After being absolutely thumped in the first two games of the Ashes series of 2021-22, the England cricket team is under massive pressure going into the Boxing Day test match, but Shane Warne thinks they might be able to compete if they make 4 changes in their playing XI.
England’s batting has been heavily criticized so far on the tour, and Shane Warne is of the view that the time has come for England to try out their bench strength now and bring Zak Crawley and Jonny Bairstow in the playing XI.
While Crawley has already got a double hundred to his name in test match cricket, he is still quite inexperienced at the international level. The same, however, can’t be said about Bairstow who has been on two previous tours of Australia and has also scored a hundred down under.
Shane Warne has not named the players whom he wants to be dropped for Crawley and Bairstow, but if Crawley gets in, it’s very likely that England will be dropping one of their openers. Crawley can bat at no. 3 as well, but since Dawid Malan is already doing a decent job for England at no. 3, they won’t tinker with his position.
Another England batsman who might be in line to be dropped is Ollie Pope, who is rated quite highly by the England management, but poor recent form might cost him his spot in the playing XI, as England desperately looks to turn things around at MCG.
Shane Warne wants England to play Mark Wood and Jack Leach as well
Apart from Crawley and Bairstow, another two players that Shane Warne wants England to pick for the Boxing Day test are Mark Wood and Jack Leach. While Wood was going to be picked anyway, as he was only rested in Adelaide to manage his workload, it remains to be seen if England backs the left-arm spin of Leach once again.
Leach looked woefully short of confidence in the first test at Gabba as he was smashed to all corners of the ground by the Australian batsmen.
Congrats to the Aussies on a hard fought win. England have a lot to do heading to Melbourne as they are now 2-0 down. They must start by picking the correct team including a spinner for the conditions. Crawley, Wood, Bairstow & Leach would make my team. For Oz Cummins for NeeserAdvertisement
— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) December 20, 2021