Where has it all gone wrong? Why has it all gone so wrong?
These are questions that must be giving England and its under-fire management cold sweats at night. The tour lurches from one hideous defeat to the next; we all know it’s going to be a 5-0 defeat – well, only a miracle can stop this now.
Lets have a look at some of the reasons why this has been quite possibly the worst England tour of all time …
1) Fifth test v Australia at the Oval.
England were 3-0 up going for a record 4-0 win against the old enemy, so what did they do to keep the pressure ramped up and our foot on the throat of the embattled tourists? They selected Chris Woakes and Simon Kerrigan, two players who had little chance of making the winter touring party. Why? Only the selectors will or can answer this question, but talk about handing back the initiative.
2) Not picking players the correct players to tour.
Can anyone out there tell me why Graham Onions wasn’t selected? It would have to be a very good argument to convince me.
Apart from Anderson and Broad, who were obviously a shoe-in, Onions was the one England seam bowler in form: 70 wickets at just over 18, spearheading an unfancied Durham side to the County Championship. He should at least have been on the plane, surely.
This costly error was borne out when Tremlett bowled in Brisbane – at least five to eight mph slower than three years ago. Those on the county circuit knew he wasn’t the same bowler, but our selectors chose him anyway. Enough said
3) Picking three tall fast bowlers and playing none of them on the quickest wicket in world cricket – Perth.
Only one of them has played a single test! Cant add anything to this. Speaks for itself. Mind boggling
4) Mitchell Johnson.
Arguably the single biggest reason why England are in the position they are. 31 wickets at 14 after four tests says it all.
Recalled early from the Indian ODI tour by the Aussie selectors to prepare for this series, he has been fast – seriously fast at times – and has bowled with menacing aggression to a pre-determined plan.
England’s batsman have been reeled in, mesmerised and are now under his spell. Sure, the rest of the Australian attack are decent, but they’ve benefited from the fact that England’s batsman have relaxed when Johnson is taking a rest. Brilliant performance.
There are surely many more that I haven’t mentioned but we are all sitting, shaking our heads, asking the same questions.
What happens next? Does Cook retain the captaincy? Does Flower go? Whats the long term future of some England players? Will the selectors have the bottle to change?
In my view change is inevitable, and is always hastened by crushing defeats like this one.
This England side simply hasn’t been good enough. New blood is probably needed if we’re going to rebuild and grow again.
Good young players add verve, confidence and energy to a side – and boy do England need that at the moment.
A change of captaincy and management is also a possibility, but with Flower determined to carry on in his role, who exactly is going to sack him? It would take outrageous courage if Paul Dowton’s first decision as Hugh Morris’ replacement is to sack one of England’s most successful coaches.
With both Flower and Cook determined to stay on – with Flower backing Cook as captain, and Cook backing Flower as coach – it’s hard to see where change is going to come from in the long term.
In the short term, wholesale changes are unlikely for Sydney. However, I’d like to see young Scott Borthwick given a chance.
My team would be:
What do you think?