India trounced England by 317 runs in the second Test of the India vs England Test series 2021 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. The commanding win has helped India draw the series level at 1-1 with two games to go. One of the main reasons behind England's abysmal show in the second Test was the dismal performances of their top order.
England's top-three batsmen haven't been in good form, which is why they have failed to lay the foundation for the middle-order to come and cash in. Barring Dom Sibley's 87 in the first innings of the series opener, England's top-three batsmen have failed to play an innings of substance which is why they have found themselves on the wrong side of the result in the second Test.
Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir recently had some radical suggestions for England captain Joe Root for solving his side's top-order woes. While speaking to Star Sports, Gambhir asked Root to give all-rounder Moeen Ali a chance to open the batting to make full use of his all-round potential. According to Gambhir, the move to allow Moeen Ali at the top gives them a chance to play Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer, as well as, both their spinners Jack Leach and Dom Bess.
Opening with Ali could be an option that Root can consider as the southpaw has a considerable amount of experience of opening the batting in ODI cricket. Ali has opened the batting for England's ODI side on 21 occasions where he has scored 658 runs at an average of 31.33 to go with two fifties and as many hundreds. Root could perhaps take a cue from how Rohit Sharma's Test career transformed after he was promoted to open the batting. And looking at England top order's form currently, Gambhir's suggestion to Root might be the solution to make England more competitive in the series.
However, it seems that the England team management does not agree with Gambhir as at the time of publishing this report, it was announced that Moeen Ali would be heading back to England and it is likely that Jonny Bairstow will replace him in the Ahmedabad Test.
Moreover, the England top-order is clearly feeling the absence of Zak Crawley who in his short Test career has impressed one and all with his performances. Crawley injured his wrist ahead of the first Test after he slipped on the marble floor of the Chepauk dressing room. There's still no update about Zak Crawley's injury but the England team would want him back in the playing XI for the pink-ball Test as it will significantly bolster their batting line-up.
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