column for the Telegraph, Boycott delivered his verdict on England’s top order, saying: “Look at Zak Crawley. He is symptomatic of the problem.
“Over the last number of years young batsmen have been taught to whack the ball because there are so many one day matches.
“The talk is all about strike rates but for Test match cricket that is a load of rubbish. If you can’t defend then top bowlers in Test match cricket with a newish ball will find your weaknesses.
“What is the point of having a range of eye-catching strokes if you can’t stay in? That is the root cause of his problems.”
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Boycott was scathing in his assessment of England’s openers, adding: “Not just former Test players but even club players look at Rory Burns and Dom Sibley and think they can do better.
“Sibley is the opposite of Crawley. He has stickability but his lack of strokes hurts him.
“He cannot rotate the strike, so if he cannot move his score along, and the team’s score, then he creates enormous pressure on himself.”
Haseeb Hameed is in contention to start the second Test and replace one of the under-fire batsmen and England coach Chris Silverwood has admitted that the opener is “putting a real strong case forward”.
Silverwood said: “He’s been fantastic, as a person, as a bloke, he’s fit in beautifully.
“He works extremely hard and he’s looked extremely good in the nets and playing that [warm-up] game against India that he did, he put his best foot forward there and scored runs.
“He’s putting a real strong case forward and he’s a pleasure to have around with us. He’s the type of character that we want within that group as well.
“I think he is making a very strong case and, at some point, we may have to make a decision and give him an opportunity.
“When that comes, we’ll wait and see, but he is certainly putting his best foot forward and, in the nets, he has looked extremely good.”