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Lamb wants Moeen or Bairstow to bat at five

91   //    01 Nov 2017, 14:30 IST
Moeen Ali Jonny Bairstow - cropped
Moeen Ali and Jonny Bairstow

Former England captain Allan Lamb feels Ashes favourites Australia are too reliant on Steve Smith but is worried about instability in the tourists' batting line-up, calling for Jonny Bairstow or Moeen Ali to move up the order.

England won home Test series' against South Africa and West Indies in preparation for the trip Down Under, but questions remain over several key positions in the top order.

Keaton Jennings failed to convince opening against the Proteas and made way for Mark Stoneman, who did enough in the 2-1 triumph over the Windies to retain his place in the squad.

Tom Westley batted regularly at number three throughout the two contests and Dawid Malan came in at five, but only the latter has travelled to Australia, as the selectors surprisingly recalled James Vince.

Asked about the uncertainty in key batting positions ahead of the first Test in Brisbane, Lamb told Omnisport: "This is a problem. I mean, three's a problem and we're not 100 per cent with the opener [to play] with [Alastair] Cook. 

"And five… I think Bairstow or Moeen Ali should be batting five."


Of the hosts, Lamb added: "I think Australia have got a good bowling line-up. They rely a lot on Smith on the batting side. [But] I'd say they're probably favourites."

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