India in England 2014 August 1, 2014

England get their mind right

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There was no ticket-tape parade, no open-air bus ride, no ICC mace or MBEs for the victory at the Ageas Bowl but, in years to come, we may just look back on it as the first step in a journey that led to a resurgence in England cricket.

There is, no doubt, a great deal of room for improvement in the England team. They need to find greater consistency, they need greater contributions from all areas of the side and they will know that, at the Ageas Bowl, had Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, Gary Ballance and Jos Buttler all been dismissed early in their innings - as they so nearly were - the result might well have been different. One good game does not end the legitimate concerns about Cook's - or Bell's - form and there will be times, as the likes of Buttler, Moeen Ali and Sam Robson learn their trade at the highest level, when patience is required.

But it would be wrong to dismiss England's success as simply a change of fortune. From the moment Cook won the toss and elected to bat - a weaker captain would have put off his moment of truth and chosen to bowl first - England played positive cricket, with Ballance, Bell and Buttler providing acceleration with the bat; James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes providing probing seam bowling and Moeen effective spin. They deserved their win.

It was a change of mindset rather than a change of tactics that was behind this performance. There was a little more belief, a little more intent, a little more enjoyment apparent in this side. While the impact of an energetic new keeper should not be underestimated - however raw Buttler's keeping, there is nothing more dispiriting for a side than seeing edges dropped and Buttler held on to those offered to him - the key change was instigated by the coach, Peter Moores.

Moores is still getting his feet under the desk in his second term as coach. Taking charge of this England team was akin to trying to turn an oil tanker. Defeat and disappointment was becoming so ingrained, that it was always likely to take a while to rediscover the energy and optimism that are the characteristics of the better sides.

Moores, recognising this in the run-up to the Test, made a point of talking to several of the senior players and encouraging them to put the pain of Australia behind them and "reconnect" with the methods that first rendered them successful international players.

"When you are with players for a certain period of time, you get to know them a bit better," Moores said. "One of the things that we were trying to move away from was a mindset that was more defensive, where you are just trying to hold on to things. When you are under pressure, there is always a danger that you are looking to be careful.

"We're trying to look to play cricket where you are on the front foot and you are trying to put people under pressure.

"I think Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad were fantastic in this Test. They have reconnected to what the game is about: it's about getting out there and playing for their country. I think that's made a big difference. It's certainly made a big difference to the whole bowling unit. On the last day, it was great to see us come out with the same level of intensity and create some theatre.

"We have to find out as a team how we can apply pressure, how we can keep each other going and what makes people tick. When somebody gets a little down, how are we going to make sure we can pick him up?

"The dressing room has never been dispirited. And I never expected it to be easy. But provided we have everybody totally committed and driving it forward, we will get to where we want to be."

Whether that last comment was a veiled reference to the decision to "move on" from Kevin Pietersen is open to debate. But Moores did reiterate that the new-look team would take time to build and asked for patience from England supporters who are understandably frustrated at the decline over recent months.

"It's a case of growing and understanding each other as a team," Moores said. "It doesn't matter what you do: if you put ten people together, they have got to get to know each other. It is the same as with a cricket team.

"We know, because of so much change and so many new players, that we have to work really hard. This series is brilliantly poised but the development of a Test team takes time.We are rebuilding, no doubt, and at times we will get things wrong.

"But I'm hoping the public are getting excited about some new faces and the development of a new team. That might mean that results are a bit up and down but, providing they see the right level of commitment and the talent that is coming to fruition, that is where we will try to get to."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on August 3, 2014, 4:20 GMT

    DRS should start ASAP.I don't understand why India is against it.

  • dunger.bob on August 3, 2014, 3:07 GMT

    @ Anyone who'll listen. Re. the 5 Test series.

    Traditionally Test cricket was as much about endurance and stamina as it was about the skills of the game. It was supposed to be a hard grind that tested everything about your game, even the strength you have on your bench. I think that aspect of the game has been been partially lost in the modern era. We see a lot of 2 or 3 Test tours and while they're better than nothing, I think they water down the endurance side of the game a lot. .. I know we have ODI's ad T20's instead but in many cases it's a different group of players for each format. There are very few players who play all 3 formats. ... Anyway, that's my little whinge. .. Bring back the grind!!

  • dunger.bob on August 3, 2014, 2:43 GMT

    @ vkias_vkumar. "@Phil Katon What are you talking? you don't understand that pain in our hearts!!! We want to be the NO 1 team in the world and with this team we are not going anywhere..."

