India, Sri Lanka tour to shape England’s batting line-up for Ashes 2013

Melbourne: The England’s team tour to Sri Lanka next month for a two-match series before playing four Tests in India at the end of the year will shape their batting line-up for the 2013 Ashes.

In between, they will host the West Indies, a dangerous South Africa and a home and away series against New Zealand.

But it will be the six Tests on the spin-friendly pitches of Sri Lanka and India this year that could make or break England`s current batsmen.

The scoring consistency of England’s batsmen hasn’t allowed them to blood new talent, and Australia will be hoping to cash in on their lack of batting depth when the Ashes roll around again in 2013, Fox Sports reports.

England’s batting order has been so stable recently that Ravi Bopara and the retired Paul Collingwood are the only other batsmen to have played Test cricket since England beat Bangladesh almost two years ago.

England’s 3-0 humiliations against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates have exposed their batting weaknesses. Not one of England’s top six batsmen averaged above 30 during the series, and only wicketkeeper Matt Prior topped the averages at 37.50.

Their collective batting average of 19 was its worst in a Test series since 1888.

Middle order batsmen Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell and Eoin Morgan failed against Pakistan’s spinners, contributing a total of just 200 runs for the series, and none of them passing 40 on any one occasion.

More failures on turning pitches might force the selectors to make changes, which would squeeze England’s ‘best’ batsmen out of the side.

Bureau Report

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