Former India cricketer and now commentator Aakash Chopra believes that England has a serious shortage of quality players in the Test team, with Joe Root being the only reliable cog in the unit. England recently underwent a 151-run loss against India at Lord’s in the second Test of the five-Test series, as they collapsed for just 120 runs on the fifth and final day in pursuit of 272.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Chopra stated: “There are so many options, but this English team is more about quantity, not about quality. The quality is there in just one player, among the batsmen, and he is Joe Root. The rest of them in Test-match cricket, they are just adding up the numbers at this point in time against India’s fantastic bowling attack.”
England took a few tough calls ahead of the third Test, which gets underway from August 25 at Headingley, as they dropped Dom Sibley, who is averaging 19.77 in 10 Tests this year, and Zak Crawley, who has spiralled downwards ever since his double-century against Pakistan last year.
England included Dawid Malan, who has only played one first-class match this season, where he scored 199, has risen the ranks in international cricket the last couple of years, notably rising to become the top-ranked T20 batter in the world.
It seems Haseeb Hameed will open and in the middle: Aakash Chopra
“Sibley and Crawley, both have been dropped. Dawid Malan and Saqib Mahmood have been called back into the team. Saqib did really well against Pakistan. He was a part of the squad for the second match, he was then released but now because of Wood’s injury, he has been called. There is a possibility, the match is in Headingley, you might want to just spruce up your fast-bowling reserves,” said Chopra.
“Malan, yes he is a T20 champion. Malan’s story is that Dom Sibley has been struggling. It seems Haseeb Hameed will open and in the middle, you can play Malan or Ollie Pope, you can also send Bairstow at No.3,” he said.
India currently leads the series 1-0, having won the second Test by 151 runs.