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‘No room for complacency’

Geoffrey Boycott

Calcutta: Geoffrey Boycott has never been someone who would go over the board. Although he is delighted with England’s turnaround in the five-match Test series against India, with the hosts winning the third and fourth games, the former England captain feels the hosts would need to improve upon three key areas before the fifth and final Test, starting August 15 at The Oval.

“England shouldn’t be complacent. They have no room for complacency. It has been a terrific performance by England to turn it all around after the disaster at Lord’s. Although we want to enjoy the team’s success and believe England have turned the corner we should sound a note of caution because there are three areas they need to improve,” Boycott wrote in his column for a British newspaper.

According to Boycott, the three areas of concern are the quality of the back-up seam bowlers, opener Sam Robson’s form and the ability of England batsman to handle short ball.

“They have to look at the quality of their back-up seam bowlers, address the weaknesses of opening batsman Sam Robson and all our batsmen have to improve against the short ball,” Boycott wrote.

“While James Anderson and Stuart Broad are match winners, at the moment if both of them ever get injured or are out at the same time for any reason, England’s seam bowling does not look threatening. When England’s back-up seamers — Chris Woakes and Chris Jordan — were bowling at Old Trafford there was a huge difference in quality, aggression and control. There was a release of pressure on the opposition batsmen.

“I know David Saker, the England bowling coach, swears by Woakes. But for me Ben Stokes has far more talent and it is up to good coaches to manage that ability and help him with his attitude. Attitude is no substitute for talent. If God did not give you talent no amount of attitude can make up for it. Ability gets you wickets, not being a nice lad.”