Sir Ian Botham says England must appear to bed in a few young talent as they build for the future and strategy for the Ashes in Australia in two years time.
Later clinching a 135-run win at the fourth and fifth Test at The Oval england drew that summer’s Ashes series, but Australia keep the urn together with the 2-2 tie.
Botham believes the outcome is a fair reflection on the series, including that his staggering 774 along with Steve Smith runs for the show has proven the difference between the two sides.
“Things swung in that very first Test at Edgbaston,” said Botham. “Australia were both 122-8 and built those partnerships using the tailenders.
“Steve Smith has been glorious. And he’s become the standout for the whole series.
“I really stated, if he doesn’t fail today, he’s not human. He did, by his standards, neglect [scoring 23] but he’s been awesome.
“If you take a look at the 2 sides, batting was a problem for both, particularly the top order. Ben Stokes was Steve Smith for Australia and the exception for England.
“I believe that the pace attack of Australia was superb. They’ve played better cricket.
“But England are in a fairly good place normally, they just need a little bit of fine tuning.
“With the bowling, we’re in a similar position to Australia, we have got a lot of young talent coming but England should examine the batting line-up.
“Are they really going to look at younger gamers, which I believe that they should do? It is two or three years until we’re back for the Ashes – and – you will want to have a side that’s settled, therefore now is the time.
“In New Zealand, it’s a excellent chance to experiment, take a look and find out what these young men can do. Zac Crawley, players like this, who everyone was discussing.”
Botham was talking in his great mate David Gower stints as broadcasters for Sky Sports after 25 decades of support, and he represented fondly on his time behind the microphone.
“It’s really been interesting,” he added. “It had been the start of Sky and I mentioned at the moment,’what are we going to do? Where are we likely to proceed for this?’
“They said, we wish to bring the sport to the living room of these folks at home viewing. I think we have got pretty near that.
“It’s been a excellent trip. Time to move on, there is youthful blood on the market. However, it has been wonderful; the areas of the world we’ve seen, the games we have seen and the players that have surfaced.”
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