Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth, 5th day December 17, 2013

Cook faces up to senior players' failure

98

Alastair Cook admitted to the "lowest moment" of his career as England slumped to Ashes defeat in Perth and said several members of his side would be "playing for their future" in the remaining two games of the series.

The England captain said conceding a 3-0 lead in the five-match series "hurts like hell" and described the dressing room as "a tough place to be". It is Cook's first series loss as captain and England's first Ashes loss in four series stretching back to 2006-07.

But while accepting that "inquests" into the defeat were inevitable, Cook appealed for calm before conclusions are made about the reasons for the loss. In particular, Cook was keen to defend Andy Flower and refuted any suggestion that the England coach should step down.

"I want him to carry on," Cook said. "He's an outstanding coach and an outstanding person. He's a great person to have around, especially for me, as a captain and the advice he gives me. It's not down to him why we've lost this. It's down to the fact we haven't had enough players in form."

Cook, who has averaged just 26.93 in his last eight Tests against Australia, also reasserted his determination to continue as captain, though he accepted he needed to reflect on some of his tactics and that there would be "people questioning my place".

"There's always going to be theories," he said. "There's always going to be inquests when you lose. The simple fact of the matter is we haven't had enough players in form with either bat or ball. People in the dressing room know that.

"It's a tough place my batting. I'm putting the work in but not quite getting the results. You can see the feet aren't always going in the right place. I've had a couple of very good balls as well, which doesn't help. And when I have got in at Brisbane and here, I haven't gone on to make a bigger score.

"But I don't think the captaincy is affecting my batting. There's always a strain, but the challenge of being a captain is trying to deal with it. I can honestly say that when I go out there as a batter, I'm thinking as a batter. My mind is not thinking about what's going on elsewhere.

"Of course, if other people who make the decisions don't think that way, we have to go by that decision. When you lose the Ashes in the way we've lost, there will always be people questioning my place and all that kind of stuff. That's the first place you always look when you lose. As a captain, the buck stops with you. I have to look at am I managing the players right? Am I doing the right things out in the middle? We have to have some honest chats."

Cook also defended his players, despite admitting that several senior figures had endured undistinguished series and that many would be playing for their futures in the remaining two games of the series.

"The first thing you do when you lose is look at the hunger and the desire. I can honestly say in our dressing room, both are there. We just haven't had the skills to match it. Sport is not about trying at all; it's about delivering. We know we tried as hard as we could and we haven't delivered.

"It's not just Anderson and Swann who haven't performed. A lot of us senior batters haven't performed as well. It's incredibly frustrating - I know as a batter when you're not delivering what you're capable of - there's not a worse place to be as a player.

"I'll never feel let down by any of the lads that go out there and put on an England shirt. I look into their eyes and I see what they do in training. The way they go about their business and the effort, you don't see all that.

"I'm never going to be embarrassed. We haven't been good enough, that's the reason we lost. I'll never be embarrassed for the way we go about things and the effort the lads put in. It's a hard thing to say when you've been beaten and you deserve to get beaten. It's never good to admit it, but we have.

"When you lose, or even when you win, there's so many good players around in England wanting to be in the 11 spots we presently hold. So we are always playing for our future. There's always a balancing act with sides when you lose with trying to introduce new players. Are they better than the players you have?"

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on December 19, 2013, 22:57 GMT

    I agree with HaddockinOz - Obviously the senior England players are way out of knick, but why bring 3 towering quicks and leave out inform Onions and express pace Mills and not even give them a run on the quick wickets? It's the younger batsmen like Root & Stokes who've really been the only ones to actually contribute, so why not blood the quick bowlers too? England selectors, for once you've stuffed up royally.

  • Nutcutlet on December 19, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    Flower's time as England's head coach has been characterised by stability. The side only changed when an injury, an abs for other reasons, or prospective conditions demanded something different. Those days are history; there is no sense in sending out a beaten team for the final two Tests. Stokes has shown his worth & that should encourage Flower & Cook to use the dead rubber to find out about Bairstow, Rankin & Ballance. The viewpoint must change radically. The priority now must be the future & so the team for Boxing Day must present Clarke's men with a new set of challenges. In batting order, I'd like to see: Cook, Carberry, Bell, Ballance/Root, or viceversa, Stokes, Bairstow, Bresnan, Broad, Anderson & Rankin. If Broad isn't fit, then Tremlett returns to the scene of one of his best ever matches three years ago. Swann is, I'm afraid, a busted flush & Panesar is not likely to get much out of the G, besides being a liability in the field. Let's face it, there's nothing to lose now.

  • Lord_mac on December 19, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    England's problem was gifting their wickets away at the top order by playing injudicious cross-bat shots, exposing middle and lower order to Johnson before he'd blown himself out. When you look at it, Johnson wasn't hitting the wickets much more than he did four years ago. Only 10 out of 229 deliveries at Brisbane were on target!

    And England does have a left-arm bowler as quick as Johnson in Tymal Mills (imported from sunny Suffolk) , who is out here and should have played, at least at Perth. But England selection is so muddled that they didn't even pick any of Finn, Tremlett or Rankin, never mind Mills. So Australia had the pace bowling bragging rights - and the associated sledging rights - do themselves. Poor thinking England.

    The 2015 tour of England will be interesting, given the ages and physical conditions of many of the current Aussie team.

