The Ashes: England ready to DUMP failing batsmen with Zak Crawley set for Boxing Day recall for Third Test

The Ashes: England ready to DUMP failing batsmen with Zak Crawley set for Boxing Day recall for Third Test

December 22, 2021

ZAK CRAWLEY is poised for a Test recall on Boxing Day as England start dumping their failing batsmen.

Crawley, 23, has been earmarked to open in the Third Test against Australia at the expense of either Rory Burns or Haseeb Hameed.

And Jonny Bairstow, 32, is favourite to replace Ollie Pope at No 6 in a match England must win to have any chance of regaining The Ashes.

Crawley has not played a Test since being axed during the summer series against India and averages a paltry 11 this year.

His international career faltered after scoring 267 against Pakistan at Southampton in 2020.

But he has made some technical adjustments which England believe could remedy his issues with edging catches.

The 6ft 5in Crawley also looked impressive in the nets and appears to enjoy Australia’s bouncier pitches.

Burns has struggled since being bowled by the first ball of The Ashes, while Hameed is vulnerable at the top of the order as well as making errors in the field.

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And Pope looks like a walking wicket.

Bairstow is likely to replace him at the MCG although Essex’s Dan Lawrence is  an option.

Fast bowler Mark Wood will return, while spinner Jack Leach should play.

Skipper Joe Root has been knocked off No 1 spot in the Test batting world rankings by Marnus Labuschagne, who hit a ton in the Second Test to help the Aussies to a 2-0 lead.

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