England are at last being given a proper game this summer, and so far things are not going as well as planned. In what is the first time they have been put under some real pressure in this series, the batting has failed them.
They have one last chance to turn the test around on Saturday morning though, but in all probability they won’t leave Swann and Co enough of a target to bowl at.
The way the batting has crumbled must be a worry to Geoff Miller ahead of the Ashes. Miller has backed these batsmen through thick and thin, and on the whole, he has been rewarded with some good victories.
I’m not doubting that the majority of these batsmen are the best in the country, as Geoff Miller has reminded us off on many occasions.
There has been no consistent run of 400+ scores though. I’m not sure if Miller is very patient and waiting for a run of 400+ scores? Or whether he is just happy to stick with these players and accept them as they are? Accept that he must rely on the team as a whole to score the runs, that his top 6 are not good enough to do it on a consistent basis.
On this form our batting won’t be good enough to win the Ashes, and if they don’t sort it soon it might not even be good enough to win this series.
Yet again it takes a batsman to be drinking in last-chance-saloon before he delivers an innings of note. And yet again, England have let themselves down with some reckless shots and bad techniques.
There is no conveyor belt of exceptional batsmen waiting to come in, and of the youngsters who are around, none of them have the exposure to this level of cricket, and it is a bit late to blood them now with a view to taking them to play in the Ashes.
So along with Ian Bell, these are the batsmen that we will be taking to Australia. But when are they going to learn to apply themselves better?
Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss must have aspirations to make England the top test side in the world, at the moment that is just never going to happen with the batting line up. I’m not saying major surgery is required, as it isn’t. Just some improving, as England are already a decent side.
I’m also not just criticizing England for one batting collapse. For me they haven’t been great all summer. They did well against Bangladesh, but who dosen’t. And they only managed one outstanding innings on the tour of South Africa.
This isn’t the form of batsmen who are going to dominate the world is it? Sehwag and Tendulkar won’t be worrying about being ousted from their world ranking positions any time soon by Colly, Cook and Trott etc, will they?
In summary we cleary don’t have the most talented batsmen in the world, but we do have decent ones capable of doing a job. It’s about time though that these batsmen started to apply themselves better and play to their strengths more.
If they can do this, along with the impressive bowling unit we are assembling, and the great team spirit England seem to have created, then this team can go over to Australia and have a real go at winning the Ashes outright.