Former England cricketer Mark Butcher believes England would prefer to go into the upcoming Ashes series against arch rivals Australia with the redoubatble pace trio of James Anderson, Ollie Robinson, and tearaway Mark Wood. The high-stakes Ashes series will start from June 16. “We think England’s preferred choice of bowling attack would be Anderson, Robinson, Wood, in terms of the three quicks. We still don’t know what [Ben] Stokes’ status is. I’m sure he will be absolutely fine, but if that isn’t the case, Stuart Broad today looked a little bit on the tardy side, a little slow and lacking in penetration when the ball was a little bit older,” Butcher told Sky Sports.
England have already set sights on the Ashes series after trouncing England in a one-off Test, while Australia will go into the prestigious red-ball series after playing India in the World Test Championship (WTC) final.
The WTC final would get underway at the Oval in London on June 7.
Butcher, the former England opener, also had his say on young pacer Josh Tongue, who got himself on the Lord’s Honours board with brilliant spell of 5/66 in his debut Test against Ireland.
“Until Josh Tongue got the ball back in his hand, and England went to a slightly more orthodox method of operating – going away from the short ball – there were one or two concerns. The main one being Jack Leach’s difficulties in bowling to left-handers,” he told Sky Sports.
England have announced a 16-member squad for the first two matches of the Ashes series, retaining the same group from the one-off Test against Ireland. Josh Tongue found a place alongside James Anderson and Ollie Robinson, both of whom were ruled out of the Lord’s Test.
“England have asked for flat pitches in the Ashes, haven’t they? They’ve not asked for green seamers; they want to take Australia on at their own game, be able to go out there and compile big runs. So, if there was one slight concern, it was that with tailenders in essentially they were made to look pretty ordinary for a long period of time during that afternoon session,” Butcher said.
England squad for first two Ashes Tests: Ben Stokes (c), Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Joe Root, James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Jack Leach, Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley, Matthew Potts, Ollie Robinson, Dan Lawrence, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Josh Tongue.
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