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England v New Zealand: Zak Crawley has two Tests to show some substance on top of his obvious style

NASSER HUSSAIN: Zak Crawley has two tests to show substance beyond his style… he’s not doing himself justice at the moment, but a change in an attacking mindset – like Jonny Bairstow did at Trent Bridge – could work for him

  • Zak Crawley had three very good deliveries in his last three innings
  • We know what Crawley can do, but right now he’s not doing himself justice
  • He has changed his technique and is picking up the bat with softer hands
  • No matter how often we talk about technique, the game at the highest level is played with the head

England are now properly going about selection after two years of rest and rotation, having picked their best team for Thursday’s final Test against New Zealand at Headingley.

Jimmy Anderson has only one problem, but England want him to be fit enough next week to face India and resume his battle with Virat Kohli, so they are right to leave him out now.

You also need to keep an eye on the future, so if your 39-year-old fast bowler has a minor injury, it’s wise to let him rest.

Zak Crawley has two test matches to show some substance on top of his obvious style

Zak Crawley has two test matches to show some substance on top of his obvious style

He has had a quiet time, but has made three very good deliveries in his last three innings

He has had a quiet time, but has made three very good deliveries in his last three innings

Jamie Overton is the right bowler to bring in because, with his extra pace, he sets England apart from so many other faster men who are injured. It’s not just a matter of looking at him.

Overton is playing because he has taken 21 wickets of 21 each with a Dukes soft ball for Surrey this season and he can bring that little something extra that will be especially needed when England play on overseas pitches.

Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum need to focus on winning the matches ahead, while Rob Key and others who work behind the scenes can keep an eye on the future and what it will take, for example, when they make it to Pakistan in November. arrive.

With that in mind, the other fast bowler the English Test side has to keep an eye on is Brydon Carse, who has shown what he can do in the white ball game in the Netherlands.

We saw in the opening innings of the first Test at Lord's that he made changes to his technique

We saw in the opening innings of the first Test at Lord’s that he made changes to his technique

But Jonny Bairstow's change to an attacking mentality at Nottingham could also work for Crawley

But Jonny Bairstow’s change to an attacking mentality at Nottingham could also work for Crawley

So it will be a matter of Key keeping an eye on him and making sure that if he gets a test call he has red balls under his belt and is as ready as possible.

Likewise, Key’s job will be to see where Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid stand on red ball cricket. They are both extremely good cricketers, but Moeen hasn’t played a red ball in a year and Rashid hasn’t played for three and a half years.

There’s going to have to be some sort of plan in place if they’re serious about coming out of their red ball retirement.

There must also be a plan for Matt Parkinson. He deserved to make his Test debut at Lord’s, albeit as a concussion substitute, but he seemed to throw a little too slowly.

Jamie Overton is ready for his test debut in England

Jimmy Anderson has a 'swollen ankle' but should be fit for India Test next week

England wise to let Jimmy Anderson (R) rest and Jamie Overton (L) is the right bowler to bring in

Key needs to look into that and, along with spin coach Jeetan Patel, find out if he’s capable of bowling faster and have him do it ahead of that tour of Pakistan this winter.

That combination of caring for the here and now and simultaneously thinking about what’s to come will make England a multi-dimensional test team that can win in all circumstances.

One player they want both now and in the future is Zak Crawley. He has had a quiet time, but it must be said that in his last three innings he has had three very good deliveries – which often happens with openers in England.

We know what Crawley can do and we saw in the opening innings of the first Test at Lord’s that he made some changes to his technique with his grip and pick up his bat with softer hands, a bit like Joe Root.

The other fast bowler to keep an eye on the English Test side is Brydon Carse

The other fast bowler to keep an eye on the English Test side is Brydon Carse

But we saw another player who had technical difficulties in Jonny Bairstow change his fortune at Trent Bridge by going to the mentality he knows best – an attacking one.

That worked for him and it could now work for Crawley, because as much as we talk about technique, the game at the highest level is played in the head – evidenced by the remarkable change in England’s collective mindset over the last few weeks. two tests.

When Crawley turns 30 or 40, he has to remember those three deliveries that got him out and think, ‘You’re going to have to bowl something special today to get me out’, because right now he’s not doing himself justice.

He has two tests in the next two weeks to show some substance on top of his obvious style.

There must be a plan for Matt Parkinson who seemed to bowl too slow at Lord's

There must be a plan for Matt Parkinson who seemed to bowl too slow at Lord’s

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