Crawley is England’s future: Vaughan

Rob Forsaith |

Zak Crawley has emerged as the harbinger of hope for England on an Ashes tour that has otherwise foreshadowed a bleak future.

Crawley scored freely, quickly and confidently on Sunday in a fashion that belied his age, lack of experience in local conditions, and Australia’s star-studded attack.

The 23-year-old, who put Mitchell Starc’s nose out of joint with his chat earlier in the SCG Test, pulled powerfully and drove diligently.

Crawley was unable to register England’s second hundred of the series, falling for 77 when trapped lbw by Cameron Green late in the morning session.

But the youngster’s performance was notable in the context of England’s brittle batting on this tour, and the side’s revolving door of openers since the rock-solid combination of Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook.

“Real promise from Zak Crawley. There’s the future for England,” former captain Michael Vaughan said on Fox Cricket.

“He must be given a long run, opening the batting.

“This is the player England have to give a long run in the side.”

Crawley’s intent in his 100-ball stint at the crease matched pre-match comments about how this Test would be “easier” than the Boxing Day Test. 

“Having watched the Ashes a fair bit, I feel there seem to be a lot more runs here (at the SCG). I am looking forward to that,” he said.

Crawley’s exclusion from Tests in Brisbane and Adelaide raises yet more questions about the visitors’ selections on this trip.

England logged opening partnerships of zero, 23, seven, four, four, seven and 22 in this series prior to Crawley and Haseeb Hameed’s 46-run stand at the SCG.

Hameed’s miserable tour continued in his second dig at the SCG when caught behind on nine, having failed to add a single run after being dropped by wicketkeeper Alex Carey.

Hameed has 80 runs at 10 this series, putting him at risk of setting an unwanted record if retained in England’s XI for the Hobart series finale.

David Warner’s ineffectual 2019 Ashes tour, when he managed 95 runs across 10 innings, is the lowest ever tally achieved by an opener in a five-Test series.