Sir Andrew Strauss says it ‘might be time’ for England to drop opener Dom Sibley after the team’s painful India defeat at Lord’s.
Sibley was dismissed for a duck as England were bowled out for 120 in the final two sessions of the second Test, slipping to a 151-run defeat to go 1-0 down in the five-match series.
The Warwickshire batsman made 11 in the first innings and 46 runs in the opening Test at Trent Bridge. He now averages less than 29 from 22 Tests.
‘England will be battered and bruised – and I think it might be time to bring Sibley out of the firing line,’ Strauss told Sky Sports after India clinched a famous win. ‘He has looked out of touch.
‘I think Ollie Pope, who has been in and around the squad, will come back in but is it right for him to be batting in the top three? It is not an easy solution.
‘There are a lot of problems for England. If they had got away with this we might have been able to paper over the cracks but not anymore.’
The former England captain added: ‘It was stunning, just stunning from India. The way they have approached things all day long.
‘That crazy hour with Shami and Bumrah with the bat and then a genuinely outstanding bowling performance on a flat, pretty slow, fifth-day Lord’s wicket.
‘They thoroughly deserved that victory. They have had to fight very hard for it over five days. A brilliant performance from India.
‘They were favourites this morning but let things slip before lunch and then had another top-order collapse. Those early wickets put huge pressure on the middle order and India just had enough overs to bowl them out.
‘It was feisty. Every series with India, and particularly Kohli, is feisty and as the match was on the line you expected nothing else. It has been five brilliant days of Test cricket. India thoroughly deserve to be one up.
‘But this is a bitter pill for England to swallow, quite frankly. They are going to have to come back all guns blazing at Headingley.’
KL Rahul was named Player of the Match at Lord’s after scoring a superb century in the first innings as India made 364.
England captain Joe Root responded with a century of his own in the hosts’ first innings to give his side a narrow lead going into the second part of the Test.
India slipped to 55-3 and 209-8 in their second innings but an 89-run unbeaten partnership between Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah turned the game on its head.
The lower-order resistance meant England had 60 overs to survive to draw the Lord’s match but they were bowled out with 8.1 overs remaining.
Player of the match Rahul said: ‘I’ve been looking at the honours board every morning to see if they’ve put it on permanently or not.
‘It is still temporary at the moment. It was a really proud moment and I’m really happy it resulted in a victory for India.
‘Having been put into bat we needed a good start, and to put a decent total on the board, and the partnership with Rohit was really crucial.’
The third Test between England and India starts on August 25 at Headingley.
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