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Ashes 2019: England batting ‘a worry’ after Lord’s collapse – Vaughan

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Men’s Ashes: Second Specsavers Test, Lord’s (day two of five)
England 258: Burns 53, Bairstow 52, Hazlewood 3-58
Australia 30-1: Khawaja 18; Broad 1-13
Australia trail by 228 runs
Scorecard

Former captain Michael Vaughan questioned the techniques of England’s batsmen after another disappointing display against Australia at Lord’s.

England were bowled out for 258 after being dismissed for 146 in the first Test and 85 against Ireland last month.

Vaughan told Test Match Special: “The technical side is a worry.

“Many will be talking about batting orders but the basics are do you know where your off stump is and can you play a forward defence?”

England’s Test batting has been in a state of flux for almost seven years, dating back to when Andrew Strauss retired in 2012.

In their last 35 Test innings, they have passed 300 on 15 occasions. In the same period they have been dismissed for less than 200 on 10 occasions, including a 77 all out in the West Indies in January and a 58 all out in New Zealand to go with the 85 against Irish.

They have also lost all 10 wickets in the space of a single session on four separate occasions in the past three years.

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Their latest attempt at a solution has seen the inclusion of Jason Roy to open the batting, with captain Joe Root once again being pushed up to number three, ahead of Joe Denly.

“Too many times with England we talk about batting line-ups and personnel changes,” said Vaughan, who captained England to an Ashes victory in 2005.

“Too many of them you look at and ask ‘have you got the basics required for Test match cricket, leaving good balls on or around off stump, playing with balance on the front foot, letting the ball come and playing the ball under your eyeline in English conditions?’

“I sit there and watch without any kind of confidence. You want to peep around the curtain to see if they are still out there and that’s a concern because they are up against a quality bowling line-up that will continue to put them under a lot of pressure.”

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Despite England’s modest total, opener Rory Burns, who made 53, believes that the contest is still finely balanced.

“It’s tight,” said the Surrey left-hander. “It’s a competitive total, even if we would have liked more runs.

“The conditions have kept everyone interested. The ball has seamed, if bowlers miss the lengths they have been punished and it has started to offer a bit for the spinners.

“It’s poised quite nicely.”

Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who claimed 3-68 and moved level with Dennis Lillee as the third leading all-time Australian Test wicket-taker with 355, said his side could have put themselves in a stronger position.

“I don’t think we’ve had the best day,” he said. “I don’t think we were good enough for long periods of time.

“Saying that, we were able to bowl England out for 258. We can do better and that’s exciting. We’re happy, but we know there is a lot of improvement to be done.”

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BBC Sport – Cricket

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