Home > Features >

England’s dismal show in Australia cannot be comprehended

England © Getty Images
England lost 12 of their 13 games in Australia © Getty Images

England lost the third T20I against Australia by 84 runs on Sunday. This was England’s 12th international loss out of 13 matches in their 2013-14 tour Down Under. Lesser England teams have shown more fight and won many hearts against far greater Australian sides in the past, despite losing. Shrikant Shankar writes that it just does not compute how this England side could lose so many matches on tour.

Everyone had clearly stated that England were the better team prior to their first Test against Australia in their 2013-14 tour Down Under. England were supposed to win the Ashes 2-1 or 3-1 and then carry that momentum forward. The one match they were certain to lose was the third Test in Perth. That match turned out to be England’s best performance of the Test series as they managed to drag it out till after lunch on Day Five. Poor shows after poor shows followed each other. The Ashes was lost 0-5.

Then came a chance to redeem themselves in the One-Day Internationals (ODIs). But that series was lost 1-4. Then Australia won the three-match Twnety20 International (T20I) series 3-0. If not for Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler, England would have lost that sole ODI win in Perth. Somehow their bogey ground — the WACA — in previous tours, turned out to be their most cherished venues, relatively. A total of 10 international matches were played throughout the tour, but England only managed one victory.

It is quite incomprehensible that this England setup failed so miserably throughout the tour. Lesser England teams have done better in their previous tours of Australia. That too when Australia were in the midst of one of the greatest dominant eras as a team in any sport. When England entered the 2006-07 Ashes without the inspirational Michael Vaughan, one could imagine Australia winning the series 5-0, at least in the back of their head. That score line was not expected this time around. Australia captain Michael Clarke and many current players said so themselves.

One actually felt pity for that England team. This England team have been ridiculed over the last few months. After the 2006-07 Ashes series loss, England went onto win the ODI tri-series against Australia and New Zealand. They showed some fight and steel in the 2002-03 Ashes series Down Under. This series will be nothing short of a high level of abjection for them. All predictions and performances were put aside as Australia wrote their own script.

The T20I series may not have had that much importance, but the Ashes surely were. Losing that in the manner they did would hurt for a long time to come. No amount of near future success would help mend the scars. And one should not make any mistake — there will be scars, physical and mental, as the series has come to a close. The physical side of it was largely done by Mitchell Johnson.

How can one man change the course of an entire series and create a template against England for the entire tour? Whatever the answers, Johnson did it and rightly won the Man of the Series award. Man for man, England had the better batting and bowling attacks. But in the end it was Australia who performed. This Australian side is still nowhere near the class of their legendary predecessors and that is why England’s overall 12-1 loss is so hard to comprehend.

Team director Andy Flower was sacked/resigned and a new chapter will begin in English cricket. The road to glory this time will take a while, but a new way of playing the game must be made as the template. Uncertain times lay ahead, but if the right decisions are taken, the rewards will arrive.

(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 14, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

India tour of England 2014

Aug 15, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at London

More

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014  at Southampton

England won by 266 runs

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Colombo

Match drawn

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Photos

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test

Videos

Highlights of Phil Hughes' double ton

5 things you need to know about Graham Thorpe

India vs England 2014, 4th Test at Old Trafford: Ajinkya Rahane needs to play decisive role

10 little-known facts about Sir Frank Worrell

Statistical analysis of Jacques Kallis’s ODI career

England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Jacques Kallis James Anderson Moeen Ali South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka

Nasser Hussain praises Alastair Cook after victory in 3rd Test against India at Southampton

Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s swollen ankle worries MS Dhoni ahead of 4th Test at Old Trafford

Sachin Tendulkar inaugurates shopping mall in Vijayawada

Ian Botham praises England’s performance in third Test against India

Michael Clarke keen for Australia to reclaim No 1 ranking in Tests

India vs England 2014, 4th Test at Old Trafford: Should Umesh Yadav be sent as cover for Ishant Sharma?

5 things you need to know about Graham Thorpe

India vs England 2014, 4th Test at Old Trafford: Ajinkya Rahane needs to play decisive role

Faisal Iqbal: Political interference has caused harm to my international career

Ray Markham — The Press Box Scorer who made it from the Loft to Lord’s

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

658 Posts | 6 Fans

Sachin Tendulkar's nine dismissals against James Anderson

Rafael to miss rest of Man Utd’s tour of the USA with groin injury

Arjun Kapoor and Deepika Padukone to surprise fans!

Aamir Khan’s PK poster subjected to more ridicule than praise!

Prevent Diabetes Tip – get regular health check-ups

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here