Michael Vaughan. (Image source: Getty)
Ex-England captain Michael Vaughan predicts it will be a tough challenge for Joe Root and co. to make a comeback in the ongoing Ashes series. He feels making changes to their playing eleven for the Boxing Day Test will have very little impact on the outcome of the contest.
The cricketer-turned-commentator believes England’s lack of bench strength is a major sign of worry. He pointed out that the English side do not have a lot of players who have been knocking on the selectors’ doors with consistent performances.
He reckons Australia, on the other hand, have shown significant improvements in the past year. Wicketkeeper-batter Alex Carey‘s inclusion has further strengthened their team, as per Vaughan.
Here’s what Michael Vaughan said on The Brett Lee Podcast:
“Australia are better than they were a year ago. Alex Carey has made them a better side. For England, I think Mark Wood will play. You’ve got to play a spinner. There is talk of Zack Crawley and Jonny Bairstow coming in, but I don’t think whoever they bring in will do anything better. They don’t have anyone waiting in the wings.”
The 47-year-old opined that England’s white-ball success might have come at the expense of their Test team. He also noted how barring star all-rounder Ben Stokes, there’s no other player who seems ready to become their future captain in red-ball cricket.
“Generally, in a team, you see two or three players who are ready to become the next captain. But I don’t see anyone in this Test team who seems like he can be the next England captain apart from Ben Stokes. It’s taken a while for England to become a formidable white-ball force, but it has been at the expense of the Test team.”
England were completely outplayed in the first two Ashes Tests. Vaughan expressed his disappointment over the team not being able to even compete against the Aussies in the crucial series. He also seemed unimpressed with the team selection.
“Everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong for England in this year’s Ashes” – Michael Vaughan
The former England skipper suggested it was not the right move to bench senior pacer Stuart Broad for the opening Test. He stated that the veteran bowler should have had the new ball in his hands on the green top wicket at the Gabba.
England still have a chance of staging a miraculous turnaround by winning the remaining three matches. However, Vaughan opined that things often go from bad to worse when a side has had such an underwhelming start in Australia.
“To see Stuart Broad not play on a green top in Brisbane was remarkable. He should have been bowling the first ball of the game from around the wicket to David Warner. Everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong for England. in this year’s Ashes. They have three more games to go, but I won’t give them any hope.”
The third Test match of the Ashes 2021-22 will be hosted by the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The encounter is slated to be played from December 26.