Zak Crawley's dismal run highlights England's woes with the bat

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27 Dec 2021 | 10:34 AM
authorShweta Haranhalli

Zak Crawley's dismal run highlights England's woes with the bat

Here are some of the noteworthy stats from day two of the third Ashes Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground

After two riveting days of cricket with plenty of ebbs and flows, England endured yet another horrific performance with the bat in the final hour of the third Ashes Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. 

The visiting side produced a clinical performance with the ball to restrict Australia for 267 in the first innings courtesy of a splendid display of fast bowling by James Anderson. 

One of the legends in the longest format of the game, Anderson wreaked through the batting unit of the home team to return with figures of 4 for 33 in his spell of 23 overs. 

The formidable batting unit of the Australian side started the day with 61 runs on the board with the loss of David Warner's wicket. While a lot was expected from Marnus Labuschagne and Steven Smith, given their prolific run, Marcus Harris headlined Australia's performance with the bat by scoring a patient 76 runs to help the home team take an 82-run lead. 

Batting for a place in the side for the next game, the southpaw displayed tremendous grit and determination to defy the odds and notch up his first half-century of the season. 

In reply, the top order of the Three Lions succumbed to some hostile bowling from Mitchell Starc and Scott Boland to end the day reeling at 31 for 4. Here are some of the notable stats from the day's play. 

Opening woes for England 

One of the significant concerns for the team management has been the performance of their openers in the most challenging format of the game this season. With Rory Burns struggling for form in the first two games of the series, England drafted Zak Crawley in the playing XI to partner Haseeb Hameed at the top of the order.  

While Crawley looked solid in the first innings, the right-handed batter was undone by the ball, angling away from Starc in the fifth over for five runs. The 23-year old endured a torrid time with the bat this year and managed to score 119 runs in 10 innings at an average of 11.9, the worst among openers with a minimum of 100 runs in the season. Keiron Powell from the Windies has managed to score 102 runs in seven innings at an average of 14.57, which is the second-lowest. 

Day to forget for Malan 

One of the most consistent batters in the batting unit of the England side, Dawid Malan endured a day to forget as the southpaw was dismissed for a golden duck courtesy of peach by Starc. 

The 34-year old along with skipper Joe Root have anchored the innings in the first two games of the series, and the team management relied heavily on him to take the team through to stumps unscathed. However, Malan was adjudged plumb in front of the wicket to an inswinging delivery from the left-arm seamer.

While he reviewed the decision, the ball tracking suggested it was the umpire's call, making him only the fourth England number three batter to be dismissed for a golden duck against Australia on their home soil. 

Mike Gatting was the last number three batter to be dismissed for a golden duck in the 1995 season at Perth. 

Jos Buttler records 150 catches 

Jos Buttler became only the second England player to record 150 catches in the Test arena as he completed a regulation catch off Ben Stokes to dismiss Alex Carey for 19 runs. 

The wicketkeeper-batter has been under the pump for his lukewarm performances in the last couple of games behind the stumps. However, the 31-year old was tidy with the gloves in this innings to breach this special milestone. With 196 catches, Jonny Bairstow is on top of the list and the only player apart from Buttler with 150 catches for England. 

(Cover image credit - Getty images)

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Australia vs EnglandEngland tour of Australia, 2021/22EnglandAustraliaJoe RootZak CrawleyJos ButtlerMitchell StarcDawid Malan

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