    I wouldn't say you were going nowhere. You won your first Test o/s for three years just a couple of weeks ago. That's definitely a step in the right direction. You do have a young team with a lot to learn about winning away from home, but there's no denying there's some exciting talent in your ranks. .. It's 1/1 with 2 to go. If Arun Bose is right and momentum counts for nothing in cricket you could conceivably still win this series. That would be another giant stride in the right direction. I can't believe I'm saying this, but have some faith mate. They might surprise you.

  • sevillano on August 2, 2014, 16:11 GMT

    What an unbalanced distribution of Test Matches this summer! Surely it would have been more reasonable to have alloted Sri Lanka three matches.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on August 2, 2014, 15:28 GMT

    After a 10 test losing streak, losing is the norm. One win does not make a champion side and although these things do ebb and flow, had the umpires done their jobs well and India taken a few chances the game would have had a very different outcome. All we can judge by this result is that if all the luck goes England's way they have the potential to beat mid and lower table sides. There's not a chance in hell this team could beat Australia or SA, not a chance.

  • PeerieTrow on August 2, 2014, 13:53 GMT

    @vkias_vkumar: Historically the granting of a five test series by England to a visiting team is a sign of the respect with which that team is held internationally. Are you saying that India aren't up to supporting a five test series in England?

  • RayMcCooney on August 2, 2014, 13:26 GMT

    @vkias_vkumar. has a point @Phil Katon, "OK" doesn't win sufficient test matches to get to #1. India needs a new captain, a new coach and a clean sweep of the dead wood in the team.

  • vkias_vkumar. on August 2, 2014, 11:14 GMT

    @Phil Katon What are you talking? you don't understand that pain in our hearts!!! We want to be the NO 1 team in the world and with this team we are not going anywhere...

  • on August 2, 2014, 11:04 GMT

    Indian fans shouldn't be too hard on their team. They have already won one test with many players who find English conditions completely alien. Kohli, Rohit and Dhoni need to accept the fact that they can't feel bat on ball as much as they will in every other country. It was the same on the last tour. Every player failed except Dravid, who had the patience to leave a lot against the prodigious swing sometimes found here in England. Vijay and Rahane have played very well, and the others in the top 7 need to learn from them if possible. Accepting DRS might be a good move for India too, but so far this Indian team has done ok.

  • vkias_vkumar. on August 2, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    If we come to the real world deep inside us we know that we cannot win the next two matches. Indian team is not used to play 5 test matches. Not even 3 test matches. The injuries have started to struck us and after the test matches we need to play ODI's too.

    Our team is keep on failing and as a Die hard Indian fan I cannot bear this anymore. From Eng to Aus to SA to NZ and again in England how long can we wait to see an Indian win???- Utterly Disappointed Indian Fan

  • on August 3, 2014, 4:20 GMT

    DRS should start ASAP.I don't understand why India is against it.

  • dunger.bob on August 3, 2014, 3:07 GMT

    @ Anyone who'll listen. Re. the 5 Test series.

    Traditionally Test cricket was as much about endurance and stamina as it was about the skills of the game. It was supposed to be a hard grind that tested everything about your game, even the strength you have on your bench. I think that aspect of the game has been been partially lost in the modern era. We see a lot of 2 or 3 Test tours and while they're better than nothing, I think they water down the endurance side of the game a lot. .. I know we have ODI's ad T20's instead but in many cases it's a different group of players for each format. There are very few players who play all 3 formats. ... Anyway, that's my little whinge. .. Bring back the grind!!

  • dunger.bob on August 3, 2014, 2:43 GMT

    @ vkias_vkumar. "@Phil Katon What are you talking? you don't understand that pain in our hearts!!! We want to be the NO 1 team in the world and with this team we are not going anywhere..."

    I wouldn't say you were going nowhere. You won your first Test o/s for three years just a couple of weeks ago. That's definitely a step in the right direction. You do have a young team with a lot to learn about winning away from home, but there's no denying there's some exciting talent in your ranks. .. It's 1/1 with 2 to go. If Arun Bose is right and momentum counts for nothing in cricket you could conceivably still win this series. That would be another giant stride in the right direction. I can't believe I'm saying this, but have some faith mate. They might surprise you.

