Ashes: Haseeb Hameed Must Know His Defence Is Not Standing Up to Test Cricket, Says David Lloyd

David Lloyd said on Monday that opener Haseeb Hameed must be aware his defence isn't standing up to the rigours of Test cricket.

Published: January 10, 2022 12:24 PM IST


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Haseeb Hameed Must Know His Defence Is Not Standing Up to Test Cricket, Says David Lloyd (Credits IANS)

Sydney: Former England cricketer David Lloyd said on Monday that opener Haseeb Hameed must be aware his defence isn’t standing up to the rigours of Test cricket. He added that his opener partner Zak Crawley was impressive in the fourth Ashes Test but has got areas to improve upon.

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England hung around to force a draw at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Sunday, denying Australia a clean sweep of the Ashes. After making 25 and 27 in the first Test at Brisbane, Hameed registered scores of 6,0,0,7,6 and 9 in the next three Tests. “I’d compare Haseeb Hameed’s situation now to an elite golfer dismantling his swing and starting again. Hameed must know his defence is not standing up to Test cricket and he hasn’t got enough scoring areas,” wrote Lloyd in his column for Daily Mail.

“My view is there’s no room for a monumental blocker in the modern game. Hameed’s strike-rate in Test cricket is 28 – Geoffrey Boycott was a rock solid opener against some of the best bowlers the game has seen and his strike-rate, with 22 centuries, was 35. Hameed needs to go back to Notts and start again. It’s not working,” added Lloyd, who coached England from 1996 to 1999.

Crawley, on the other hand, earned praise from many experts for his 77 in the second innings. Lloyd liked his knock but pointed out areas of improvement for him. “That was superb from Zak Crawley and, with that double hundred against Pakistan, is clearly a real talent. But he has to look at a couple of things. Don’t defend balls outside off-stump you don’t need to play at.”

“And the rule of thumb with front foot drives for a right-hander is they should beat mid-off on the right-hand side and mid-on on the left. Greg Chappell was the master. There’s evidence Crawley’s drives are not quite straight enough.”

Lloyd went on to say that it will be a huge shame if Jonny Bairstow is not fit enough to play in the fifth Test at Hobart, especially after Jos Buttler is flying back home due to a broken finger. “Jos Buttler has been ruled out of the last Test and it would be a huge shame if that damaged thumb stops Jonny Bairstow playing in Hobart and replacing him behind the stumps.”

“It’s usually a belter in Tasmania and you want to roll up the pitch as a batter and take it around with you. Jonny won’t want to miss it but, looking at the replays, his thumb was knocked sideways and backwards. He did very well to bat on.”

Lloyd praised England for holding on to draw the match. “England stopped the Ashes bleeding and put a plaster on their wounds but the fact is they were never in the game at any stage. Certainly they were never in with a chance of winning it. But it was a fighting effort and it was much better from England after being absolutely spannered in the first three Tests.”

He signed off by saying Australia’s declaration in second innings was ‘fearful’. “But that was a very negative declaration on the fourth evening from Australia. Pat Cummins could easily have dangled a carrot in front of England they’re batting all over the place in this series because they could still have controlled the game on that pitch. It was almost fearful! But they have dominated almost every session throughout the series.”

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Published Date: January 10, 2022 12:24 PM IST