When England opener Zak Crawley enters the Saurashtra cricket stadium for the 3rd of a 5-match Test series against India, he will be aiming to prove his head coach Brendon McCullum wrong for saying that he can never be a consistent batter for the National side following a slump in his form in 2022.
Any other player would have felt bad or gotten demotivated by the words of Brendon McCullum 2 years ago but Zak Crawley used it as a gateway to improve himself and add consistency to his game. The Kent-born cricketer went through quite of a lean patch back in 2022 when he was scoring runs as well as centuries but not with much consistency.
That would force McCullum to call him such a dynamic player whose uniqueness lies in his inconsistency. He also claimed that Crawley is someone who will not stand up when the team needs him the most but on his days, the right-hand batter is more than capable of taking down every bowling attack in the world. In 2022, his average had dropped down to just 23 but fast forward to early 2024, Crawley is averaging 53.
“He’s never going to be a consistent type of cricketer. He’s that dynamic that he’s not going to be consistent. But when he has his day, he’s going to win matches.” – McCullum quoted back in 2022.
Zak Crawley responded to that criticism by scoring a lot of runs in the Test series in Pakistan but even then, the only thing he could not attain was consistency. He had scores of 122, 50, 19, 3, 0, and 41 across the 3 Tests in Rawalpindi, Multan, and Karachi in December 2022.
He had to wait for almost a year to score another century and it wasn’t until the 4th Test of the Ashes series last year that Zak Crawley did so. Against a lethal bowling attack of the Australians, Crawley smashed 189 in the final Ashes match ever at the Old Trafford venue in Manchester.
And in his first Test series since July 2023, Crawley might have figured out how to remain consistent throughout a series even if that means not scoring a century.
“I’m A Better Player Now” Zak Crawley’s Response To His Head Coach
In retaliation for Brendon McCullum’s quite derogatory comments, Zak Crawley stated that he understood why the former Kiwi captain made that point and also affirmed that he has become a far better player now than he was back then.
“I’m a better player now than when Baz made that comment. But I understand what he said.” – Crawley said.
If we talk about the 26-year-old’s performance in the India Vs England 5-match Test series then he has had a decent performance in the first two Tests. Crawley has led from the front and has formed a good partnership with Ben Duckett up the order.
The duo have provided blistering starts for the English contingent and after a quiet 1st Test outing in Hyderabad where he had scores of 20 and 31, Zak Crawley played out fantastic knocks across innings in the 2nd Test at Vishakhapatnam. He had scores of 76 and 73 over there and he will be gutted to not have converted those starts into centuries.
In the 3rd Test at Rajkot where the pitch is expected to remain either flat or slow turner, Crawley will be aiming to do something special and that will be to reach his 5th Test century and first ever against India.
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