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Bairstow & Ballance to play for England Performance Programme

— 9 December 2013

Yorkshire pair Jonny Bairstow and Gary Ballance have travelled to Perth a day earlier than the rest of the England squad and will play in a three-day match for the Performance Programme against Western Australia second XI starting on Tuesday. They are set to play alongside county colleague Alex Lees, who is touring Australia with the EPP squad.

"They are not poor players. They have scrambled minds and are getting themselves out." - Geoffrey Boycott

Meanwhile, England lost the second Test in Adelaide on Monday to Australia by 218 runs. The home side have won back-to-back Test and increase their series lead to two-nil, with three to play. Michael Clarke’s side wrapped up the match within the first hour of the final day. England’s lost their last four wickets for 65 runs. Wicketkeeper Matt prior was the only player to show any resistance to the Australian attack scoring 69, his first half-century for almost nine months.

  • The series now heads to Perth with the third Test starting on Friday at the WACA. England will no doubt look to make changes and it is almost certain that the three Yorkshire players – who missed out this time – Ballance, Bairstow and Tim Bresnan could join fellow Yorkshireman Joe Root in the side once it is announced later in the week.

    “There has been no difference in this Test Match to the way we played in the first Test in Brisbane, which has to be the biggest worry for us (England),” said former England great and current Yorkshire President Geoffrey Boycott (pictured right), who is in Australia working in the media.

    “We have seven batsmen and in 28 innings we have given 50 percent of our wickets away. A lot of them are pulling and hooking and getting out at fine leg and square leg. That doesn’t make sense and if you keep playing like that you are not going to win Test Matches.

    “They are putting themselves under unnecessary pressure and they need to learn quickly. They need to make some decent scores to at least give the bowlers a chance. We have to apply ourselves, bat for long periods and play the full five days.

    “The mind-set is wrong and if we don’t change the way we are playing we will get annihilating in this series. They are not poor players. They have scrambled minds and are getting themselves out. It is a short turnaround between this match and Perth starting on Friday. We will have to wait and see if, at all, England will make changes. One thing is for sure it will be a big ask for them to come back and match Australia.”

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