Barring Joe Root, England’s other batters have struggled for runs.© AFP
England are staring down the barrel as Australia are enjoying a 2-0 lead going into the Boxing Day Test match in the Ashes. The Joe Root-led side will have to play out of their skins in order to claw their way back in the Test series in Melbourne. Former England cricketer Monty Panesar believes that visitors will have to get the right combination if they want to make an impact against the mighty hosts. “I think England are going to select the right team for the Boxing Day Test match. You definitely need to bring in a fast bowler. You may bring in Zak Crawley instead of Rory Burns and a spinner is going to be an interesting selection. Do they go with Jack Leach against the top order or do they go with Dom Bess who spins the ball away and may move an attacking option,” Monty Panesar told ANI ahead of the Boxing Day Test match.
“With Joe Root in the team, they might as well go with Jack Leach. I think they need to get runs on the board. If they get runs on the board then they have got a chance if they do not get any runs on the board then whether they bowl full length or not it doesn’t matter. It will be very difficult for them to compete in this Test match,” Panesar added.
Barring captain Joe Root, no one has been able to score runs consistently for England. This has been England’s problem not only in this series but for the last year. On one hand, Root has amassed over 1600 runs in a calendar year, and on the other hand, the rest of the batters are struggling.
“That is what the trouble has been for the last one year. The next person in line has got 500 runs so the difference between Root and others is 1000 runs where Joe Root has single-handedly got England into a strong position. So, if he is not getting the runs then who is the next person getting it and that is the trouble this England team have right now that they rely so much on Joe Root and it was good to see Dawid Malan getting into form but we need to see a bit more form Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes. The middle-order needs more runs. All the pressure is on Joe Root if he does not score the runs then Australia will feel that they can win this Test match again,” explained Monty Panesar.
According to the former England left-arm spinner, the English team need to not only get the right bowling combination but also get some runs on the board to put any kind of pressure on Aussies.
“I think Anderson should play. Maybe Stuart Broad should rest. He was not as effective as he hoped to be in the Pink ball Test but Jimmy Anderson I think he can control one end and go after the spinner at the other end like they have done then Jimmy Anderson can play both of the roles as he is bowling magnificently well. They will probably go with Jimmy Anderson in my opinion and in the fast bowling option will they go with Craig Overton or do they go with Mark Wood,” he said.
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