Former England spinner Monty Panesar believes that England’s top-three has been their weak link for the past year, and the top-order will face a massive challenge when touring Australia for the upcoming Ashes.
The ECB has given a “conditional approval” for the tour to go ahead “subject to several critical conditions being met” amid concerns from the players about the strict quarantine protocols for them and their families in Australia.
England lost to New Zealand at home and trail by 2-1 to India as well before the fifth Test was cancelled. Their top three throughout the winter in Asia and summer at home were changed with finally settling for Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed, and Dawid Malan in the last two Tests.
“It’s going to be the top order (that is most important), which has kind of struggled over the last 12-18 months… I think the Australians know that even with a full-strength England team, they (England) are going to need to bat well. The whole focus will be on the top three,” Monty Panesar told Sportsday on Saturday.
If we want to see a modern-day Bradman, it’s in Joe Root: Monty Panesar
Joe Root has had an incredible year with the bat. The England captain has scored 1455 runs at 66.14, including 6 centuries. Monty Panesar hailed Root as “a modern-day Bradman”, but reckons other England batters should be wary of the menacing Australia pace attack.
“Joe Root, he’s been phenomenal, his record has been unbelievable with the number of runs he’s scoring for the team. It’s up there with Don Bradman, 30 per cent of the runs (for the team) he’s scoring. So, if we want to see a modern-day Bradman, it’s run in front of our eyes, it’s in Joe Root.
“This Australian team is strong, it’s a strong team. They’ve got good fast bowlers… it’s going to be the pace that could potentially blow (England) away,” the former spinner added.
The first Ashes Test is slated for Brisbane from December 8. Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth are slotted to host the next four Tests, however, that is subject to change. The ECB, on Sunday, named a full-strength Ashes squad to tour Australia.
England squad for the Ashes: Joe Root (c), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.