Originally Posted by Rebelstar
The crazy thing is they batted him at #4 I think it was in India and he did well, but because Root "prefers to bat at #4" then they have fudged it a bit.
He's not got the attributes to bat at the top of the order, not in Tests, but with so many wanting to bat 4-7 it's pushing square pegs in round holes. Where do you bat Root, Stokes, Bairstow and/or Buttler, Foakes et al?
For Ali to be in the side consistently he needs runs to his name to cover for when he's not picking up wickets. Slotting him 7-8 meant low pressure on his batting as the side was either doing well so runs not important, or they'd failed in which case for him he could fail, or if he scored runs it made him look even better.
Going back to Root, whilst it may not be exactly a poor return, I thought about the comments on Bairstow somewhere on these forums and thought it worth looking at Root who has now settled at #4
Tests 1-44 : 3875 runs @ 56.16
Tests 45-75 : 2442 runs @ 43.61
His average has dropped 5 runs in that time, and since his obsession with #4 is more recent than it is old, someone might argue him batting at #4 is not best for the team and he may as well bat #3
#3 : 40 inns, 1538 runs @ 40.47
#4 : 49 inns, 2366 runs @ 51.43
#5 : 28 inns, 1755 runs @ 73.13
I'm not suggesting he'd score as many runs at #3 as #4, just that as he's not been as productive as he had been before then freeing up a slot a bit further away from the new ball might lessen his runs and average a bit, but if whoever slots in at #4 makes 10-20 more runs there than at #3 then it's better all round surely...........?
Put another way, England lose 3-4 wickets and worse before much of a score is on the board far too often, enough that the middle order are carrying it a lot more than they should have to. One definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect different results, if Root were scoring lots more runs I think he could pick and choose when, where (in the order) and where (in the world) he bats, and with what, but he's not. He's averaging what a decent batsman should aspire to whilst the top order is mostly scraping runs.
Not much of a captain putting himself before the team, indeed could extend that to some of the prolonged agonies we suffered with batsmen not good enough. I expect Jennings to revert to type sooner or later
And back to Ali, he averages low 30s, imagine what that could be if England batted him in a sensible slot. 91 innings for England, he's batted less than a third of them in any single batting position!