BUMBLE ON THE TEST: England are missing the fundamentals

BUMBLE ON THE TEST: England were missing the fundamentals in dismal New Zealand defeat… Dominic Sibley and Rory Burns’ techniques are the stuff of nightmares!

  • England fell to an embarrassing defeat against New Zealand at Edgbaston 
  • Dominic Sibley and Rory Burns are a worry for their lack of technique 
  • It was a damning loss for England and they could learn things from New Zealand  

The England batting was abysmal. To a man and woman, all the commentators were saying they lacked technique. 

The fundamentals are just missing. The greatest players in the history of the game have all had a technique – and that basically means a sound defence.   

This was a golden opportunity for some of the young batters to come in and make a case, but they failed dismally. It was very disappointing.

England weakest point against New Zealand was their technique, with Rory Burns one offender

Joe Root will have given his squad a rollocking after a miserable defeat at the weekend 

The one who really bothers me is the big lad at the top of the order, Dominic Sibley. He’s got no shots at all and no defence to speak of. I’ve heard all sorts of words used to describe the way he plays: quirky, unusual, different. 

But you’ve got to have a sound basis. The same goes for Rory Burns. I’m glad he got some runs in this series, but as Jeremy Coney pointed out, if he stops scoring runs, he’s in trouble. I wake up at 2am having nightmares about his technique!

The top three will be under most pressure when they pick the side for the first Test against India in August, but I do believe Zak Crawley will be fine in the long run. I just wonder, though: should he be opening the batting? 

I’ve known players down the years who fret when they’re not straight into the action. David Green at Lancashire always wanted to go in first for that reason. Crawley got 267 against a strong Pakistan attack and played sublimely. England have to stick with him.

Dominic Sibley is one of the biggest worries for England after a poor showing leading the order

I feel desperately sorry for James Bracey, who was asked to bat at No 7 and keep wicket. Why was he selected? There are so many good keepers around the country, and – apart from the obvious one in Ben Foakes – two names often crop up when you talk to those who watch a lot of county cricket. 

Ben Cox of Worcestershire and Kent’s Ollie Robinson. So why did they bring Sam Billings into the squad when Foakes got injured? None of it makes sense.

Joe Root came out afterwards and suggested the players who got England into this mess should be the ones who get them out of it. I understand why he needs to support his team in public, but behind closed doors he’ll have given them a right rollicking. 

What was more instructive, I thought, were the comments by head coach Chris Silverwood, who said England had a thing or two to learn from the New Zealanders in terms of technique. In its own quiet way, it was quite a damning thing to say.

New Zealand taught England some lessons with their first victory over them in 20 years 

Hats off to New Zealand. They’re the No 1 side in Test cricket because they do the basics well: their bowlers are disciplined and each one of their batsmen sends the message that ‘you’re going to have to prise me out’. 

They also catch virtually all of their chances in the slips, and they have a simple domestic system: six sides who play 10 four-day games, 10 50-over games, 10 Twenty20s. It means the best players are always playing the best. What’s not to like?

It was great to see a crowd of 18,000 enjoying itself to the hilt – and just a shame they didn’t get more cricket. But whether you were dressed as a piano or a tomato, you knew how well New Zealand played and how poor England were. 

Even the bloke dressed as Scooby Doo who walked past me while I was having a drink on Saturday night had it right. 

‘That was shocking,’ he barked. Couldn’t agree more, Scooby.

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