Russell baffled by England's treatment of Foakes

Jack Russell thinks Ben Foakes has been harshly treated by England and urged the selectors to stop "chopping and changing" the Test side with the Ashes on the horizon.

Foakes was named player of the series in Sri Lanka, averaging 69.25 after scoring a century on debut in Galle and impressing with the gloves.

The wicketkeeper-batsman was dropped for the third and final Test in the series defeat to West Indies as Keaton Jennings was surprisingly recalled and Jonny Bairstow went back behind the stumps.

Former England wicketkeeper Russell believes Foakes was hard done by but says Bairstow can go from strength to strength if he retains the role.

Russell told Omnisport: "I wish we'd stop chopping and changing because it's doing my head in and that's no good. I don't think it's good for anyone.

"I think Foakes is the most natural keeper and was unlucky to get dropped, that surprised me. He came in and did really well. I don't know if they are trying to cut corners, but I thought he was going to be there for a while because he looks a good all-round cricketer.

"I don't understand why that had to happen. I don't know the real ins and outs but there were some interesting selections [in the Caribbean], let's put it that way.

"Having said that, Jonny does a good job. He is getting better and better all the time. Jos [Buttler] will obviously not do the job in the longer format.

"The more Jonny keeps the better he will get and he has improved a lot since South Africa, where he had one or two issues. He's come on a lot and he's the real thing now."

Russell expects England to beat Australia in the Ashes, but stressed the importance of resolving their top-order woes 

"We'll be fine as long as we've got a settled team. The only thing that worries me is the top of the order is a bit fragile - we can't keep being like 20-2. We need to sort that out and that will have a big influence on the Ashes." he added.

"We need to try and protect Joe [Root] and the rest of the middle order from the being in early on against the new ball."

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