England openers vs India: Take guard, get out, walk back
Apart from the 1st innings of the 1st test in which the England openers added 63 runs in 23.5 overs, they had abysmal returns in the remaining matches.
On an absolutely flat surface in the first innings of the first test match in Chennai, the England openers added 63 runs between them for the opening partnership.
Rory Burns was dismissed for 33 while attempting a reverse sweep against Ravichandran Ashwin and was caught by Rishabh Pant. Dom Sibley went on to bat till the last ball of the first day and was trapped in front of the sticks by Jasprit Bumrah for 87
Post that, England tried different combinations at the top of the order none of which bore fruit. In the second innings of the first test match, Burns was dismissed for a golden duck against Ashwin while Dom Sibley could manage just 16 off 37 deliveries.
In the second test match, Burns was dismissed for another duck while Dom Sibley made 16 off 25 deliveries. In the second innings of the match, Rory Burns made 25 off 42 deliveries while Dominic Sibley was trapped in front of the wickets by Axar Patel on 43 off 25 balls.
England decided to drop Rory Burns in the third test match and replace them with Zak Crawley, who was ruled out of the first two test matches due to a wrist injury. Crawley was brilliant for his 53 off 84 balls and looked a class apart against the pace bowlers.
His opening partner Dom Sibley was dismissed on the third ball of the third over for nought, caught by Rohit Sharma at second slip off the bowling of Ishant Sharma.
In the second innings, Zak Crawley was dismissed for a golden duck, castled by Axar Patel while Dom Sibley was caught by Rishabh Pant of Axar Patel.
In the last test match, Zak Crawley and Dominic Sibley made 9 and 2 respectively in the first innings. In the second dig as well, they recorded single digits scores. While Crawley made 5 off 16 deliveries, Sibley made 3 off 21 balls.
In all, after a partnership of 63 in the first innings of the first test match, the England openers could aggregate only 39 runs in 21.4 overs from the other seven innings combined.
England have other opening options like Keaton Jennings and Haseeb Hameed who have done well in the past. They do need some reliable openers so that the next time the number four walks out to bat, the score is not something like 10 for 2.