  • wrenx on December 18, 2013, 20:25 GMT

    @dunger.bob When did Australia win 4 World Cups in a row?

  • Long-Leg on December 18, 2013, 20:22 GMT

    It would be a mistake to introduce young players into the cauldron which is the boxing day test. There will be a massive hostile crowd and it could damage a young player for life to be exposed to that kind of pressure too soon. Far better I think to allow the senior players to risk humiliation again. After all they got England into this mess, it is up to them to get us out of it or risk ending their careers with this tour.

  • Jaffa79 on December 18, 2013, 18:44 GMT

    We have to be realistic to our failings: our senior players, all of whom have good and sometimes excellent records have been found wanting but overblown sweeping changes are a step too far. Swann was poor but he has been excellent and we have nothing better, KP too and a few others. Better still to face facts that the Aussies were far better this series. More focused and more resolute. MJ is a good example. He has been much maligned due to his erratic previous form but he came back like a champion. Many of the Aussies have suffered lots of recent failure and losses and are now lorded as the next big thing. Indias much vaunted batting has looked abject more than once. We'll be fine. Regroup, rethink and come back stronger!

  • A.Ak on December 18, 2013, 11:44 GMT

    England had been winning, that kind of made them complacent without them noticing. Australia on the other hand, after loosing to Eng and Ind, they are determined to prove and play up to their potential. International cricket is not for nothing, all are talented. Sometimes one play well than the other. Dont be too harsh on England. Aussies must be given credit for doing well.

  • on December 18, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    It would be better to have Rahul coaching the batsmen rather than Gooch who has seen more Ashes failures than sucess

  • pat_one_back on December 18, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    Appropriately contrite to question the places of senior players but that's the worst thing Eng could do! Eng need to move Bell up to 3 and win a toss and we'll have a game on our hands again. Aust booted/overlooked Katich, Hadds, Hodge, put unnecessary pressure on Ponting & Hussey, and it took us to the brink of oblivion. Eng have never looked better this series than when Bell & KP have been at the crease. Root's amazing for his age, 12 based on his profile pic, give the kid a fighting chance by locking him in at 5-6 for a year to learn the game. Restore some moisture and bounce to English test pitches, find 3 decent bowlers and there you Eng your back on your way to competing on more than dry dusty wickets.

  • dunger.bob on December 18, 2013, 9:24 GMT

    @Andrew Edgington : "'Hey, what am I doing here? I've beaten this lot 3 times since 2009, what do I need to prove?' " : I've heard some things like that a few times now and it always leaves me flabbergasted. Let me explain. If you had won this series it would have been 4 series in a row. I don't think England's ever done that, or if they have it would be very rare I'd say .. So, in some very real ways this was a chance for these players to earn themselves a lofty position in English cricketing history. The team that jammed it into the Aussies 4 Ashes running.

    Looking back a few years to 2005 we were shooting for our 9th when you derailed us. We were peeved because we wanted to make it 10 or more in a row.

    It must be a fundamental difference between our two countries because we're never satisfied with beating you guys 3 or 4 times. We'd make it a permanent arrangement if we could. It's the same sort of spirit that won us 4 World Cups in a row. I doubt England has that in them.

  • on December 19, 2013, 22:57 GMT

    I agree with HaddockinOz - Obviously the senior England players are way out of knick, but why bring 3 towering quicks and leave out inform Onions and express pace Mills and not even give them a run on the quick wickets? It's the younger batsmen like Root & Stokes who've really been the only ones to actually contribute, so why not blood the quick bowlers too? England selectors, for once you've stuffed up royally.

  • Nutcutlet on December 19, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    Flower's time as England's head coach has been characterised by stability. The side only changed when an injury, an abs for other reasons, or prospective conditions demanded something different. Those days are history; there is no sense in sending out a beaten team for the final two Tests. Stokes has shown his worth & that should encourage Flower & Cook to use the dead rubber to find out about Bairstow, Rankin & Ballance. The viewpoint must change radically. The priority now must be the future & so the team for Boxing Day must present Clarke's men with a new set of challenges. In batting order, I'd like to see: Cook, Carberry, Bell, Ballance/Root, or viceversa, Stokes, Bairstow, Bresnan, Broad, Anderson & Rankin. If Broad isn't fit, then Tremlett returns to the scene of one of his best ever matches three years ago. Swann is, I'm afraid, a busted flush & Panesar is not likely to get much out of the G, besides being a liability in the field. Let's face it, there's nothing to lose now.

  • Lord_mac on December 19, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    England's problem was gifting their wickets away at the top order by playing injudicious cross-bat shots, exposing middle and lower order to Johnson before he'd blown himself out. When you look at it, Johnson wasn't hitting the wickets much more than he did four years ago. Only 10 out of 229 deliveries at Brisbane were on target!

    And England does have a left-arm bowler as quick as Johnson in Tymal Mills (imported from sunny Suffolk) , who is out here and should have played, at least at Perth. But England selection is so muddled that they didn't even pick any of Finn, Tremlett or Rankin, never mind Mills. So Australia had the pace bowling bragging rights - and the associated sledging rights - do themselves. Poor thinking England.

    The 2015 tour of England will be interesting, given the ages and physical conditions of many of the current Aussie team.

