“Having him at bat at No. 3 for the first time was never going to be easy”
Former captain Nasser Hussain believes England have a long date with a trial and error approach when it comes to finding a batter for the No 3 position. The Three Lions have experimented with Ollie Pope in the order on day one against New Zealand at Lord’s on Thursday.
The 24-year-old, who has mostly hit at No.5 so far, was only able to score seven of 27 deliveries before being fired by Kyle Jamieson.
England recently vacated the No.3 spot after newly appointed captain Ben Stokes restored Joe Root to his original position at No.4. The former captain had promoted himself through the order during the Caribbean tour.
The team’s hunt for a No. 3 continues, especially with Zak Crawley now playing as the opening hitter. Besides Crawley and Pope, management has recently tried Dawid Malan and Dan Lawrence.
Admitting that the search for a new No. 3 hitter will be arduous, Nasser Hussain wrote in his column for the Daily Mail:
“Having Ollie Pope bat at No. 3 for the first time was never going to be easy. But it’s a long-term structural problem, and it won’t be fixed overnight. Until that terrible last session , there was reason to be in a good mood.”
England suffered a mid-order collapse last session at Lord’s. The Ben Stokes-led side lost five wickets in the space of four overs, with only Joe Root registering double figures.
“He also took emotion out of the equation” – Nasser Hussain on Ben Stokes’ leadership
After going through one of their worst runs in Test cricket, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have triggered an overhaul. From the sacking of head coach Chris Silverwood to the appointment of Ben Stokes as captain, there has been a structural overhaul over the past few months.
Praising newly appointed skipper Ben Stokes for taking the emotions out of the equation on his first day as skipper, Nasser Hussain wrote:
“Stokes also took emotion out of the equation. Like him, Potts is a Durham lad, and you could see how delighted Stokes was with each of his three wickets in the morning.”
The 54-year-old added:
“But he didn’t introduce it straight after lunch, when he must have suspected that Colin de Grandhomme and Tim Southee would go a bit after bowling, and instead handed the task over to the wise old men, Broad and Anderson. “
23-year-old debutant Matthew Potts was one of the few bright spots for England on matchday one. The right-arm pacer struck on his very first pass as he fired Kane Williamson. He ended up with numbers of 4/13 and was the most economical bowler on the show for the hosts.
At Day 1 stumps, England are struggling at 116/7 in response to New Zealand’s 132 runs in the first innings.