‘Make a bold call’: Vaughan urges England to clean house
STUART Broad and James Anderson may have a combined 946 Test wickets, but that shouldn't be enough to save them at the selection table for the second Test against Pakistan, according to former England captain Michael Vaughan.
The retired cricket legend has called for at least one of them to be axed as England stare down the barrel of a third consecutive Test series defeat, following a devastating nine-wicket loss to Pakistan at Lord's on Monday morning.
Coach Trevor Bayliss conceded in the aftermath that another loss would put his job under threat, while opener Mark Stoneman was dropped for the second Test at Headingley.
But Vaughan believes selectors should go one further and give the side a 'wake-up call' by dropping under-performing senior figures.
"Perhaps England have to make a bold call this week at Headingley and consider leaving out one of James Anderson or Stuart Broad," Vaughan wrote in The Telegraph.
"England are losing. The Test team are just not playing very well and something has to be done. Anderson and Broad are brilliant bowlers but it would be a wake-up call if one was left out."
Vaughan wrote that he expects both bowlers to be retained, but suggested England should try 'something different', as the side remains winless in Test matches since September 2017.
He wrote: "Having three senior players in the team in Anderson, Broad and Alastair Cook is very difficult for Joe Root to manage ... the one thing they cannot be doing is just hanging on until the end of the Ashes..."
Bayliss suggested the problem lies not with his bowlers, but with the top-order, who offered little resistance to the Pakistan attack in both innings.
Stoneman, Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow combined for just 58 runs in the entire Test, with Alastair Cook and Joe Root the only top-order batsmen to score half-centuries in the first and second innings respectively.
When Bayliss was asked if his words were getting through to the players, he told reporters: "Well, obviously not enough.
"The mistakes we made - throwing hands at the ball ... [not] letting the ball come - under pressure in the middle, we've got to do it better."
The Australian, rarely given to venting his frustration in public, added: "In a way, you almost throw your hands up sometimes.
"I'd be expecting they'd (his players) be a little embarrassed about the way they played, and the performance in the next one will be better."England were skittled out for just 184 in their first innings at Lord's by disciplined bowling from Pakistan, whose resolute batsmen then made 363 in reply.
Bayliss's side have lost six of their last eight Tests, ahead of the finale of a two-match series against Pakistan at Headingley starting on Friday night.
He said after the first Test that his position as coach would be under threat if England failed to bounce back.
"I can obviously understand the questions that are asked, that's the lot of the coach, and if someone higher up makes that decision, so be it," Bayliss said, according to Daily Mail.
"But I certainly want to carry on. I've committed to September 2019 and I don't know how anything can be done differently. I enjoy doing the job and I think the messages we're giving the guys are the right ones."
With Press Association