As such, Crawley’s position was secure, sparking a wave of angst on social media criticizing the decision to retain him, ultimately at Foakes’ expense. Speaking Tuesday, Crawley, who is not on social media, dismissed the talk around him and believes some of the criticism has been unfair.
“I never see any of that [online criticism]Crawley told BBC Sport.
“I talk to guys who have social networks and they see that. They see Joe Bloggs trying them.
“[Being off] Social media helps me get away from the average punter and what they have to say, which of course I don’t care about anyway.
“At times last year, I certainly felt like I was getting a lot of scrutiny, kind of unwarranted. I was playing well and getting decent scores and I was still getting scrutinized, but it’s easy to comment.”
“Obviously, I definitely still watch the pundits and people higher up in cricket and of course I didn’t have to read the papers to know my place was under scrutiny.
“I haven’t been getting the runs that I should have, but I’ve had some good shots.”
The 25-year-old is averaging just 27.60 in 33 matches, and just 25.86 in 12 matches since Stokes took over as Test captain early last summer. In that time, he has just one hundred and two half-centuries in 23 innings, along with 11 single-digit scores.
Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum have repeatedly defended Crawley’s poor performances, stating that he is a batsman whose skills “are not up to being a consistent cricketer”, as McCullum put it late last summer.
That has played out in the County Championship so far. Crawley has played all five of Kent’s Division One games this season, scoring 350 runs at an average of 38.88. An excellent 170 against Essex and two half centuries have come amid numerous false starts, including two ducks.
Crawley admits that he has not performed as he would have liked for England. After some introspection, he believes that he is better equipped to deal with mental rigors, particularly when it comes to evaluating his own performance. Part of that, he says, is coming to the belief that judging the production of him in centuries is “nonsense.” Crawley has three at Test level, the latest of which came against Pakistan in December.
“My failures in international cricket have been putting too much pressure on myself. That’s the only reason. Every time I’ve come out with the right attitude, I’ve done well.”
“I’ve thought a lot about my game, especially in the last few months. I look back on times when I’ve played well and take the expectation off and just try to play.”
“A lot of people talk about scoring hundreds all the time in cricket. I’m starting to think that’s nonsense.
“I just want to go out and play well and the score will come after that.
“I could play brilliantly for 20 and get a good ball. You could play terribly for 100 and everyone says ‘well hit,’ when I actually played better for 20. You have to judge it on your terms.”