  • wrenx on December 18, 2013, 20:25 GMT

    @dunger.bob When did Australia win 4 World Cups in a row?

  • Long-Leg on December 18, 2013, 20:22 GMT

    It would be a mistake to introduce young players into the cauldron which is the boxing day test. There will be a massive hostile crowd and it could damage a young player for life to be exposed to that kind of pressure too soon. Far better I think to allow the senior players to risk humiliation again. After all they got England into this mess, it is up to them to get us out of it or risk ending their careers with this tour.

  • Jaffa79 on December 18, 2013, 18:44 GMT

    We have to be realistic to our failings: our senior players, all of whom have good and sometimes excellent records have been found wanting but overblown sweeping changes are a step too far. Swann was poor but he has been excellent and we have nothing better, KP too and a few others. Better still to face facts that the Aussies were far better this series. More focused and more resolute. MJ is a good example. He has been much maligned due to his erratic previous form but he came back like a champion. Many of the Aussies have suffered lots of recent failure and losses and are now lorded as the next big thing. Indias much vaunted batting has looked abject more than once. We'll be fine. Regroup, rethink and come back stronger!

  • A.Ak on December 18, 2013, 11:44 GMT

    England had been winning, that kind of made them complacent without them noticing. Australia on the other hand, after loosing to Eng and Ind, they are determined to prove and play up to their potential. International cricket is not for nothing, all are talented. Sometimes one play well than the other. Dont be too harsh on England. Aussies must be given credit for doing well.

  • on December 18, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    It would be better to have Rahul coaching the batsmen rather than Gooch who has seen more Ashes failures than sucess

  • pat_one_back on December 18, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    Appropriately contrite to question the places of senior players but that's the worst thing Eng could do! Eng need to move Bell up to 3 and win a toss and we'll have a game on our hands again. Aust booted/overlooked Katich, Hadds, Hodge, put unnecessary pressure on Ponting & Hussey, and it took us to the brink of oblivion. Eng have never looked better this series than when Bell & KP have been at the crease. Root's amazing for his age, 12 based on his profile pic, give the kid a fighting chance by locking him in at 5-6 for a year to learn the game. Restore some moisture and bounce to English test pitches, find 3 decent bowlers and there you Eng your back on your way to competing on more than dry dusty wickets.

  • dunger.bob on December 18, 2013, 9:24 GMT

    @Andrew Edgington : "'Hey, what am I doing here? I've beaten this lot 3 times since 2009, what do I need to prove?' " : I've heard some things like that a few times now and it always leaves me flabbergasted. Let me explain. If you had won this series it would have been 4 series in a row. I don't think England's ever done that, or if they have it would be very rare I'd say .. So, in some very real ways this was a chance for these players to earn themselves a lofty position in English cricketing history. The team that jammed it into the Aussies 4 Ashes running.

    Looking back a few years to 2005 we were shooting for our 9th when you derailed us. We were peeved because we wanted to make it 10 or more in a row.

    It must be a fundamental difference between our two countries because we're never satisfied with beating you guys 3 or 4 times. We'd make it a permanent arrangement if we could. It's the same sort of spirit that won us 4 World Cups in a row. I doubt England has that in them.

  • HaddockinOz on December 18, 2013, 8:38 GMT

    England selected three tall "firepower" bowlers in Finn, Tremlett & Boyd-Rankin, for the tour on bouncy Oz tracks, but only gave one of them (Tremlett) a game! Did the distinct lack of pace displayed by Tremlett in Brisbane scare the selectors into not playing any of the trio again? and as neither of them got a go on the fast and bouncy Perth track, what was point in selecting them all for such an important tour? The selectors got it wrong! and the allrounders Stokes & Bresnan did an admirable job. Bad luck Jordan, Onions & Co.

  • SagirParkar on December 18, 2013, 4:22 GMT

    wasn't it rumoured during the Summer Ashes that this series in Oz would be his last assignment as team coach ? and that Ashley Giles might taken over the role even in tests ? if that does prove to be true, God save England..

  • Alexk400 on December 18, 2013, 3:03 GMT

    England problem is lack of fast bowlers who can bowl 150kmph. They may have to import from West Indies and pakistan like they import south african batsman.

  • Insult_2_Injury on December 18, 2013, 2:35 GMT

    It will not help new young players sitting there for two more Tests watching old players being cowed. Pietersen, Swann, Anderson & Prior should be sitting the rest out. Two dead rubber tests gives the young blokes an invaluable leg up on touring and has to reinvigorate Cook with fresh faces to actually captain, rather than just nod when senior players make their own changes. The series is effectively over and no doubt the England rooms are no fun place to be, but there's apparently a backroom staff of a thousand, so time for them to earn their plane fare by lifting the young blokes and supporting their on-field learning. Apparently Pietersen gets a free pass for everything, including under performing because he 'might' hit A score. He's an average player who averages 47 over 100 Tests, who occasionally hits a fast 60. I would have thought that was useful for Hydarabad Sundials but England needs more consistency. Huge mistake for ECB to thank KP for being 'available to 2015'.

  • CurrentPresident on December 18, 2013, 1:47 GMT

    I am actually quite encouraged by how England have progressed through this tour. They have steadily decreased the margin of their defeats and pushed Australia harder with each test. I won't be surprised if by the end of the tour they even draw a test match. Way to go!

