Cricket Expert & Columnist
Ashes Debate: England batting not good enough and Jason Roy should move down order, says Bob Willis
Last Updated: 16/08/19 2:48pm
Bob Willis branded England's batting "not good enough" and said Jason Roy should be moved down the order after the hosts laboured again on day two of the second Ashes Test.
Listen to the views of Bob and former England batsman Jonathan Trott on The Ashes Debate Podcast either below or by downloading here.
England were dismissed for 258 at Lord's, having been skittled for 146 on day five of the series opener at Edgbaston earlier this month to lose that game by 251 runs.
Roy was out for a three-ball duck on Thursday and now averages 23 from his five innings as a Test opener having earned the opportunity following his excellent form in international white-ball cricket.
"With [Joe] Root's form turning patchy, it doesn't look like we have one Test match batsman among the XI," Willis told The Ashes Debate after only Rory Burns and Jonny Bairstow passed fifty.
England vs Australia
August 16, 2019, 10:00am
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"You might say Burns got a fifty but he got dropped twice and Australia have sorted him out. They are going to bomb him [with short-pitched bowling] for the rest of the series.
"Take an Australian batsman like Usman Khawaja - you would say he is an adequate, run-of-the-mill Test batsman but he averages 42. Our guys, apart from Root, are in the early to mid-thirties. It's not good enough.
"We used to have all that stability in the batting with Cook, Strauss, Trott, Pietersen, Bell and Collingwood. There is none of that stability in the England middle-order now that is going to stave off this pace attack."
On Roy, Willis added: "[Opening with him] was a chance worth taking after his form in the World Cup, but he doesn't seem able to go out and play freely.
"He is very tentative outside the off stump, you couldn't describe it as a Test match defence. I don't want him ditched from the side but he doesn't look like a Test opener against that attack."
Bob, Jonathan and host Charles Colvile also discussed...
- Whether it was a surprise that Australia captain Tim Paine bowled first after winning the toss
- When and if England will make changes to their batting line-up
- "Magnificent" performances from Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, who shared six wickets
- Nathan Lyon's control of flight and pace as he picked up three scalps
- At what ends will Root utilise seamers Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer
- How Archer fared on his Test debut
- The batting form of Root and Jos Buttler
- Lord's turning red in aid of the Ruth Strauss Foundation
Watch day three of the second Test at Lord's live on Sky Sports The Ashes from 10am on Friday. Click here to upgrade now.