Former England skipper Michael Vaughan has urged selectors to axe out-of-form batsman Gary Ballance and replace him with uncapped Kent rookie Sam Billings for their daunting five-Test showdown with India.
Ballance scored a paltry 24 runs in four innings as England slumped to a 1-1 draw during last month’s series with Bangladesh, while he averages just 18 from his last eight Test innings.
Spin is likely to prove a major hurdle for England to overcome in India and Vaughan believes the ability of Billings to deal with the turning ball makes him a prime, if unlikely, candidate to prove the tourists’s salvation.
“Ballance looks shot for game-plan” said Vaughan. “He’s had his technique questioned. As soon as the ball swings or spins his technique doesn’t look like it’s going to give him any whereabouts of how to survive long enough.
“If I was England, I’d be getting another right-hander sent out to India as soon as possible. I’d go for Sam Billings. If you speak to former England batsman Graham Thorpe, he says Sam Billings is the best player of spin.”
England’s first clash with India, who are currently the No1-ranked Test side in the world, gets underway in Rajkot on Wednesday, 9 November.