England’s Batsmen Need To Forget 2013/14

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TOPSHOT - England's Gary Ballance (L) plays a shot watched in front of Western Australia XI wicketkeeper Calum How during a two-day Ashes tour match at the WACA in Perth on November 4, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / TONY ASHBY / IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE (Photo credit should read TONY ASHBY/AFP/Getty Images)

The last time England visited Down Under for an Ashes series, their batting was decimated by a fiery Aussie attack en route to a 0-5 whitewash. If England are to put up a better show, their batting lineup needs to forget what happened on the previous trip and present a better account of their credentials. With the absence of in-form all-rounder Ben Stokes, we look at a few batsmen who are crucial for England’s chances:

1. Alastair Cook

If there is anyone who could provide inspiration to this young English batting lineup, look no further than former captain Alastair Cook. When it comes to performances in Australia, Cook has a brilliant record. In 15 tests, the 32-year old has scored 1288 runs at a healthy average of 49.54 with four hundreds and five fifties. A man who likes to bat on and on, he is the player who will be crucial to providing England with a good start against a pretty good Aussie bowling attack. He would certainly look to better his 246 runs in 10 innings last time around. Adding his numbers from England, they take a dip but they still make for good reading. Overall against Australia, Cook has 2117 runs at an average of 39.20 with four hundreds and 11 fifties in 30 tests.
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2. Joe Root

One of the members of the esteemed “Fab Four” Club, the new England Test Captain is no doubt the one who England will rely on the most for the Ashes. Root, just on his second trip to Australia, has a huge responsibility on his young shoulders. The 26-year old is in the Top 10 Rankings for Batsmen for all the three formats and in Test Cricket he is second only to his Aussie counterpart, Steven Smith. Like Cook, Root would also like to do much better than his 192 runs in eight innings. His overall record against Australia is very good. In 14 tests, Root has 991 runs at an average of 41.29 with three hundreds and four fifties. He holds the key to English success.

3. Jonny Bairstow

Bairstow’s rise to become England’s Number One Wicketkeeper batsman in Tests has been stunning. Over the last two years, Bairstow has 1859 runs at an average of 50.24, he was the second highest run scorer in tests last year. In his two tests Down Under, Bairstow just has 49 runs at an average of 12.25. His overall numbers against Australia are disappointing too. In nine tests, the 28-year old has 370 runs at an average of 24.67 with two fifties. If England are to put up a stiff challenge in Australia, Jonny Bairstow will have to take up a lot of responsibility and carry on his fine test match run.
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4. Gary Ballance

After a wonderful start to his test career in 2014, Ballance has seen his career go down in free fall and has eventually seen him stay out of the test setup for a while. With just a test under his belt in Australia and just 25 runs, Ballance will certainly be pretty new to the Aussie conditions. Still young in his career with just 23 tests, he will still be a senior member of the batting lineup considering the inexperience of the other young players. His record against Australia is disappointing too. In 3 tests, he has 123 runs at an average of 20.50 with one fifty. Though his record is disappointing and has been out of the side for a while, a lot will depend on the 27-year old.

5. Moeen Ali

Moeen Ali in recent times has become a brilliant all-rounder in all formats of the game. In the last two years, Ali has 1439 runs at an average of 42.33. This record for a player who comes in to bat at seven or eight is staggering. Possessing the ability of both blocking it out and smashing it to all parts, his temperament while batting with lower order batsmen is amazing. His record against Australia is decent. In five tests, the 30-year old has 293 runs at an average of 36.63 with two fifties. He is yet to play a test in Australia, but he is one player who will have a big role to play lower down the order. He is fifth on the Test All-Rounder Rankings.

 

There will still be the haunting memories of Mitchell Johnson and Co. destroying  the English batting lineup last time the English visited these shores. With doubts over the participation of the influential Ben Stokes and with an inexperienced side, England will have their work cut out if they are to retain the Ashes Urn. These batsmen will be crucial to England’s chances.

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