Manchester : Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith stated that England opener Zak Crawley is looking like a batter who has a lack of understanding of his own game as well as strengths and weaknesses.Crawley has been going through a prolonged form slump at the top, with the 24-year-old opener managing just nine and 13 against the Proteas in the opening Test at Lord’s, which England lost by an innings and 12 runs inside three days.
The right-handed batter is yet to score a half-century for his country from 10 innings this summer, scoring just 164 runs at an average of 16.40 in five Tests.”I mean, if I take myself as example, if people asked me, ‘Okay, you weren’t the best-looking batter in the world, but what were your strengths?
I understood my strengths and my weaknesses. If I faced Jimmy (Anderson), I knew that I would bat on two legs (middle and leg) as the biggest danger to me was LBW. So I had a mindset of I was going to take him on. Broady (Stuart Broad)? Maybe with the extra bounce I’d want to command off stump a lot more.
“And in my innings I knew that cover driving for me, for example, was something I didn’t really want to do early on in my innings. I would look to cut, I’d look to pull. If you were in my channel, I would look to hit the ball back at you or leg side until I was in. But when I look at Crawley play, it doesn’t look like he’s got a mindset of understanding his own game.
He just plays,” said Smith in the latest episode of The Vaughany and Tuffers Cricket Club podcast.Smith pointed out that Crawley’s struggles in the ongoing home summer may have been caused by England’s new ultra-attacking approach with the bat under captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum.
“I think that’s the danger when you say, ‘We want to be aggressive, we want to take the game on’. You don’t actually think about ‘how’. Understanding your own strengths and weaknesses is so important. In particular, the top-order batters.””I mean, as a top-order batter you’re going to fail more than you succeed. So dealing with failure is a huge part.
And understanding your own strengths and weaknesses is key as well. And when I look at him, I don’t think he gets that.”England, 1-0 behind in the three-match series, will be hoping that Crawley comes back to form when the second Test against South Africa starts at Old Trafford in Manchester from Thursday.