Tuesday, March 21, 2023

“It’s the definition of insanity, you can’t carry on with that” – Michael Vaughan proposes changes to England XI for 3rd Test

Former captain Michael Vaughan has urged England to make two changes to their playing XI for the third Test against India. Vaughan believes continuing with the opening combination of Rory Burns and Dom Sibley will be “insane” and called on the hosts to move Haseeb Hameed to the top and bring in Dawid Malan at No. 3.

According to Vaughan, Burns and Sibley opening together “just does not work.” He added that Malan, who has played 15 Tests for England, will bring some more “substance” and experience to the struggling batting order.

“I want a bit more substance and experience. I want to see Dawid Malan at three. England cannot keep going with the Rory Burns-Dom Sibley opening partnership after 10 ducks this year. It is the definition of insanity. It just does not work,” Vaughan wrote in his column for The Telegraph.

“In total, 37 per cent of their partnerships this year have not gone past the second over. That is staggering. You can’t carry on with that and England know it. I would give Hameed his rightful spot to open and throw in Malan. England now need a little bit of substance. They have three games against India then straight into an Ashes series.”

Currently the top-ranked T20I batsman in the world, Dawid Malan has 724 runs to his name in the longest format at an average of just under 28. He has also scored six 50s and a hundred, which came at Perth against Australia during the 2017-18 Ashes.

Incidentally, the last time he played red-ball cricket was during India’s previous tour of England in 2018. On that occasion, he was dropped after scoring 28 runs in the first Test.

“England have to hope someone turns up and does something like what Ben Stokes did two years ago” – Michael Vaughan

Michael Vaughan’s clarion call came against the backdrop of England’s stunning defeat to India in the second Test at Lord’s. The hosts were in command of the Test heading into the final day but unraveled spectacularly, eventually losing by 151 runs.

According to Vaughan, England need someone of Ben Stokes‘ caliber to pull them out of the hole they have dug for themselves. Vaughan believes the task might have to fall on the shoulders of the series’ top-scorer Joe Root, but fears there might not be much left in the skipper after the grueling defeat.

“It is going to be so hard to recover without Stokes. They had one of the greats to get them out of a hole in the last Ashes Test at Headingley. They were bowled out for 67 but Stokes played the greatest innings of all time. Now there are signs this series could get very messy for England,” Vaughan continued.

“They have to find some spirit and belief. They have to hope someone turns up and does something like Stokes did two years ago. It will probably have to be Joe again. But how much has this defeat sapped his energy?”


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