  • CurrentPresident on December 18, 2013, 1:45 GMT

    I am actually quite encouraged by how England have progressed through this tour. They have steadily decreased the margin of their defeats and pushed Australia harder with each test. I won't be surprised if by the end of the tour they even draw a test match. Way to go!

  • Thegimp on December 18, 2013, 1:21 GMT

    It's great when a prediction comes off. After doctoring slow dusty wickets in the UK I predicted they would come undone on pacey hard wickets in Aust. The only one who has had any idea is Stokes and he didn't play in the home series, is that not proof enough? Wholesale changes aren't required, Pietersen, Prior and Cook are quality players let down by their establishment, I predict each of them to dominate at some stage in the next two tests on slow Melb and Sydney wickets. Had they have backed their ability and belief and had the establishment not doctored dustbowles to play on in the last 12 months they would have been better equipped to play on these decks, as it transpired, they looked like India on tour.

  • CoastalShark on December 18, 2013, 1:09 GMT

    Is this the same Cook and Anderson who 3 months ago the English (& Welsh) press were claiming were the best in the world, and will be the best ever?! Welcome to playing away from home boys! About time you left your back yard...

  • jb633 on December 17, 2013, 23:35 GMT

    @cpt.meanster, I agree with you on this one. The home sides in the modern game are dominating series to the extent that they are becoming predictable and one sided. How would you suggest this mould can be broken? Do you believe T20 and ODI cricket are the only means of balancing things up? I know you are a fan of the short formats but surely part of you would hate if test cricket were to die

  • on December 17, 2013, 23:28 GMT

    The waiting was on the wall when south Africa demolished eng in the UK back in 2011. how can u expect to win a series when very 3 people namely cook , trott and Petiersen are on the worst form ever. that coupled with a miss firing Anderson. eng are a joke and are going to be worked over 5-0 bar the weather playing a roll . just crazy now to consider that Graham Smith has held is place as captain after a 100 tests as opening batsmen .

  • dropoutguy on December 17, 2013, 22:20 GMT

    It is apparent that England were not up for this series in the same way as Australia were. The signs have been there for a while and the key issue is complacency. A good team manager would not have permitted this to become a factor and consequently Flower must fall on his sword.

    The senior players have not performed, although Broad and Bell have done reasonably well. I don't believe any of the senior players are past it but they would benefit from a rest in order to decide what they need to do with their games and whether they are still up for the fight. I would therefore drop Pietersen, Prior, Swann and Anderson for the final two Tests. Ballance, Bairstow, Panesar and Finn would play. Bell would go to three.

    I'd be looking to get three or four new players in over the course of the summer.

  • MinusZero on December 17, 2013, 21:45 GMT

    I think they havent played with enough intent. History shows that Mitchell Johnson bowls worse when batsmen get on top of him. Play your shots, dont try to hold out for the draw, it rarely happens for any team.

  • Baxter_P on December 17, 2013, 21:45 GMT

    As an NZ fan, I can tell you persevering with substandard players because they're 'the best there is' just perpetuates mediocre results. We've doing that for most of the past decade (... or two), Australia did it for much of 2012-13. In our case, it was guys like Flynn, Franklin or Patel. At a certain point you have to decide on a young player who is not quite at the level you want him to be, but who you believe can make it in a certain role. Like putting Williamson at 3 and keeping him there, or committing to Rutherford as opener or Sodhi as your spinner, or even promoting Boult to the text XI at Hobart when he was 22 (and look at him now). England should forget the likes of Carberry, Bresnan, Tremlett, even Panesar and take a punt on young guys who look to have the mentality or talent to have a good chance to make it at test level. They did that with Root and Stokes, who have been two of England's best in recent times. That has to be way forward.

  • Harlequin. on December 17, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    @landl47 - you're not the first person I have seen calling for Mills to be put into an England shirt, and whilst I tend to have a great disdain for statistics, the fact that he only has 32 FC wickets @ 35av would suggest he still has a bit of work to do before he gets 'Sakerised' (as Paul Rone Clarke so excellently put it!)

  • __PK on December 17, 2013, 21:33 GMT

    Can you imagine an England batting order with Cook and Root at the top? 40-0 at lunch. 80-0 at tea. 130-0 at stumps. 230-6 at lunch on day 2 as the rest of the order tries to make up for lost time.

  • TenDonebyaShooter on December 17, 2013, 21:19 GMT

    @landl47: "Apart from Carbs, the underperformers have been KP, Anderson, Prior and Swann." There's a striking oversight from that list: a man with the initials AC.

  • on December 17, 2013, 21:17 GMT

    This may be a good opportunity for England to rebuild. I would get in new players for the 4th and 5th tests and build around the core of Cook, Carberry Root, Bell, Stokes. Add Bairstow, Ballance, Butler, Finn, Rankin, Monty. I bet this team will do better. Ah well. What do I know.

  • on December 17, 2013, 21:16 GMT

    England have got a nice group of players that are coming close to the test squad that aren't fully test players yet but will become great ones!

    Although this is a massive thrashing - England shouldn't look to go to crazy. The Australians wanted it big time, the English looked like 'going through the motions' and 'done it all before' whereas Stokes wanted to prove something and got a 100. Although I'm a HUGE Carberry fan, he seems a little too old to me, this talk about KP going seems crazy.

