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England top order has 'worst ever' batsmen to play Test cricket - Damien Fleming

Keaton Jennings had a tough series with the bat
Keaton Jennings had a tough series with the bat

Former Australia pace bowler Damien Fleming has slammed the England top-order and believes they will have a tough time in Australia in the Ashes series scheduled later this year.

In the recently concluded Test series against South Africa, opener Keaton Jennings managed just 127 runs from four games with head coach Trevor Bayliss insisting that his place is in doubt for the series against West Indies.

Tom Westley did manage a fifty on his debut but failed to make count of his opportunity while the likes of Dawid Malan and Gary Ballance were ordinary with averages of 8.75 and 21.25 respectively.

However, England did manage to overcome the struggle with the bat, courtesy the likes of Joe Root (461 runs) and Jonny Bairstow (330), who ended as the top two run-getters in the series along with support from Alastair Cook, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali.

"England needs three decent batsman in their top six," Fleming told Melbourne's RSN radio.

"Watching the South African series, they're some of the worst batsmen I've ever seen play test cricket."

The 47-year-old further added that Australian bowlers will be pleased if they find the likes of Jennings and Westley in the England line-up during the Ashes series.

"(Jennings) scored 127 runs at an average of 15. I used to bat nine in test matches and I would just be happy with that, averaging 15. Just be happy. He's opening the batting," Fleming added.

"I don't like his technique, closed grip, he's going to nick people that can angle the ball across him and bowlers that can actually get the ball to shape back in, that gap between bat and front pad. This is an opening batsman.

"Westley has a similar technique. He is squared up, he has hands that are a long way in front of his body with a closed grip. How does he hit the ball through the off side? He's going to nick off or get in trouble with the ball that comes in.

"Where are 80 percent of the deliveries going to be to Jennings and Westley? Outside off stump, maybe shaping away. They don't have a technique to cope with that."

England will tour Australia for a five-match Test series between 23rd November and 8th January 2018 to be played in Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.

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