Embarrassing England must Recover

Posted: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 by Laura in Labels: , , , , , , , ,

England are in real danger of suffering an embarrassing whitewash in the Ashes series in Australia after a thoroughly dismal three matches so far for Alastair Cook's side.

The 3-0 scoreline, which means the Baggy Greens reclaimed the urn for the first time since 2007, is no more than the home side deserved after totally dominating in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. England, who came into the series as slight favourites in the Ashes betting remember, have failed in pretty much every aspect of the game down under and there are now many questions to answer.

The recriminations - which are totally justified - have well and truly started with plenty of pundits suggesting changes are needed now to try and shake up a team that has underperformed so badly it is barely believable.

The fact newcomer Ben Stokes is the only man to hit a century in three Tests shows you just how poor England's supposed leading batsmen have been. Time and again, skipper Cook, Kevin Pietersen and Matt Prior have given their wickets away too easily and only Ian Bell can truly say he has played anywhere near his best level on a consistent basis.

The tail have, sadly, been unable to offer much support either with Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson and Graeme Swann struggling to make much impact when it mattered most.

Equally, the bowling and fielding has not been up to the required standard with Anderson and co being nowhere near as dangerours as in the previous three Ashes series' - admittedly on three good batting pitches so far.

So what now? There are two important Tests to come in which England must approach with the positive mindset of at least recovering some pride. Plenty will say, 'what's the point in coming to the party now when the damage has been done and the Ashes lost' but some of the squad could well be playing for their futures.

No matter how the remaining Melbourne and Sydney Tests go, England have been so far behind that serious questions need to be asked and senior players - with the finger being pointed firmly at Cook, Pietersen, Prior and even Broad here - now need to stand up and be counted, if only to save some face.