    England Squad should be:

    1. Cook 2. (Have a go with either Compton, Carberry or my pick Moeen Ali). 3. Bell 4. KP (for now!) 5. Root 6. Stokes or Ballance. 7. Bairstow/Buttler/Prior 8. Broad 9. Swann 10. Finn or Rankin 11. anderson!

    Look at the great talent coming and already there: Overton, Topley, Jordan, Barker, Taylor, Ballance, Vince, Robson, Chopra, Borthwick, Bairstow, Kerrigan, Stokes, Root. If plenty progress the future is great for England

  • WindiesFan on December 17, 2013, 21:06 GMT

    The England team is playing lacklustre and below their accustomed level. The bowling is tired and unable to press home the advantage when the Australian top order is sent back to the hut. Anderson is clearly tired and going through the motions. He needs a rest and bring in fresh legs with fire in the belly - Finn or Rankin. Also, Eng need batters to dull Johnson and make him bowl more overs for rewards.

  • WindiesFan on December 17, 2013, 21:00 GMT

    It's amazing how persons analyze results of a series (so far). Carberry has the 2nd highest aggregate of runs on the Enland side (188 just 2 shy of Bell at 190), the 3rd highest avg (behind Stokes and Bell),has faced the 2nd highest number of balls (England need to bat longer). Yet some people are asking for his head. Amazing... then again, maybe not.

  • Patchmaster on December 17, 2013, 20:56 GMT

    There is no point in playing Ballance, Bairstow, Taylor, Finn etc etc, must now all play in the remaining matches, there's no point blooding them in against weaker opposition - do it now - sooner the better.

  • on December 17, 2013, 20:52 GMT

    I am a little surprised that no one has talked about the pitch-surely the worst in living memory. Had England batted first they may well have won this game. Commentators even suggested that perhaps the game should have been abandoned on safety grounds. Whatever, but really the pitch was a remarkable example of something I have not seen before. As for England, they remind me a bit of the All Blacks who played Ireland a few weeks ago. Knackered physically and mentally. Go to Fiji on the way home, forget cricket, go for a swim, and have a few drinks. Might I also suggest a stiff gin in the water bottles at drinks breaks for the next two tests. They need something.

  • disco_bob on December 17, 2013, 20:28 GMT

    An honest appraisal by Cook but not very perceptive, the seeds for this demolition were laid in England, by England when they decided to doctor their pitches instead of giving Australia a fair fight. Sure they won the Ashes, but even though it was 3-0 it didn't fool anyone except maybe the players themselves. Maybe if they prepared wickets more conducive to an Ashes series they may have kept the Ashes by simply drawing 1-1 but they would be a lot wiser to what they were in for when the time came to play the 2nd leg.

  • TenDonebyaShooter on December 17, 2013, 20:00 GMT

    Also I have to say that perhaps there was an even bigger disaster today for English cricket than losing the Ashes; the fact that their under-19 team just got beaten by the UAE; the signs for the future are not good.

  • Cubitt on December 17, 2013, 20:00 GMT

    People could see this regression coming over past year (although not to this extent!), in the series' v NZ and even the home Ashes. OK we won, but we got lucky that Bell played so well otherwise it probably would have been a loss.

    As others have said, a radical overhaul could do more harm then good. Over the next few series / years I expect to see some new players like Ballance, Taylor, Bairstow, Stokes, Woakes and Kerrigan play more.

  • TenDonebyaShooter on December 17, 2013, 19:58 GMT

    Owing to the logisitcal problems of being on tour England simply don't have the scope to make all the changes the situation warrants. The series is lost, so why give players who've failed another chance to prove themselves? This is instead the type of situation when, as in (say) the Trent Bridge test of 1989, you bring in new players. The parallels with this 7 years ago are striking; you have a wicketkeeper who has hit what should be career-endingly poor form, a misfiring pace spearhead, a lead spinner who has collapsed on the big stage, and an all-rounder with foot problems. And then you have a batsman going home with stress-related problems who the Zimbabwean coach in his wisdom decides not (properly) to replace. This limits the scope for change. Personally, I do not see the point of playing Prior, Pietersen, Swann, Anderson or Cook (Bell should be captain) in the next test, but given the lack of available cover, and the lack of sense of adventure, all of these will play.

  • zabek on December 17, 2013, 19:57 GMT

    End of an era/cycle for England. They should definitely implement a measured amount of changes to start to phase out the old guard. The current team will still probably be very effective against Sri Lanka and India at home and West Indies away however they need to blood some more youngsters before the next Ashes

  • landl47 on December 17, 2013, 19:51 GMT

    (cont): So here's my team for the not-too-distant future- not this tour, but in the next 2 years:

    Cook, Root, Moeen, Ballance, Bell (to be replaced by Vince in due course), Stokes, Bairstow, Jordan, Broad, Anderson, Mills.

    Sam Robson has performed extremely well in the EPP tour- two centuries, in neither of which was he dismissed, and a 41 in 3 innings. If he maintains that progress, Root and Cook will have to play for their places! Taylor is also in the mix, and Reece Topley, the tall left-arm teenager. Jamie Overton, another teenager is on the horizon. Steve Finn is going to have to start moving the ball laterally to challenge for a place.

