Cricket

David Lloyd says England have one star 'twice as good' as any Australia can play in that position

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Jonny Barstow's wicketkeeping proficiency is no secret: he is widely regarded as one of the best glovemen in the world.

But David Lloyd, who coached the England side between 1996 and 1999, says that Barstow is actually 'twice as good' as anything the Australian side have.

Writing in his Sky Sports cricket blog as Bumble has cast his eye over the Aussies ahead of the Ashes and found them wanting.

Australia are being considered big favourites for the series, particularly since Ben Stokes' off-field problems which have effectively ended his chances of featuring, but Bumble thinks England do have an advantage in the wicketkeeper department.

"I think you can forget Ben Stokes, he isn't going," Lloyd wrote.

"But if you look at Australia, they've got two outstanding batsmen in Warner and Steve Smith, the other batsmen will have to work very hard though.

"They're in a very similar situation to England with the batters. England also have a wicketkeeper-batsman [in Bairstow] who is twice as good as anything they've got."

Yorkshire star Bairstow has really come into his own over the last 18 months but has particularly established himself as a key figure for England across all formats in 2017.

The 28-year-old hit two centuries during the ODI series against West Indies recently and could clearly have a big impact on proceedings Down Under.

Meanwhile, Bumble also thinks the fitness of Australia's bowling attack could also be a decisive factor.

He continued: "Already one of the Aussie fast bowlers, James Pattinson, is out for the whole series, Pat Cummins is unbelievably injury prone - there is nobody who has been as injury prone as that, if they can get him to stand up for three matches then they've won the lottery! - and Josh Hazlewood is injured at present, too."

"They'll be wrapping Mitchell Starc up in cotton wool. They do have a wonderful off-spinner in Nathan Lyon but England have absolutely nothing to fear."

England fans will be hoping Bumble's optimism proves correct.

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Topics:
Cricket
The Ashes
Joe Root
Australia cricket
England cricket
Jonny Bairstow

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