Some of the batsmen in the current England squad are some of the worst and they will need at least three decent batsmen before the Ashes in Australia, former Australia pace bowler Damien Fleming has said.
The fast bowler added that apart from all-rounders Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali and wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow, no other batsman is likely to cause any problem to Australia. According to Fleming, the home pace attack will run through the current line-up.
“England needs three decent batsman in their top six,” Fleming told Melbourne’s RSN radio. “Watching the South African series, they’re some of the worst batsmen I’ve ever seen play Test cricket.”
Even after England beat South Africa 3-1 in the recently concluded Test series did but make Fleming believe that they can be at par with Australia in Ashes. He said that Jennings and Westley will have a tough time.
“(Jennings) scored 127 runs at an average of 15. I used to bat nine in Test matches and I would just be happy with that, averaging 15. Just be happy. He’s opening the batting,” Fleming added.
“I don’t like his technique, closed grip, he’s going to nick people that can angle the ball across him and bowlers that can actually get the ball to shape back in, that gap between bat and front pad. This is an opening batsman.
“Westley has a similar technique. He is squared up, he has hands that are a long way in front of his body with a closed grip. How does he hit the ball through the off side? He’s going to nick off or get in trouble with the ball that comes in.
“Where are 80 percent of the deliveries going to be to Jennings and Westley? Outside off stump, maybe shaping away. They don’t have a technique to cope with that.”
Felming, who played 20 Tests and 88 ODIs, also criticised Garry Ballance who missed the second half of the series due to injury.
“How did Gary Ballance play Test cricket again after that last series two years ago there?” Fleming said, referring to the batsman’s axing after two Tests of the 2015 Ashes.
“Young Malan, 35 runs at an average of eight. There’s real opportunities for Australia to run through the top order.”