Former England skipper Michael Vaughan has proclaimed that it would be a tough task for England to beat India unless there is a marked improvement in their batting. He also pointed out how England haven’t been at their best tactically and highlighted their selection for the D/N Test in India.
Ever since beating Sri Lanka 2-0, earlier this year, the Three Lions have struggled to put up good shows. Despite starting well against India, they lost the series 1-3 and to top that, they even lost a series at home against New Zealand 0-1. Now, they will face India next, who boast a quality side and had even won their last overseas series in Australia. The Virat Kohli-led side will be eager to avenge their 2018 loss at the hands of England. England’s fragile batting has emerged as one of its biggest weaknesses.
With the likely comeback of Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow, England’s batting is likely to get strengthened against India. However, former English skipper Michael Vaughan still reckons that it would be a tough ask the hosts to beat India unless the batting improves drastically.
“Buttler, Stokes and Woakes have come back. Yes, they’ll improve the team, but unless that batting line-up changes and learn and understand how to get big scores against good bowling, and not against second-string Test match standard bowling, I just can’t see how they can compete. It’s going to be tough for England to beat India on these shores. But then to go to Australia and they have to get 450-500, I just can’t see that happening unless they make one or two changes,” said Vaughan on the Road to the Ashes podcast, reported India Today.
England’s selection policy has faced a lot of criticism of late. In their last series against India, they had played only one specialist spinner in the D/N Test, which backfired given it was a rank-turner. In the next Test at the same venue, when the conditions were better for pacers, they picked only one specialist pacer. Even in the series against New Zealand, Joe Root-led England made questionable selections as they decided against picking any specialist spinner in both the Tests. Vaughan reckoned that England have got their tactics wrong a lot of times so far.
“They beat Sri Lanka 2-0, beat Pakistan, West Indies and South Africa last year. They went to India, won the first Test brilliantly, Joe Root got a double century. Three days later, they started rotating and from there on I don’t think they have been able to grab the team. Tactically, they got it completely wrong. You go back to that day-night Test in India, it was played on a beach and England went in with four seamers and one spinner.”
“You, know this series against New Zealand, it was dry for a week leading into that first Test at Lords (and England) played no spinner. Exactly the same at Edgbaston didn’t play a spinner. And the batting line-up is fragile, it’s simple as that,” Vaughan said.
England will play the five-match Test series against India in August. Right now, they are playing a white-ball series against Sri Lanka at home.