  • sevillano on August 2, 2014, 16:11 GMT

    What an unbalanced distribution of Test Matches this summer! Surely it would have been more reasonable to have alloted Sri Lanka three matches.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on August 2, 2014, 15:28 GMT

    After a 10 test losing streak, losing is the norm. One win does not make a champion side and although these things do ebb and flow, had the umpires done their jobs well and India taken a few chances the game would have had a very different outcome. All we can judge by this result is that if all the luck goes England's way they have the potential to beat mid and lower table sides. There's not a chance in hell this team could beat Australia or SA, not a chance.

  • PeerieTrow on August 2, 2014, 13:53 GMT

    @vkias_vkumar: Historically the granting of a five test series by England to a visiting team is a sign of the respect with which that team is held internationally. Are you saying that India aren't up to supporting a five test series in England?

  • RayMcCooney on August 2, 2014, 13:26 GMT

    @vkias_vkumar. has a point @Phil Katon, "OK" doesn't win sufficient test matches to get to #1. India needs a new captain, a new coach and a clean sweep of the dead wood in the team.

  • vkias_vkumar. on August 2, 2014, 11:14 GMT

    @Phil Katon What are you talking? you don't understand that pain in our hearts!!! We want to be the NO 1 team in the world and with this team we are not going anywhere...

  • on August 2, 2014, 11:04 GMT

    Indian fans shouldn't be too hard on their team. They have already won one test with many players who find English conditions completely alien. Kohli, Rohit and Dhoni need to accept the fact that they can't feel bat on ball as much as they will in every other country. It was the same on the last tour. Every player failed except Dravid, who had the patience to leave a lot against the prodigious swing sometimes found here in England. Vijay and Rahane have played very well, and the others in the top 7 need to learn from them if possible. Accepting DRS might be a good move for India too, but so far this Indian team has done ok.

  • vkias_vkumar. on August 2, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    If we come to the real world deep inside us we know that we cannot win the next two matches. Indian team is not used to play 5 test matches. Not even 3 test matches. The injuries have started to struck us and after the test matches we need to play ODI's too.

    Our team is keep on failing and as a Die hard Indian fan I cannot bear this anymore. From Eng to Aus to SA to NZ and again in England how long can we wait to see an Indian win???- Utterly Disappointed Indian Fan

  • sachin_ten_fan on August 2, 2014, 8:09 GMT

    Its not the defeat, its the manner of defeat that hurts the most. It brings back the memories of 2011 and 2012 and 4-0 defeats to England and Australia. I thought we had left that behind us. Indias were in the drivers seat after winning at Lords. The India that turned up had defeatist attitude right from day 1 which I watched from the stands at Ageas Bowl. They lacked intensity, dropped catches, missed fielding and run out chances and above all they were laughing at their mistakes. They thought they would steamroll England once again. With that sort of attitude, it meant that India did not win even a single session in that test match. Ironically, in so called English conditions its the spinner who had India in trouble. I don't think Indians take spin seriously in overseas conditions. Unless they change their attitude, I can't see India coming back from here. There was a banner at the Ageas Bowl which read that India now have 10 Dravids. They like me were optimistic but not realistic.

  • dunger.bob on August 2, 2014, 7:30 GMT

    I agree with George that England had a much better mind set in this game but I also think that a good attitude comes from scoring runs at a good rate and taking wickets at regular intervals. Which is exactly what England did. So good on them.

    Lots of positives for the English in this game. Most notably the continued contributions from the new guys (Ballance, Ali and Buttler) but also the overdue input from the established ones such as Cook and Bell. Joe Root has been steady and quite reliable throughout which is also good news for them. Is it a turning of the corner? Maybe. Maybe not. Too early to call. .. Will they beat us next Ashes? - too far away to worry about now. .. There is much work for both sides to do before we should be thinking about that. .. England needs to learn from this and so do we.

  • cloudmess on August 2, 2014, 0:58 GMT

    Jeez, we've won one game in 5 at home against weak-ish SL and Indian teams (while losing 2) and everyone's completely overreacting - that we've DEFINITELY turned a corner and will almost certainly win back the Ashes now. A little reality check: India were without their 2 best bowlers, Cook won an important toss and was then crucially dropped on 15. This Indian side is probably weaker on paper than even the one England hammered in 2011. Then I read through Moores, and it's just one cliché after another. It's like listening to a junior pundit on Match of the Day. I never get the impression Moores really thinks outside the box (pardon another cliché) or thinks for himself. If it takes him 5 test matches to figure out such hackneyed advice that his senior players have to "reconnect" with their previous successful methods etc etc, then please appoint me England coach, because quite frankly I could do a better job.

