Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Zak Crawley sees Australia echoes in England competition

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LONDON: Zak Crawley believes the competition in England s batting order can help Joe Root s men emulate the successful Australia side of the early 2000s.

Kent batsman Crawley appears to be in a four-way fight for a top three place with Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley and county colleague Joe Denly ahead of next month s three-Test series at home to the West Indies.

Burns  ankle injury paved the way for Crawley to open with Sibley in South Africa and he has increased his highest Test score six times in a row to the 66 he made against the Proteas at Johannesburg in January.

And the 22-year-old Crawley was in good form when England s tour of Sri Lanka was cut short before the Test series because of the coronavirus, signing off with an innings of 105.

Burns is fit again and Crawley could now find himself competing for the number three berth with Denly, although England s top order could be shaken up further if skipper Root misses the first Test at Southampton on July 8 to attend the birth of his second child.

An intra-squad match from July 1-3 could have a bearing on selection and Crawley, asked about competing for a place with Denly, told a conference call from England s training base in Southampton on Thursday: “It s slightly odd. I get on really well with Joe and I wish him every success.

“Ideally, we d both play. He s desperate to play for England – as am I – and we ll still be good friends whatever happens.”

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