Former England cricketer Geoffrey Boycott has added that England must find a new No. 3 batter for the remaining Ashes Tests. Boycott also asked not to tinker with Joe Root’s position as well. With Ollie Pope injuring his shoulder in the second Test at Lord’s, England tried two new batters, but both Harry Brook and Moeen Ali fell for single-figure scores in the first and second innings, respectively as well.
In his column for The Telegraph, the veteran wrote: “England need a new No 3 and if there is no one that springs to mind then select another opener just in case you lose an early wicket to the new ball. Leave Root at four. Don’t mess about with your best batsman. Harry Brook is not a No 3 and neither is Ben Stokes. They are the engine room.”
He continued: “Moeen Ali was another huge gamble that has had limited pluses. He has been away from the heat of Test cricket for far too long. His spinning finger is a mess because it is not used to bowling lots of overs so splits too easily and becomes raw. Then it is impossible for him to bowl his best. His batting has always been flaky and looks no better. For me he is a white-ball batsman and plays a shot a ball.”
However, Moeen Ali failed to leave a mark with the bat in the third Test at Headingley. But he played a key role with the ball. He dismissed Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne in the second innings as England won by three wickets as well.
Geoffrey Boycott concluded: “If you can think smart at the trickiest moments and have a cool head it is priceless. That is what I’m asking England to do. Think and play smart. That is all. Bazball got them in trouble and lost them two Tests they should have won because they tried to be too clever. You cannot afford to be too clever against Australia. Make them bowl you out. Do not give your wickets away. Cut out the clever dick shots. Save them for one day cricket, not this Ashes.”