Despite having a couple of issues, England won the third Test by 1 wicket at Headingley on the back of Ben Stokes‘ stunning knock. With this win, England have equalled the five-match Test series by 1-1 as Australia won the first test by a whopping 251 runs. However, England pace-spearhead Stuart Broad is not happy with his team’s performance. He believes that they cannot expect Ben Stokes to rescue them every time from critical situations.
“We need to improve a lot. I think we have been relatively average in this Test match. Obviously Stokes’ heroics have dragged a result out of it. But on day one we should have bowled Australia out for 120 if we’re brutally honest,” said Stuart Broad.
England were bundled out within a below-par (67), in spite of possessing a star-studded playing XI. No one could handle the pace attack of Australia in the first innings. Broad also thought that this was not acceptable from a side like England.
“Getting bowled out for 67 is inexcusable. We didn’t show any adaptability, we didn’t try to get the momentum back in our favour, we didn’t communicate very well. It was just a really poor 27 overs,” Stuart Broad added. “We then could have bowled Australia out for 150 again in the second innings but we didn’t. It’s been a sloppy game for us, but one bloke’s heroics has kept us in the Ashes series and now every other player needs to step up.”
From their dangerous ODI opener Jason Roy to dependable middle-order batsman Jos Buttler, no one is in good form as well as consistent with the bat. The 29-year-old, Roy, has an average of 16.75 after four Tests where his top score is 28 in this Ashes series.
Seeing this, they might have changed their batting order where Joe Denly could open the innings and Roy in the middle order. However, Jason Roy bats at No.5 in county cricket for Surrey and he should be given a chance in that position as well.
Not only Stuart but former England captain Alec Stewart also commented on this matter. He too, thinks that Roy should play in the middle-order.
While speaking on Sky Sports in the UK, Stewart commented, “I think we all agree that Jason shouldn’t open. We all said, ‘look he’s had a great World Cup therefore can we get him in the Test match set-up’. We said he’d make mistakes so if he opens, let’s not go too hard on him if he plays attacking, rash shots because we know that’d going to happen.”
He further said Joe Denly who has been doing relatively well, should open the innings for England.
“But once Joe Root said he would go to (number) three, my take was Denly would go up top and Jason Roy would come in at four or five. That to me was the sensible way of doing it but they didn’t,” he said.
He even argued on that matter. Even he asked not to include Jason Roy in the next Test.
“So now are they going to flip Denly and Roy? Then you look at Denly. He got stuck in but he’s also being tested now up top – shoulder to head – and he hasn’t played that particularly well. So if you suddenly say Roy’s not going to play, do you put Denly up and Jason pops down or do you keep Denly where he is, leave Jason out and bring in a Dominic Sibley or a Zak Crawley?,” he expressed.
On the other hand, Jos Buttler, who has an average of 9.16 in this Ashes series, looks to be out of the squad in the fourth Test. The 21-year-old Ollie Pope might come in his place. He has scored a double century for Surrey last week and was called up as concussion cover for Roy at Headingley.
Along with this, their record wicket-taker in Jimmy Anderson is expected to be back in the squad. A couple of changes might have seen in the playing XI which is certainly needed to regain the Ashes.