England batsman Zak Crawley fit again and aiming to keep improving
Zak Crawley has declared himself fit for England’s third Test with India and ready to show his improvement after a big learning curve in Sri Lanka.
Zak Crawley lacking runs and game time
The Kent batsman scored only 35 runs across four innings in Galle and a “freak injury” saw him ruled out of the first two matches of this series.
Crawley slipped on a marble floor and sprained his right wrist ahead of a training session, but is available and could be used as an opener or line up in his preferred number three position on Wednesday.
“It is all about proving my fitness to the coaches but it feels a lot better and I am back batting now in the nets and doing stuff out in the field, so it is looking positive,” the 23-year-old said ahead of the day-night fixture.
“I was one of the first players to go out on to the field, with my spikes on, and basically my feet went out from underneath me.
“To protect my head I stuck my hand out and it was one of those freak incidents where my arm took all the weight. It was a real shame to do that and miss some Test cricket.”
Suspicions of foul play
While Crawley took a tumble on an uncovered surface, he confirmed a similar area near the India dressing room was covered by carpet.
He is expected to play in Ahmedabad but where is up for debate with opener Rory Burns and Dan Lawrence, who was used at three, both under threat.
Crawley added: “I’ve batted in the top four for England so any of those positions and any chance to play again I will do whatever role is required. If I had a preference, it would probably be three but I have no problems at all with opening.”
It was during the two-match series with Sri Lanka in January that the right-hander was asked to bat at the top and he struggled against Lasith Embuldeniya.
Struggles against spin
Faced with the prospect of playing spin first up, Crawley was out in all four innings to the slow left-armer with a top score of 13 and could take on a similar challenge next week in the shape of Axar Patel, who claimed seven wickets on debut in the second Test.
But Crawley insisted: “I still back my game against spin, but it was a great learning curve for me that if I am a bit sharper and work on a few different things and do things that the best do, then there is room for improvement there.
“I am not going to let a few dismissals change the way I play. I got a couple of good balls (in Sri Lanka), I mis executed (sic) one shot so for me there is no problem there.
“I will continue playing the way I play. He is a top quality bowler, Axar Patel, so obviously I am going to give him the respect he deserves, but for me it is not a problem in my eyes. I will keep trying to improve the way I play.”
Unlike in the first two games, spin could take a back seat at the new 110,000-capacity Sardar Patel Stadium, which will open its account in Test cricket with a day-night match.
SG’s pink variant is expected to offer plenty for the seamers and England could have Jofra Archer back after an elbow injury ensured he was absent for the chastening second Test defeat in Chennai.
“I faced him in nets yesterday and he seemed to be fine,” Crawley revealed. “It seems to be swinging more than the red ball and doing a bit more for the seamers.
“And it seems to be harder, so the spinners are skidding it on a bit more. It is definitely going to play a bit more different than the red ball and I expect to see a bit more seam in this game.”
On This Day in 2010: England beat Australia to win ICC World Twenty20 title
Craig Kieswetter (63) and Kevin Pietersen (47) led the charge to a victory which came with three full overs to spare.
England handed injury scare after Jofra Archer was unable to bowl for Sussex
The 26-year-old did not bowl during day three of his side’s LV= Insurance County Championship match with Kent due to a sore elbow.
Keith Barker stars as Hampshire beat Middlesex by seven wickets
Barker returned an impressive 84 in the first innings, his highest score for the county.
Dan Lawrence leads Essex onslaught against Derbyshire
The hosts were in a hurry after a first day washout at Chelmsford.
England likely to do without IPL contingent for New Zealand Test series
The players returning from India will come out of quarantine less than a fortnight before the Lord’s opener.
Rachael Haynes withdraws from The Hundred due to coronavirus restrictions
Australia’s Haynes was one of the star overseas signings for the inaugural edition of the 100-ball competition.
Former England seamer Harry Gurney retires from cricket due to shoulder injury
The 34-year-old left-armer has been unable to recovery sufficiently from a shoulder injury.
Richard Gould leaving Surrey to become Bristol City chief executive
Gould was commercial director at Ashton Gate between 2001 and 2005.
Jofra Archer takes two wickets on return in Sussex clash with Kent
Archer has been out with finger and elbow issues.
Jofra Archer to step up injury return in Sussex’s Championship game with Kent
Archer’s last first-class appearance for the county came in the 2018 season.