  • on August 2, 2014, 0:01 GMT

    Surprised that India could not field a comparable bowler to Moeen nor the batsman to tackle spin of Moeen's caliber. India does not have the bowling power to get 20 wickets. Lord's match is just an aberration. Well, both Ojha and Mishra are still available and could make an impact. Both Shami and Umesh struggle to get wicket anyway this leaves the experiment to try bowlers like MM Sharma, Varun, Rishi and off course Ashwin. Truly, if spin did play such a big role in the this test, why was Ashwin on the bench?

    Dhoni, has become less flexible and in maybe a lack in confidence? Not sure if Kholi will recover form in time. Well, if Bhuvi can score 2 half centuries playing in the "V", why are the seniors less patient and not playing in the "V"? I think the Coaching team needs to address this? Three tests and the batsman are not making runs has to be addressed.

  • Sexysteven on August 1, 2014, 22:43 GMT

    It's just one win England they should win the series from here but I get the feeling if that happens there are some cracks still being covered up like cooks captaincy let's face it that will never improve weather you win or lose the other opener they haven't sorted that and the backup bowlers to Anderson and broad Jordan /woakes/stokes/plunkett at there are options there I would go with plunkett and prob give woakes another chance to see what he can do

  • Puffin on August 1, 2014, 22:29 GMT

    I wonder how much of this was playing back-to-back Ashes tests: in the current frenzy of cricket we have these days, it's not surprising things droop playing a tough team like that 10 tests in a row. Usually teams get some respite playing some team lower down (and by implication, not so tough). Hopefully this will not happen again for a while.

  • Mervo on August 1, 2014, 21:00 GMT

    Lose 10, win 1? It had to happen eventually. The English team has more struggles ahead unfortunately and this Indian team has never played to the hype that was created. Let's hope the next Test has a grassy bouncy wicket for them to learn from.

  • SpaMaster on August 1, 2014, 20:30 GMT

    Nice try, Moores about about taking DRS out of India's hands. Some DRS Basics first. The technology expenditure of DRS is taken up by the host country and it is part of the negotiation between the touring countries. ICC does not pay for DRS nor does it negotiate the touring terms of the two countries. When ICC becomes powerful enough to get there, we can think about your so called 'taking DRS out of India's hands'. That would be never. Until then enjoy your Pietersen-less-downward-spiral when you would be kicked out again.

  • slazenger on August 1, 2014, 18:53 GMT

    Three tests, five one dayers and one or two t20 is sufficient for a tour. Five tests for what ? too much for a team two play five tests at a stretch.

  • on August 1, 2014, 18:37 GMT

    Team India need to change the batting order. Rahane can be put on 1st or 3rd. Ghambir in place of Dhawan, Kohli in 6th. Ashwin in place of rohit. shami to be droped. bhuvi may also left out giving others a chance to prove

  • on August 1, 2014, 18:21 GMT

    It's got absolutely nothing to do with mind. It's simply two things. England were lucky, first that India lost the man who was in devastating form, a man who reminded Cook, Bell, Broad, Prior of Mitchell Johnson without even hitting 145ks. England would've sweated all week thinking of what Ishant did. The major stroke of luck was Ishant 's injury. Next followed that fatal drop of Cook by Jadeja. They got lucky with the umpire when Bell who was put plumb, wasn't given out. Butler too got an edge that was again dropped by Dhawan. Balance' s dismissal was the only thing that went unlucky for England. Following two days of luck, their bowlers bowled well to restrict India on that batting deck. England still haven't beaten India at their full strength, especially since Ishant Sharma's height would have been huge for India on that pitch where, like Wasim said, English bowlers got more because of their pace being 135+. Ishant could've done that for India.

  • B.R.K.R on August 1, 2014, 17:59 GMT

    in the next match england should bring back ben stokes in place of jordan who has looked out of sorts, .. india on the other hand should play ashwin in place of rohit and gambhir in place of dhawan and aaron in place of shami

  • stuckwithcricket on August 1, 2014, 17:54 GMT

    Nothing much altogether to do with mind, its the physical/mental burnout of players playing too much cricket. England were counted best team in the world last august, they decimated in Australia. It seem they had already lost before landing in Australia and m.johnson was just going through the motions as no fight was shown by England. In the current climate with so much cricket it will be no wonder if a same team (set of players) can stay on top for more than 18 months tops.

