David Lloyd. (Image Credits: Getty)
Former England cricketer David Lloyd has lambasted the English selectors for their picks in the 17-man Ashes squad. After much deliberation about the quarantine protocols, England finalized the tour to Australia and selected the strongest squad available.
Like several other former England greats, Lloyd questioned the selections and pointed out numerous flaws. Although all the first-choice players have made the squad, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer are the two biggest names missing due to different reasons.
In his column for The Daily Mail, David Lloyd stated that the selections have stunned him. Lloyd highlighted the lack of firepower and variety in the batting and bowling departments respectively.
“To say that I was surprised when I saw the squad England had picked to go to Australia would be an understatement — I was absolutely flabbergasted. They’ve picked a team of blockers, medium-pacers and short finger-spinners. You don’t exactly need to be a student of the game to know how that ends in Australia.”
He felt England stood nowhere close to winning and pointed out that Saqib Mahmood, Liam Livingstone and Matt Parkinson had to be selected. None of the three players will be on the flight to Australia.
Lloyd believes the trio offer the varied skillsets that England will certainly need in Australia. He criticized Dom Bess’ selection and believes he is no match for his counterpart Nathan Lyon.
“For me, three of the first names in the squad would have been Saqib Mahmood, Liam Livingstone and Matt Parkinson. That’s not Lancashire bias — it’s a reflection of the kind of cricketers you need to stand a chance of winning in Australia. Your bowling attack needs pace and, because the Kookaburra ball offers you so little, reverse swing. Mahmood has both, so what did England do? Left him out.”
Former England captain Nasser Hussain also observed that the trio deserved selection as Mahmood, Livingstone and Parkinson offered an edge. Hussain felt Mahmood had the pace to rattle Australia’s batters and Livingstone’s counter-attacking mindset would be priceless, while Parkinson, a wrist-spinner, could do wonders on bouncy tracks.
You don’t win in Australia with blockers at the top of the order: David Lloyd on England’s openers
Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed. (Credits: Getty)
While Lloyd thinks England’s middle-order provides some stability, he isn’t in favour of Haseeb Hameed and Rory Burns at the top. He added:
“Let’s look at the players they have taken. Joe Root is an exceptional batsman, and I’m a big fan of Jonny Bairstow, but you don’t win in Australia with blockers at the top of the order, such as Haseeb Hameed, or openers who don’t stand properly, such as Rory Burns.”
The 74-year old reflected on the 1974-75 tour and opined that England were making the same mistakes. Lloyd feels the visitors need fiery bowlers like Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson instead of the old horses such as James Anderson and Stuart Broad.
The Ashes gets underway on the 8th of December at the Gabba. Joe Root and co. have a daunting task as they aim to regain the Ashes for the first time since 2015.