    Obviously another spinner is needed- let me know when you see one. In the meantime, Moeen can use up some overs to give the quicks a rest. Not ideal, but until we find a replacement for Swann, it's the best we can do.

  • Baxter_P on December 17, 2013, 19:27 GMT

    I don't think England need a radical overhaul, but they do need to phase out 2-3 players in the next 6 months or so (if Trott doesn't come back, then him plus 2 more). The team has rarely impressed as a unit in 2013 and needs refreshing. Carberry is not and never will be test class and at 33 he was a poor selection for the Ashes. Either Root or Compton should open (I understand dropping Compton to install Root as opener, but to then put Carberry in was a bad call). They need a pace bowler to support Anderson and Broad. Bresnan will have his days at test level but he's not of the standard England need. Finn should be that guy, but he needs to bowl himself into form. The selectors have to make a decision there. Wicketkeeper also needs to be evaluated. It's a difficult one, but jettisoning Prior would be a huge call: he's 31 and, as Haddin has shown, keepers can bounce back. Plus his experience is invaluable, particularly if KP packs it in (as his attitude suggests he will soon enough).

  • on December 17, 2013, 18:45 GMT

    It doesn't have to mean the end of careers but there needs to be a couple of changes for Melbourne. Bairstow should come in for Prior. He is woefully out of form and he will get a chance to win his place back at the start of next summer with strong performances in the county championship. Bairstow will be hungry and having seen what Stokes has just done will be highly motivated. Our other batting options are limited but they could drop Root or KP for Ballance. Bell, Carberry and Cook have just done enough to retain their spot. Don't want to put the mockers on him but Carberry looks set for a big score at some stage, I really hope he can convert these starts. He has looked good. The bowling is tricky and depends on the pitch. Melbourne in 2010/11 had a lot of live grass at the start, if so then I guess Anderson, Bresnan and Swan all play with one of Finn or Rankin if Broad not fit. If its a belter then Anderson probably makes way so both Finn and Rankin can play. Monty at Sydney

  • Speng on December 17, 2013, 18:36 GMT

    England have been resting for too long on the shortcomings of their opponents - when was the last time you could say England won a series rather than their opponents losing it? Perhaps the last series in India but for the most part once an opponent has shown some grit, skill, and tactical nous England looses control of the match. Too often the batting's aim is to simply stick around (which is why Petersen is so important as he's one of the few who can take a game by the scruff when he's in form) and score at <3/over. The bowling too often falls into the mode of "bowling dry" and waiting for something to happen: opponent makes errors, the ball starts reversing etc. Far too often England's bowlers are bowling at ODI fields rather than a ring of close fielders.

    Also England's bowling depth is poor: the cupboard is bare and the long depended on staples (Anderson and Swann) are about to/already have expired.

  • on December 17, 2013, 18:23 GMT

    Awesome work Aussies...have been your die hard supporter for the past 15 years......You did well in England but couldn't capitalize on crucial periods......now Ashes has been reclaimed, its time to build a solid team and go for no. 1 spot and most importantly, win in England next series. Remember Aussies have not won there since 2001. So its time to prove that this series victory was not just one off.

    Long live test cricket. Long live The Ashes!

  • landl47 on December 17, 2013, 18:03 GMT

    Cook is honest as always, but the question is whether this team has gone as far as it can. One change has already been forced, and it's difficult to see Trott ever returning to England duty- he's 32 and isn't going to get better. Stokes looks as though he's here to stay and Root has the makings of a good test player. He should go back to opening; Carberry has played 8 test innings, reached 30 6 times but has only 1 50 to show for it. He's 33 and a journeyman- the Ed Cowan of England.

    Apart from Carbs, the underperformers have been KP, Anderson, Prior and Swann. There are good young batsmen- Ballance, Vince, Taylor and maybe Moeen. England desperately needs more pace and Jordan and Mills are promising. Prior's keeping has been as bad as his batting- I'd drop him now and put in Bairstow. The problem is Swann, who has been outbowled by Lyon in this series. There's no obvious successor ready at the moment; a courageous move might be to use Moeen as lead spinner and add Jordan or Mills.

  • VenkyN on December 17, 2013, 17:59 GMT

    Cook has always been a defensive captain. Michael Vaughan was the last aggressive captain that England have had, and after him, Strauss and Cook have both been steady rather than impressive. They have had a great bowling attack over the years and that has papered over some of their deficiencies, but strategically they have shown very little of substance. I can understand that Cook is reluctant to do as people suggest and bat Bell at 3 for instance, but in both games that Root has been in at 3, the game has drifted. A good number 3 must be technically good while still being able to score when opportunities present themselves, or atleast find a way to keep rotating the strike. Root has done neither and has basically done nothing but stay there for a while. Along with Cook himself who bats that way, Carberry who has been good but again bats with a defensive mindset, their batting has essentially stagnated at the top of the order.

  • on December 17, 2013, 17:59 GMT

    If english cricket has to move forward and not fall back into the late 80's & 90's style, they should blood young players(30+ is not young Carberry for instance) and stick with them. Also it is astonishing to see Bresnan regularly making the playing 11, whereas someone like Finn who could have returned Aus some of their short pitched stuff is ignored. It was very clear aus has worked out Anderson well as his stats reveal after the 1st Ashes test in England he has done nothing of note. Hope will make some changes in the remaining 2 matches so that there will be a fresh approach as shown by Stokes. To say the least, fielding has been real comic. Gone are the brilliance of Botham and Randall.

