With the second Space savers Ashes test 2019 to be played on Wednesday, England have serious batting issues to sort out if they are to have a chance of leveling the series at Lord’s.
The top order has primarily been the area of concern for England over the past few years in test cricket. Since the retirement of former England captain and opener Andrew Strauss, England have tried 17 openers excluding former captain Alaister Cook with Jason Roy being the latest addition. None of them, however, have been able to cement that opening slot and the woes continue as both England openers struggled in the one off test match against Ireland at Lord’s and although Rory Burns got a Hundred in the first innings of the first Ashes test at Edgbaston, the opening partnership was dismantled quickly in both innings with Roy perishing early in the piece consecutively.
The curse of England’s top order woes in test cricket seem to have hit the middle order as well. England’s middle order was badly exposed in that first Ashes test with Joe Root,Ben Stokes,Jonny Bairstow,Joe Denly and Jos Buttler all failing to impress. Jonny Bairstow’s form has been a cause for concern over the past year or so and it appears to be because of the fact that he has been removed from his usual number 6 position in the batting order to sometimes number 5 and sometimes number 7. Moreover, the growing influence of white ball cricket in England certainly seems to be degrading the quality of their batting in test cricket with very few players barring Joe Root willing to spend decent time at the crease if it even means getting ugly runs for the sake of the team.Jason Roy’s wild slog in the second innings of the first test affirms this assessment.
England will have there work cut out when they face a rejuvenated Australian pace attack at Lord’s in the second test with Mitchel Starc expected to return to the eleven. England’s openers, in particular Jason Roy will have to leave as many balls as possible when Australia’s new ball bowlers are in operation so that England get a solid start from there openers.