Kendal Cricket Club skipper Stu Parkin believes a new-look England could emerge from Ashes wreckage

The Westmorland Gazette: Kendal Cricket Club skipper Stu Parkin believes a new-look Englans could emerge from Ashes wreckage Kendal Cricket Club skipper Stu Parkin believes a new-look Englans could emerge from Ashes wreckage

WITH the Ashes back in Australia’s grasp and the prospect of a whitewash looming, Kendal Cricket Club captain Stu Parkin believes change is in the air for England – both on and off the pitch.

Mitchell Johnson’s wicket of James Anderson signalled a 150-run defeat in Perth, with England tasting defeat in an Ashes series for the first time since 2006/07.

This crushing loss at the WACA was the latest blow for a side which has already suffered heavy defeats in Brisbane and Adelaide.

Looking beyond the remaining Test matches in Melbourne and Sydney, Parkin believes there is scope for a new-look England to emerge from the wreckage of this tour.

“I’m not sure Andy Flower is going to carry on with the team for much longer so it’s probably a good time for a wake-up call – out with the old and in with the new,” he said.

“The same applies to Graham Gooch as batting coach and I think it’s important to get the management settled.

“Ashley Giles is being touted as a possible replacement for Flower which wouldn’t be a bad thing and when the correct management is in place, one or two changes might be introduced.

“I think the team definitely needs breaking up to a point although there is no need for a massive overhaul.

“It’s just a case of getting a settled side which includes some young, emerging talent and integrating that into a team dynamic.

“Jonny Bairstow falls into that category and plenty of people are screaming for him to be given a chance, possibly in place of Kevin Pietersen.

“But we’re quite lucky on the whole as the average age of the squad is quite low and the likes of Alastair Cook, Ian Bell and Stuart Broad have plenty of time left.”

In losing their grip on the famous urn, England have been outplayed in every department with Australia having the best five batsmen by average and the top four bowlers.

Nevertheless, Parkin believes there are still positives to take, no more so than the emergence of all-rounder Ben Stokes.

New Zealand-born Stokes – who attended Cockermouth School and represented Cumbria at under-13 level – scored a second-innings 120 in only his second Ashes appearance.

And Kendal’s skipper believes the 22-year-old showed the level of fight and maturity required for England to avoid a 5-0 series reverse in the coming weeks.

“It’s a case of playing for pride now and it’s important we come away with at least one win from the last couple of Tests for team morale,” he added.

“That will give the side the chance to re-group and look forward to Sri Lanka and India touring England in the summer.

“But I still maintain our bowling make-up doesn’t suit Australian pitches at all – it seems very ordinary when the ball doesn’t swing as we have no out and out pace.

“But there are positives to take. Ben Stokes showed massive character and that’s what all England cricket fans want to see.

“It’s his first Ashes series and I don’t necessarily think he has bowled badly either, he could be a star in the making over the coming years.

“It’s been a difficult tour and a tough experience but it will only make guys like Ben stronger for the future. It’s a good learning curve.”
 

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