  • 2.14istherunrate on December 17, 2013, 17:30 GMT

    I like the testimony Cook gave to the players.At least he sticks by his men.We all know their deeds and achievements. They are not small. So who is playing for his future? Swann? He had a poor tour last time. Aus is not a good place for him. You do not go from 26 wkts in summer to end of career. An all time great as an offie he will be back.But Panesar should have played in Perth. Anderson- this is a worrying one as he lacked swing. He was up for it,and got the run out.He bowled at times at 90mph, as well as got lathered. He at least needs to get the ball swinging. Prior? He is only 31, and his feet are moving in the right direction again. He may be dropped but not forever. KP? Forget it. Batsmen like he are not an everyday occurrence,or every decade or whatever! Suicide is not an option for England! He stays. It may be Tremlett's swansong but he was not playing. That said a rest for some may be in order. But only a rest.

  • 2.14istherunrate on December 17, 2013, 17:19 GMT

    I will maintain for a long time that when it comes to playing back to back series it is harder to be up for it if you have just won than if you have just lost.I f you have been the loser initially then a part of you just wants an immediate rematch.For the victor it's time to move on,,rest,and play someone else.This is particularly so withplaying the rematch downunder. There have been other reasons such as weather prior to Brisbane, KP having to go off to SA for a funeral, the heat, Trott leaving so soon-quite an important factor-and the form of the younger seamers,the obvious exception being Stokes.The fact that only 2nd string opposition was provided is a negative which needs fixing asap,and on our side too! Otherwise they had regrouped well, were playing good Shield cricket and WANTED to win badly.Their catching has been great, ours laughable. Also Cook is poor caller at 50% chance.....Seriously we were poor, but the better side just blew us away.Time to fight back!

  • on December 17, 2013, 17:14 GMT

    Trot's abrupt return not only indicated his fragile mindset but also affected the confidence of the team.English Openers did not provide good starts and the middle order just did not perform.. The late order batsmen were overawed by the task to reressurect the side. The bowling was below par especially Anderson and Swan. The fielding left a lot to be desired.Australian Team played with a very fierce desire to win. The entire team played with a plan and purpose.The results are there to see.Nothing is lost. The English team should not throw the towel.They should regroup and launch a rearguard action to salvage their pride.I am sure they are capable of winning the remaing two and make the scoreline2-3 than 0-5.

  • IAS2009 on December 17, 2013, 17:10 GMT

    visiting team is so much at disadvantage in tests, the results are very obvious, only SA has caliber to win away in all conditions, India were 0-8 in away tests and beat Aussies 4-0 at home, England have beaten Aussies 3-0 few months ago but now on the receiving end, on long trips the stress level is high on players specially senior players, I think it is still very good English team, lot of players caught up in bad form. winning toss in 2 of the 3 tests is very big advantage also, The WACA pitch was full of cracks when England played the 4th inning, they did very well, they lost both Adelade and Perth test in 1st innings.

  • jimbond on December 17, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    Best not to write off all players at one go. If not for KP and Panesar, England would have been whipped in India as well. Prior has been the best wicketkeeper for England for the past 20 odd years and has played a part in many a victory- he is not old enough to be written off. Anderson at 31 may still have a couple of good years ahead of him, but Swann at 34 still recovering from injury may not have much time left. England are not bad yet- the issue is, they were never really that good. England improved their ranking by upsetting a few sides like Australia and India that were in transition and plagued by injuries. Even in this period, their true quality (or lack of it) was shown by SA and Pak, and nearly so by a fighting NZ. This result is just an indicator of things returning to normal.

  • brusselslion on December 17, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    @durham_city_black_cat: What's your view of Borthwick? I believe that he sees himself as a batsman but I saw him bowl at the Oval last season and he looked useful. Did I catch him on a good day, or do you think that he has potential to make as a batting all rounder?

  • CodandChips on December 17, 2013, 16:36 GMT

    Pietersen and Prior out. Both aren't good enough anymore. We have some excellent young batsmen in Taylor, Ballance, Ali and also potentially Vince and Woakes. Wicket keeping we're good with Bairstow, Davies, Foakes and Buttler (although I'm not sure how ready any are).

    Interesting 2 tests for Cook. If he struggles, make Bell captain, as many suggested on this site yesterday, but keep Cook in to open.

    Bresnan and Anderson out. Finn in- a proven wicket taker. Jordan in (performed well in the summer, unlike most of the current squad, has pace, good bat and fielder). If Broad is injured, play Rankin as he has pace and bowled well in the ODIs.

    1.Cook 2.Carberry 3.Root 4.Bell 5.Ballance 6.Stokes 7.Bairstow 8.Broad 9.Swann 10.Jordan 11.Finn

    For the home series vs Sri Lanka, I'd consider Moeen Ali at 3, with Root to open. Carberry has played nicely but has been sloppy and is only a short-term fix.

