Crawley backs ‘no fear’ approach in fourth Test as England opener eyes hundred

England 's misfiring batters must stop fearing the Aussie bowlers and take the attack to them with more confidence in Sydney.

That is the verdict of one of their promising young thrusters, Zak Crawley, who is determined to puff out his chest and show that the likes of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins are no different to any other bowlers they might face.

It is a bold call from Crawley who faced up to one of the great opening spells in the history of the game from the pace duo at the end of day two in Melbourne.

Needless to say he didn’t survive, but then again it was more by luck than judgement that Joe Root and Ben Stokes did.

If he and Haseeb Hameed are trusted with the opening job once more in the fourth Test as expected, then their approach might just be a little different.

“That was the toughest I’ve had for sure,” said Crawley. “I loved the challenge.

“That evening with the crowd, it didn’t go my way, but I look back on it with fond memories and think it was special.

“It hasn’t gone our way so far, but we’ve all got talent to score big runs in Tests, and we’ve got to get in the right headspace to perform. I think that’s where we’ve gone slightly wrong.

“We need to just not fear them. I feel a few of us on our first Ashes tour we're a bit wary of them but there's no need to be.

“They're great bowlers and some of the best in the world but when you get in as Rooty and Malan have shown, they've looked very comfortable at times.

“So I will certainly look to be a bit more confident and back myself because I know full well I can score a hundred here this week and that's what I'm looking to do.”

It would be a terrific start to 2022 for Crawley after a miserable 2021 in which he averaged just 10.81 from eight matches, although he says those numbers don’t quite tell the full story.

“Obviously I haven't played my best cricket last year but I feel in a good place,” he said. “And those stats are misleading sometimes.

“I have never experienced anything like playing in India, 10 over there felt like a good score at the time.

“I didn't feel in great touch in the summer so all of a sudden you're averaging 10. I feel as good as I ever have though and it is a great chance to start again.”

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