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ENGLAND V PAKISTAN TESTS

Boycott hits out at England batsmen

14 August 2016

Geoffrey Boycott didn't hold back when giving his opinion on two of England's batsmen

Former England captain Geoffrey Boycott has fired a shot at misfiring batsmen Alex Hales and James Vince after Pakistan grabbed the upper hand on the third day of the fourth Test at The Oval.

Boycott is no stranger to slamming the current group of players in his role as a pundit for BBC Radio, but even by his standards, he didn't mince words in his criticism of Hales and Vince on Saturday. 

The two right-handers were among the four wickets England lost late on day three in London, helping to put the tourists in a strong position of securing a series-levelling victory.

Boycott was particularly harsh on Vince, who is yet to post a half-century from 11 Test innings since he made his debut at Headingley in May.

The right-hander's dismissal on Sunday – he was caught at cover from the third ball he faced – earned him special attention from the 75-year-old.

"Vince's shot was unbelievable," Boycott, who played 108 Tests for his country, told BBC.

Quick Single: England capitulate against Pakistan

"He's playing for his career because he's had these tiny cameos of 20 and 30 (and) we're all saying 'can't you bat any longer?'. And what does he do?

" ... It was the most stupidest shot you could imagine.

"For me, that's the end of his Test match career. You can't carry on like that.

"The length wasn't right, the shot wasn't right, the situation demanded that he play differently and carefully.

"That wasn't good enough."

Hales has enjoyed some success as Alastair Cook's opening partner in 11 Tests since his debut late last year, posting five half-centuries including 54 at Edgbaston last week and 94 against Sri Lanka at Lord's in June.

But with an average of less than 30 from 21 innings, Boycott says it's clear the Nottinghamshire batsman is not good enough to be a Test opener.

"I've always said he's not going to be a great opening bat, he's not even going to be a good one," Boycott said.

WATCH: Hales fumes after Yasir catch

"He's going to have some scores and bad scores. It's always going to be up and down.

"For me, he's not an opener. I don't care what his mates say, what his friends say, if he's family's listening, I know he can play because I've seen him in one-day (cricket).

"(But) he is not a quality opening batsmen."   

Boycott labelled the collective of Hales, Vince and No.5 Gary Ballance as "wobbly" and he also criticised captain Cook for not bowling pace spearhead James Anderson as Pakistan built a commanding 214-run first-innings lead on Saturday.

England will take on Pakistan in a series of limited-overs matches in the coming weeks before their crucial Test tours of Bangladesh and India later this year.

Meg Lanning Steve Smith

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