  • Juiceoftheapple on December 17, 2013, 14:28 GMT

    Prior: Has always been a strange mix of excelling in tests, but average in ODIs and CC. He's never had a resilience at the crease, just a counter attacking groove that he hits where he's unstoppable, but that has dried up. Bairstow is a better batsman in the making, and can be trained to be a test wickie. The earlier we re-structure the quicker we'll move on. KP unlike Prior (imo) if he were dropped, could go away and find his magic form and come back, whether in the IPL/T20s/ODIs, he's like a full moon, absent, then strangely and inexplicably returns, but brighter than anything, he could return. Too much tinkering in England by Flower, Woakes in for the Oval test instead of Tremlett / Finn / Onions was a shocker. Terrible preperation, and generally just stinks of over thinking things. We need an established 3rd strike seamer, not a little bit of him, then him, then him, it doesnt work. Root to 5 or 6 as soon as we have a No.3. Trott, Prior, KP missing in action = lose ashes.

  • Bockee on December 17, 2013, 13:32 GMT

    England just look tired - the senior players seem to be trying extra hard but without the energy they had a few years ago. Anderson urgently needs a rest and KP obviously can't be bothered anymore. Players like Prior and Swann have always been a lot better when the pressure has been on the other team.

    Carberry and Stokes were both good in trying conditions so there is hope - it's a shame that there are no bowlers putting any pressure on, Broad is the only one really worth his place right now. They should have brought Onions - then rest Anderson, Prior and Swann, replaced by Onions, Bairstow and Monty.

  • durham_city_black_cat on December 17, 2013, 13:22 GMT

    @yorks1, I agree about the double standards. joe root should be allowed to develop in the middle order. ian bell and KP should have took on more responsibility and moved up to allow root to bat at 5, til he is ready to bat at number three. I personally think hes the best talent engalnd have had since micheal Vaughan. as for bairstow, he deffo deserves a chance, but hes nowhere near the best wickie in engalnd, that distinction belongs to colonel mustard, but hes the wrong side of 30 now. englands future looks in good hand though, with root, stokes and ballance all in their early twentys. that should be the backbone of our side for years to come (hopefully).

  • Cpt.Meanster on December 17, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    This series once again proves why test cricket is a huge failure along with all those who watch and support it. This whole affair of a visiting team losing pathetically will continue until test cricket is taken out of life support in the next few years. India begin their campaign against SA tomorrow; hopefully they can do something to cheer up the visitors club. Credit to England a little bit though, it was they who broke the curse of touring teams by beating Australia and India in their backyards. It seems Cook's men have decided to get back to normality. England will continue to play well at home, make no mistake about that. But they will struggle overseas because their senior players are nearing their retirements. Surely, the team management will want to look at relieving some guys off their burden.

  • on December 17, 2013, 13:15 GMT

    It is time actually overdue for two test now, Anderson, Swann and Prior to go for a start, I can't imagine every other bowler getting movement and pace and your top bowler cannot do anything similar.How he was manhandled and bullied in this test alone he should be rested for a while.As for Swann I do not think any other spin bowler could do worse.He is not bowling, batting or even fielding.They must make way for Tremlett and Finn and even Rankin well he will come in for Broad.Prior should have gone a while now, bring in Bairstow.

  • neil99 on December 17, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    Andrew Eggington - Personally, I think one or two of them looked around and thought 'Hey, what am I doing here? I've beaten this lot 3 times since 2009, what do I need to prove?'

    Which is totally unacceptable from professional sportsmen representing their country. And if that's the case, which to some extent I believe it is (this malaise has been around since England reached no.1, and swiftly fell off that perch) then they should never wear 3 lions ever again. This is the most despicable act towards the fans. And look what it's done. I hope certan players choose to retire and save face.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Looks-Silly-Now on December 17, 2013, 12:53 GMT

    I can't believe the turn around from 2010/11. This English side is pretty much the same side as then and I remember how depressing it was watching England win and win big! Now the same team has been crushed with such ease. The next 6 months should be an exciting time for England as surely they will be forced to try new talent which is always good for the fans. However, now that the pressure has been released because the series has been decided, you might see some of the old guard play well in these dead rubbers. This means they could save their spot once again, denying the new blood from coming in and this could lead to disaster when England come up against another hungry team.

  • on December 17, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    One of those bad moments for England.Stick to the present team and give it a hard try.

  • brusselslion on December 17, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    @Yorks1: Agree that Prior needs to go but, Bairstow should be given the last 2 Tests - no more - to stake his claim. He's played 12 matches already as a batsman and has failed to convince. Last chance saloon for him as well. If Bairstow fails, get Foster or Davies in.

  • Yorks1 on December 17, 2013, 12:25 GMT

    "Senior players will be playing for their future", that is an understatement by Cook as far as Prior is concerned. Last 15 test innings for a total of 240 runs, a steady run of errors behind the stumps (he has been getting worse) and now he has to play for his future! You mean to tell me he hasn't been doing that all along. Ridiculous he should be gone now, get Bairstow behind the stumps and bat him at 7; now you know Flower and Cook aren't going to give him 15 chances to play for his future; they sure have a double standard.

  • on December 17, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    Paul RC is right. We were never that good and Oz were never that bad. This is an opportunity to think long term and replace one or two of the seniors who aren't performing and, sadly considering their achievements, won't be around for many more years. Personally, I think one or two of them looked around and thought 'Hey, what am I doing here? I've beaten this lot 3 times since 2009, what do I need to prove?' And fair play to Oz, great performances and good to watch even though I'm a lifelong England fan.

  • stormy16 on December 17, 2013, 12:11 GMT

    Oh hello! