Ashes 2021-22: England batsmen ‘not fit’ for highest level, says Paul Newman

Former England first-class cricketer Paul Newman has criticized England’s batting line-up, saying it is “not fit” for the “highest level” of the game, and that only captains Joe Root and David Malan are notable exceptions.

England’s flop batting in two Ashes matches has seen the tourists suffer a nine-wicket loss in the opening Test at The Gabba and now suffer an almost certain defeat in the ongoing second Test at the Adelaide Oval.

The cricket expert also said that it is ironic that the bowlers had to bear the brunt of the defeat, as they are the ones who wield the axe.

He said, ‘It is one of the great truths of cricket that whenever a team loses due to poor batting, they change the bowlers. And it’s never been harder than it was with England in the Ashes. Batting that is not fit for purpose at the highest level, with the notable exception of Joe Root and later David Malan, is overwhelmingly reason for England to go down twice after the second Test and any realistic hope of lifting with it. destroys the urn,” Newman said in his column for the Daily Mail on Monday.

The 62-year-old Newman, who played 135 first-class matches primarily as a right-arm pacer, also said opener Rory Burns “symbolized England’s struggle with the bat”.

Burns has so far only scored four and 34 not out in the Adelaide Test, while opener Pat Cummins was dismissed for zero on the first ball during the Gabba Test and scored 13 runs in the second innings.

Haseeb Hameed did no better with Burns’ opening partner scoring 25 and 27 in the first Test, while in the Adelaide Test he could only manage six and a duck.

“The problem with this Ashes is that England don’t seem to be able to put any kind of scoreboard pressure on Australia, even if it is lacking two of its best seamers in Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood. And Mitchell Starc had a back injury along with his other leading seamer,” Newman said.

Newman said the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) should thoroughly examine the domestic structure and see why good batsmen are not coming from the stables.

“Those are legitimate issues but the investigation that will soon engulf English cricket over the loss of another Ashes should focus on why the domestic game cannot produce a batsman capable of producing the technique and discipline required in red-ball cricket. “

He concluded by saying that England’s success in white-ball cricket has come at the cost of the sport they are traditionally good at, which is Test cricket.

“The problem, of course, is that England’s understandable desire to overhaul their white-ball cricket after the infamy of the 2015 World Cup campaign – in Test cricket they have traditionally been good.”

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