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England Struggling Ahead Of Ashes

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With English batting collapses becoming more and more of a frequent occasion, England’s middle order is in trouble at the worst of times.

With the Ashes just around the corner and the selectors having a nightmare, England are in dire need of some form or at least a new batsman. After previous stand out performances from the likes of Cook, Root and Stokes proving that England can build a high run score, the cracks in the middle order are starting to show, including the abysmal form of long time stalwart Ian Bell.

Bell has had a rough time batting for the pat few months and scores which came after his last century in Antigua are 11, 1, 0, 0, 1, 29, 12 and 1. His form is seriously putting his previously undoubtable England place in serious jeopardy and with no more warm ups before the ashes, Bell has no option but to put in some stellar performances for Warwickshire and hope to keep his place. The 33-year old still has years ahead at the top level of cricket and should always be remembered for saving England and many occasions, including the last Ashes series, the only issue being that memories can’t keep you in a talented side anymore.

Bell is not the only issue in our batting line-up, Yorkshireman Gary Ballance has seen his England career stall as of late, with some fans calling for the batsmen to take some time away from England duty, which seems very unlikely.

If England are to challenge Australia on July 8th, it’s not just Ballance and Bell that need to be on form either, England will also rely on batters from 1-11 to be picking up runs, something that certain all-rounders have been struggling for. Two all-rounders that have truly lost their form are Moeen Ali and Stuart Broad, with both batsmen being lucky if they can pick up over double figures lately.

Having both started their careers with England with audacious tons and flowing batsmen, both players have since struggled to keep their batting form, something that cannot happen against Australia. Broads batting is a shadow of his performance 5 years ago against Pakistan where he picked up a career best 169, from batting at number nine. England are in need of players like Broad to stand up and be counted, the only player that looks to keep his all-rounder status is new star Ben Stokes, who looked set to be dropped after an abysmal series in West Indies but had returned gloriously with both bat and ball.

One thing England need, is highly contested batsman Kevin Pietersen. Most England fans will agree that heading into an Ashes series, KP is the man that can take the game to the Aussies, otherwise England could miss out on a big attacking threat. A return to England has become less and less likely under new director Andrew Strauss, who is known to have had many exchanges with KP.

Strauss claims that not allowing a return for Pietersen is nothing regarding personal feelings but is mainly for cricketing reasons, which is highly unbelievable. KP has been one of England’s best ever batsmen and gives England the advantage of having a one day player fit perfectly into the test format. Much like how New Zealand took the game to England in the second test, KP can do that to the Aussies by himself!

If England are to be somewhat successful in this summers Ashes, some hard decisions are ahead of the side, including adding/dropping players and making sure that some of the middle order batsmen take on the tutorship of Mark Ramprakash to its full effects. Otherwise the Ashes are going nowhere and the Aussies will wield a world of pain for England this summer.

ashes england cricket gary ballance ian bell Kevin Pietersen moeen ali stuart broad

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