The Ashes | England openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed caught in bizarre training drill

Cricket

Under-fire England openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed have been caught in a bizarre practice drill which has been described by a former England batter as “bollocks.”

Cricbuzz writer Bharat Sundaresan posted the footage to Twitter of Burns and Hameed batting in the nets on one leg, apparently in an attempt to improve their balance.

The pair were receiving throw-downs from England assistant coach Ant Botha, as they try to find some form ahead of the Boxing Day Test.

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But the drill didn’t impress former England opener Graeme Fowler, who played 21 Tests between 1982-1985.

“It’s bollocks,” he wrote on Twitter.

“The problem our batsmen have is that they DON’T move their feet. This drill is teaching them to stand on the same spot!

“I would have refused. You spend years honing a solid technique, then some clown tells (you) to hop. I’d tell him to hop it!!”

Asked if it was simply a different way to make practice fun on a long tour, Fowler wasn’t buying it.

“Plenty of ways (of) making genuine practice fun,” he fumed.

“This was anti-productive way. Any decent coach would never have considered it.”

It’s been a disastrous series so far for both Burns (51 runs at 12.75) and Hameed (58 at 14.50), capping off what’s been a dire year for England opening batters.

They’ve recorded 13 ducks in Test cricket in 2021, with Burns contributing six of them, a record for an opener in a calendar year.

England’s opening partnerships this series have been 0, 23, 7 and 4, while of the 27 opening partnerships in Tests in 2021, 13 times England has lost a wicket with the score on 5 or less.

Speculation is mounting that Zak Crawley will open the batting at the MCG, although it’s not known who he’d replace, given both Hameed and Burns have failed to impress so far.

England trails 2-0 heading into the third Test, and must win all three remaining matches to regain the Ashes.

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