Former England captain Andrew Strauss reckons that the Lord’s Test might be the last opportunity for the England top-order consisting of Rory Burns, Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley. Strauss pointed out that the players can’t have long careers for England with just one-off performances.
The trio have struggled to play an innings of note since the start of the summer. England’s top-three have averaged a dismal 25 since the start of 2021 in Test matches.
“You’ve got to go back a long time to see conditions that have been as challenging for opening batsmen. But ultimately, that’s what they’re in the job to do and someone at some stage will grab that opportunity with both hands. We’ve seen instances where Burns, Sibley and Crawley – all three of them – have been able to do it, but as we know, the key to having a long England career is doing it consistently. We haven’t seen that, so that’s a challenge for them.”
The former Director of England cricket understands that selectors have always had a serious challenge. Strauss said they needed to decide when to give the players an opportunity and when to take them out of action.
“The selectors have always got that challenge around when’s the right time to take someone out of action. That’s often dependent on a hunch or an opinion that the coach might have, around where they are psychologically and how well they’re playing off the pitch, in the nets, etc.”
“Haseeb Hameed looked very impressive in the nets” – Andrew Strauss
Andrew Strauss revealed he saw Haseeb Hameed batting in the nets at Trent Bridge and the youngster looked in very good touch. Strauss believes it might not be long before he gets a go at the top of the order.
“I was up at Trent Bridge last week and I was looking at Haseeb Hameed in the nets and he looked very impressive. Not that that means anything, as we know, but I’m sure he’ll be chomping at the bit to get an opportunity.”
The second Test between England and India will commence at Lord’s on Thursday. There have been calls from various circles to revamp the English top-order. It will be interesting to see if the hosts make any changes in the second Test following criticism of their performance in the first Test at Nottingham.