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  • stuckwithcricket on August 1, 2014, 17:54 GMT

    Nothing much altogether to do with mind, its the physical/mental burnout of players playing too much cricket. England were counted best team in the world last august, they decimated in Australia. It seem they had already lost before landing in Australia and m.johnson was just going through the motions as no fight was shown by England. In the current climate with so much cricket it will be no wonder if a same team (set of players) can stay on top for more than 18 months tops.

  • B.R.K.R on August 1, 2014, 17:59 GMT

    in the next match england should bring back ben stokes in place of jordan who has looked out of sorts, .. india on the other hand should play ashwin in place of rohit and gambhir in place of dhawan and aaron in place of shami

  • on August 1, 2014, 18:21 GMT

    It's got absolutely nothing to do with mind. It's simply two things. England were lucky, first that India lost the man who was in devastating form, a man who reminded Cook, Bell, Broad, Prior of Mitchell Johnson without even hitting 145ks. England would've sweated all week thinking of what Ishant did. The major stroke of luck was Ishant 's injury. Next followed that fatal drop of Cook by Jadeja. They got lucky with the umpire when Bell who was put plumb, wasn't given out. Butler too got an edge that was again dropped by Dhawan. Balance' s dismissal was the only thing that went unlucky for England. Following two days of luck, their bowlers bowled well to restrict India on that batting deck. England still haven't beaten India at their full strength, especially since Ishant Sharma's height would have been huge for India on that pitch where, like Wasim said, English bowlers got more because of their pace being 135+. Ishant could've done that for India.

  • on August 1, 2014, 18:37 GMT

    Team India need to change the batting order. Rahane can be put on 1st or 3rd. Ghambir in place of Dhawan, Kohli in 6th. Ashwin in place of rohit. shami to be droped. bhuvi may also left out giving others a chance to prove

  • slazenger on August 1, 2014, 18:53 GMT

    Three tests, five one dayers and one or two t20 is sufficient for a tour. Five tests for what ? too much for a team two play five tests at a stretch.

  • SpaMaster on August 1, 2014, 20:30 GMT

    Nice try, Moores about about taking DRS out of India's hands. Some DRS Basics first. The technology expenditure of DRS is taken up by the host country and it is part of the negotiation between the touring countries. ICC does not pay for DRS nor does it negotiate the touring terms of the two countries. When ICC becomes powerful enough to get there, we can think about your so called 'taking DRS out of India's hands'. That would be never. Until then enjoy your Pietersen-less-downward-spiral when you would be kicked out again.

  • Mervo on August 1, 2014, 21:00 GMT

    Lose 10, win 1? It had to happen eventually. The English team has more struggles ahead unfortunately and this Indian team has never played to the hype that was created. Let's hope the next Test has a grassy bouncy wicket for them to learn from.

  • Puffin on August 1, 2014, 22:29 GMT

    I wonder how much of this was playing back-to-back Ashes tests: in the current frenzy of cricket we have these days, it's not surprising things droop playing a tough team like that 10 tests in a row. Usually teams get some respite playing some team lower down (and by implication, not so tough). Hopefully this will not happen again for a while.

  • Sexysteven on August 1, 2014, 22:43 GMT

    It's just one win England they should win the series from here but I get the feeling if that happens there are some cracks still being covered up like cooks captaincy let's face it that will never improve weather you win or lose the other opener they haven't sorted that and the backup bowlers to Anderson and broad Jordan /woakes/stokes/plunkett at there are options there I would go with plunkett and prob give woakes another chance to see what he can do

  • on August 2, 2014, 0:01 GMT

    Surprised that India could not field a comparable bowler to Moeen nor the batsman to tackle spin of Moeen's caliber. India does not have the bowling power to get 20 wickets. Lord's match is just an aberration. Well, both Ojha and Mishra are still available and could make an impact. Both Shami and Umesh struggle to get wicket anyway this leaves the experiment to try bowlers like MM Sharma, Varun, Rishi and off course Ashwin. Truly, if spin did play such a big role in the this test, why was Ashwin on the bench?

    Dhoni, has become less flexible and in maybe a lack in confidence? Not sure if Kholi will recover form in time. Well, if Bhuvi can score 2 half centuries playing in the "V", why are the seniors less patient and not playing in the "V"? I think the Coaching team needs to address this? Three tests and the batsman are not making runs has to be addressed.