While India’s makeshift opener K.L. Rahul impressed with 84 and set up a 97-run first wicket partnership with Rohit Sharma in the first innings of the first Test to allay India’s fears which emerged after injuries to openers Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal, host England are struggling to find solutions for their struggling top-order batting.
A desperate England could call up Dawid Malan as replacement for one of their top three batsmen if the trio Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley and Zak Crawley fail in the second Test against India that begins at Lord’s on August 12.
The three aggregated 97 across two innings in the first Test, with the average per batsman per outing coming to just over 16. Burns may get reprieve for having got 132 and an 81 during the two-Test series against New Zealand in June but the other two batsmen are on sticky wicket.
According to a report in the Daily Mirror, the place of the three batsmen is untenable.
England already have Haseeb Hameed in the squad. Former England captain Michael Vaughan has called on the team management to replace Crawley with Hameed.
“Zak Crawley could be a high-class Test match player but he has not got enough runs. I wouldn’t play Crawley at Lord’s but he could well go to Australia. He could suit going out of this environment for a while, play some different formats, iron out his technique. It could refresh him,” Michael Vaughan told BBC Test Match Special.
“Dom Sibley has done enough to stay in the side but you wonder how much further he can progress. He just can’t go up through the gears and the bowlers are able to control him. I would bring Haseeb Hameed in for Zak Crawley. I’d also bring Dawid Malan in but he’s clearly not in England’s Test plans,” he added.
However, the report in the Mirror said that the top three batsmen will get another opportunity to perform.
“The current incumbents will get at least one more chance, after England opted to select a squad for the first two Tests of five against India, but they will be under pressure at Lord’s and further failures are unlikely
to be tolerated,” the report stated.
“Dawid Malan was England’s leading run-scorer during the last Ashes on Australian soil, counter-attacking brilliantly for a maiden international hundred in Perth but also absorbing more deliveries across the series than any of his colleagues,” added the report.