England’s tour of Australia has been a disaster

Ian Bell is one of a number of England players to have struggled on the current tour

Ian Bell is one of a number of England players to have struggled on the current tour

In every way imaginable, England’s Ashes Tour of Australia has been a complete disaster. They have shown an inability to bat, bowl or field with any sort of competence. The bowling has been insipid, too dependant on tall fast bowlers who have been ineffective and had runs plundered off them by Australia’s increasingly eager batsmen. The fielding has been poor with England’s old bête noire, the dropped catch, becoming a part of their play again for the first time in many years. The batting though has been the worst of the bunch, with the England batsman simply unable to cope with the Aussie bowlers’ unflinching pace and hostility.

Australia admittedly have been better than expected, with Mitchell Johnson’s resurrection from the cricketing dead the highlight. In the same way Pulp Fiction turned John Travolta from a figure of mockery to one of the hippest, coolest, most popular actors of the time, this Ashes series has turned Mitch from a laughing stock into one of the best fast bowlers in the world, if not the best. He has received excellent backup too from the always nagging Peter Siddle, the canny spin from one of the world’s oldest looking twenty six year olds and the bustling accuracy of Ryan Harris, at last injury free and having the best spell of his career aged thirty four.

That said, Australia’s marked improvement from the luckless, error prone side that lost to England last summer is no excuse for England losing the recent series 5-0 in the limp, pathetic, disgraceful fashion that they did. The consistency with which they got out due to poor shots and woeful decision making was staggering. To see the way England went from being pretty good to so utterly abject almost defied belief. The scoreline of 3-0 in the summer may have flattered them, but they still won convincingly. They were not a bad team, merely an underperforming one.

The speed of their decline has stunned everybody. While there were signs in the summer they were on the wane, they were still regarded as one of the best team teams in the world and by most pundits as favourites to retain The Ashes this winter.

Wrong! The spine of England’s team for the last few years has just disappeared. Alastair Cook has made few runs and the runs he has made have been made in such slow, soporific fashion that they’ve inspired no confidence in his teammates. Jonathan Trott had to leave the tour early, and we can only wish him the very best of luck in his recovery from a stress related illness. Joe Root struggled and showed his inexperience, Ian Bell struggled, the normally oh-so-reliable Matt Prior barely made a run while Graeme Swann was so ineffectual he retired halfway through the series saying he no longer deserved a place in the team.

After such a bad test series, a miracle was needed for England for bounce back in the subsequent one day series. The first one-dayer last weekend saw no miracle forthcoming, as despite finally making a decent total (270 in 50 overs) it was another Aussie romp as they coasted past the total with twenty six balls to spare.

Under coach Darren Lehmann and captain Michael Clarke, these Australians are just ruthless and are revelling in the now weekly trashing of the Poms. England will do well to win a game in the rest of the one-day series – never mind the series itself. Accrington Stanley winning the FA Cup in my lifetime is more likely than that.

Betting Instinct Tip – Australia to win the second one-day international against England is 1.33 with GR88.com

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avatar-jackhowes-50JACK HOWES (debaser92) is an avid sports fan who writes about football and Asperger’s Syndrome. The only things he loves more than Mars Bars are his family and Tottenham Hotspur FC.

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