Zak Crawley confident he can make an impact on the Ashes with a century in Sydney as opener vows to take a ‘fearless’ approach to facing Australia’s rampant bowlers as England battle to avoid humiliating series whitewash
- England will keep faith with Zak Crawley at the top of their batting order
- Crawley came in for Rory Burns at Melbourne and made scored of 12 and five
- But the opener is adamant he can make a high score in fourth Test this week
- Crawley struggled in Sri Lanka and India last year before losing his place
Zak Crawley believes he can put a difficult 2021 behind him by starting 2022 with an Ashes century at the SCG.
Crawley, who was drafted in for the third Test at Melbourne in place of Rory Burns, averaged 10 from 16 innings last year – having apparently broken through at the highest level with a sparkling 267 against Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl in August 2020.
But he struggled in both Sri Lanka and India, and was then dropped three Tests into the home summer.
Zak Crawley believes he can make a big impact on the Ashes series as England try and avert a 5-0 series whitewash in Australia in the fourth Test in Sydney
Crawley came in to replace Rory Burns at the top of the order for the Melbourne Test
Now, despite his scores of 12 and five at the MCG, England are set to stick with him and Haseeb Hameed at the top of the order as they set about trying to avoid a 5-0 Ashes whitewash to go with those suffered in 2006-07 and 2013-14.
‘I haven’t played my best cricket this year, but I feel in a good place,’ said Crawley.
‘Those stats are misleading sometimes. I have never experienced anything like playing in India: 10 over there felt like a good score at the time.
Crawley made scores of 12 and five in Melbourne, with Mitchell Starc dismissing him in the second innings as England slipped to a heavy defeat
Crawley talked up his game as England try and change their fortunes in the Sydney Test
‘I didn’t feel in great touch in the summer, so all of a sudden you’re averaging 10. I feel as good as I ever have though, and I don’t look into stats too much.’
Asked how he planned to deal with Australia’s rampant attack at Sydney, Crawley said it was a case of ‘not fearing them’.
He added: ‘A few of us on our first Ashes tour are a bit wary of them, but there’s no need to be. They’re great bowlers, but when you get in – as Rooty and Mala [Dawid Malan] have shown – they’ve looked very comfortable at times.
‘I will certainly look to be a bit more confident and back myself, because I know full well I can score a hundred here this week.’