England’s approach to the rest of the Ashes might have to change drastically, with the hosts trailing 0-2 after coming out on the wrong side in the first two Test matches. Although Ben Stokes-led men have done a lot right on the field, they have made crucial small errors in decision-making that have cost them. A shake-up to the team might be in order ahead of the Test at Headingley which starts July 6, Thursday.
Ollie Pope’s shoulder injury has ruled him out of the rest of the Ashes, meaning England will need a new No.3 player in their batting order. Dan Lawrence was recalled to the squad following the news, but it isn’t certain if he will be chosen in the playing XI. But reports suggest that the English management is considering a promotion for their no.5 batter Harry Brook. Brook has been used as a counter-punching aggressive batter and has found immense success in that role in his young Test career, already having scored 4 centuries and 950 runs in 15 innings. He has an incredible strike rate of 96 in Test cricket, but it will be interesting to see how the gamble of pushing him up the order works.
Moeen Ali is expected to return after his finger injury from the first Test and will bat at No.7 while Jonny Bairstow also moves up the order by one spot. Moeen adds a spinner to the ranks for England, who entered the Lord’s Test with Root being their only spin option. Rehan Ahmed was drafted as a replacement for the second Test but has been released from the squad ahead of the third.
England’s pace attack might see wholesale changes as well. There was disappointment that Chris Woakes wasn’t chosen for the Lord’s Test, since he boasts an incredible record at the home of cricket in all aspects of the game, averaging 68 with bat and under 10 with ball. His ability to extract swing and to be used as a viable number 8 was sorely missed by England.
Woakes will most likely replace Josh Tongue, who made an impressive Ashes debut but doesn’t offer as much as his more experienced counterpart. Another likely change is Mark Wood coming in, the England pace attack has lacked genuine pace, and one of Ollie Robinson or James Anderson might be on the chopping block so that express speed can be added as an extra weapon in the English side.