ENG vs SA 2nd Test: Struggling Zak Crawley likely to retain place after Brendon McCullum backing
ENG vs SA: England will probably stick with struggling opener Zak Crawley in the 2nd Test against South Africa, after coach Brendon McCullum voiced his support for him.
In the first game of the series at Lord’s, which South Africa won in three days by an innings and 12 runs, Crawley managed scores of nine and thirteen.
The 24-year-old, who has played in 26 Tests and averages 26, has gone 14 innings without scoring 50 runs, prompting calls for his removal.
Those who suggested that the Kent batsmen might benefit from a break were shot down by McCullum.
“That’s not how I think,” McCullum, whose coaching philosophy, dubbed ‘Bazball’, includes steadfast backing of the players, was quoted as saying by the BBC.
“We want to keep giving guys opportunities, then their skill and talent can come out.
“We have to be really positive around the language we use with him. And be really consistent with the selections around that, to keep giving guys opportunities.”
Although England’s first defeat under McCullum came at Lord’s. The coach insisted that “selection fidelity” was of utmost importance to him.
“Not only does it build loyalty from guys in the side, it also builds loyalty from guys on the outside. Because they know when their opportunity does come they will afforded the same loyalty.”
Crawley hit a career-high 267 against Pakistan at Southampton in 2020. But after his century against the West Indies in March of this year, he has unable to surpass the 50-mark.
To support his confidence in the batting, McCullum prioritised Crawley’s potential to win matches over consistency.
“We have some players that have put in those positions. Because they have certain skillsets,” said the former New Zealand captain.