Cricketer-turned-expert David Lloyd has come hard down at the England selectors for their choice of players for the upcoming Ashes series Down Under, which is scheduled to begin on December 8. The England Cricket Board (ECB) has named a 17-member for the high-octane five-match Test series sans Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, and Sam Curran.
Earlier former England captain Michael Atherton also had reservations about the squad and felt it is not the strongest team that is traveling Down Under as the team has a lot of flaws in the batting and bowling lineup. Echoing the sentiments of Atherton, Lloyd said he was bemused by the selection of some of the players in the team. The former England cricketer further stated that the team selected for the Ashes series lacks depth and firepower.
“To say that I was surprised when I saw the squad England had picked to go to Australia would be an understatement — I was absolutely flabbergasted. They’ve picked a team of blockers, medium-pacers, and short finger-spinners. You don’t exactly need to be a student of the game to know how that ends in Australia,” Lloyd said to Daily Mail
Lloyd opined that the England team cannot stand a chance of winning the Ashes without match-winners like Saqib Mahmood, Liam Livingstone, and Matt Parkinson. The cricketer-turned-expert believes that trio possesses a varied skill set that could have been useful in the Australian conditions.
“For me, three of the first names in the squad would have been Saqib Mahmood, Liam Livingstone, and Matt Parkinson. That’s not Lancashire bias — it’s a reflection of the kind of cricketers you need to stand a chance of winning in Australia. Your bowling attack needs pace and, because the Kookaburra ball offers you so little, reverse swing. Mahmood has both, so what did England do? Left him out,” he added.
David Lloyd unhappy with the selection of Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed
The 74-year-old also said that he is not in favor of Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed in the 17-member squad because of their ability to bat slow. He feels that there should be some attacking players like Jonny Bairstow in the team, who can put pressure on the opposition.
“Let’s look at the players they have taken. Joe Root is an exceptional batsman, and I’m a big fan of Jonny Bairstow, but you don’t win in Australia with blockers at the top of the order, such as Haseeb Hameed, or openers who don’t stand properly, such as Rory Burns,” Lloyd further said.