England batsmen told to show "desperation" to stay in the team amid axe threat

England's misfiring young batsmen will need to show their ‘desperation’ to stay in the Test team with big scores or face the axe later this summer.

Of the top seven, only Rory Burns enhanced his reputation during the 1-0 series defeat to New Zealand by grabbing the solitary hundred scored by England.

And the quartet of Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope and Dan Lawrence have all been put on notice that their current output will not be tolerated for much longer without showing improvement during the India series.

Batting coach Graham Thorpe would like nothing more than to see them succeed, but as someone who saw team-mates come and go through the 1990s, he knows there is only one thing that keeps you in the side.

“It was a bit like that in years gone by, but these players have to show a desperation to stay in the side as well,” said Thorpe. “They’ve got to earn the right to stay in the side.

“They will be fully aware of that, because we’ve got some players who will come back into that team and there are others on the outside putting pressure on.

“That goes with the territory of playing at the highest level. You do have to keep producing. Your right hand column is very important, it is what keeps you in the team.

“It is for us to keep observing the players to see whether they have the temperament to apply their techniques to score runs.

“We are hugely disappointed as a group but we have to keep working with the players and we have to keep looking at players who actually can do that for us going forward.”

Thorpe has seen it all before as both a player who was a part of the England side in 1999 and now as a coach trying to help the batsmen produce their best.

He has plenty of understanding for young players finding their feet who are bound to be inconsistent in the early part of their careers.

But he also knows there is no getting away from just how tough Test cricket is, as James Bracey has found out over the past two weeks.

“Test cricket can be a brutal place sometimes,” added the 51-year-old. “I expect the players to be fired up from this.

“We are trying to find the characters who can show those things we have talked about. The temperament and desire to score big runs.

“Technique is hugely important and that is what keeps you scoring runs, but it is your decision-making that keeps you out in the middle whatever technique you have.”

England’s players will now have a diet almost exclusively of white-ball cricket with two four day championship matches between now and the first Test against India.

The new tournament ‘The Hundred’ will be their main preparation for a five Test series, which Thorpe hopes will free the players up before they adapt again to long form cricket.

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