While Australia currently lead 1-0 in the five-match Ashes series, their top-order batting woes continue to be a matter of genuine concern. The returning opening duo of Cameron Bancroft and David Warner, party to the ball-tampering scandal last year and subsequently banned by Cricket Australia (CA), has been exposed across the four innings by England’s new-ball bowlers.
Bancroft has registered scores of 8, 7, 13 and 16 while his opening partner Warner has 2, 8, 3 and 5 under his belt. The two collectively average a little over 7 signifying a major crisis in batting upfront for the Aussies.
The slump in form for Warner is even more alarming given the fact he ended the World Cup as the second-highest run scorer with 647 runs in 10 innings. The lack of other suitable opening options in the squad poses questions over the lack of planning by the Australian selectors.