Ahead of the start of England men’s Test summer, Mark Ramprakash has let his thoughts known on England’s continued selection of Zak Crawley despite him thinking there has been a lack of consistency from the opening batter.
Crawley’s continued selection has been one of the most talked-about themes of the build-up to this Ashes summer. Conversations came to a head when England announced the 15-man squad to face Ireland at Lord’s from June 1. They dropped Ben Foakes for the returning Jonny Bairstow, and retained Crawley, causing quite a stir.
In his most recent opinion-piece for The Guardian with the eye-raising headline, “England should pull plug if Zak Crawley falters again against Ireland,” Ramprakash raised his concern.
Throughout the piece, Ramprakash questioned Crawley’s technique, particularly of his forward defence. “In international cricket playing the ball tight and late around the top of off stump is what you live by. Without having that skill nailed you’re going to struggle to be consistent and Crawley has never had it.”
So far, Crawley has managed three notable scores in the County Championship for Kent – 91 against Northamptonshire, 56 against Hampshire and a most impressive 170 against Essex. However, there have been a number of cheap dismissals, of which perhaps the most worrying was the 0 and 12 against Warwickshire in Birmingham.
“This England setup has made a point of showing faith in their players,” said Ramprakash. “Of reassuring them that they won’t be dropped at the first sign of poor form, and I support that approach and can see how it must be freeing. But I can’t think of anyone else in my living memory, not only in the England side but in any cricket team, who has been given such a long run without showing consistency and sound technique.”
Whether Crawley improves on his inconsistency remains to be seen, however his fortunes will be one of the major talking points of this summer of cricket in England.
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