Ashes 2017: ECB looks back on Ashes demolition

England is looking down to another Ashes whitewash.

Stokes's absence has hurt England badly in the Ashes series. (AFP)

Whitewashed the last time when Australia hosted England for an Ashes series and 3-0 this year and gunning down the barrel for another whitewash England and Wales Cricket Board is clueless about the team’s sudden and drastic fall in form.

Plagued by repeated controversies leading to players being banned to the support staff being questioned on the morals of the players England team management has some stern criticisms facing them amidst repeated failures.

If anyone is surprised by England's struggles in Australia, they simply haven't been paying attention. This was England's eighth successive Test loss in a row in Australia, after all. And the seventh in a row away from home following four in succession at the end of the India tour. All of which have been characterized by England's bowlers struggling for inroads in conditions offering them nothing and their batsmen struggling for survival in conditions offering the home side bowlers plenty.

In such moments, the job of English cricket coach is as much tough as is throw-downs and catching practice. And Trevor Bayliss, the coach, probably didn't do himself many favours in the post-match press conference. He admitted - far too honestly - that he "didn't have the answers" and then appeared not to recall that he started as England coach ahead of the 2015 Ashes ("I didn't know them in 2015," he replied when asked if the team had deteriorated since then). Yes, he has a narrow skill set. And yes, he is neither a technical coach nor a genuine selector.

The board and the selectors want to win tours overseas. However, it is the lack of form in the current experienced players and the inexperience of the younger lost that is culminating into repeated series defeats regularly. For the younger players, perhaps a stage as big as the Ashes is harming their performance while for the board it is the lack availability of players which is acting as a hindrance to their game.  

The last two Test matches gives England a chance of a comeback and avoid an ugly whitewash which seems to be the outcome if this is the England pattern of play. That the senior players need to step up is an understatement now. The only way the England team can turn around is a win and that is what they will want to get in Melbourne and Sydney.


By Anshuman Roy - 20 Dec, 2017

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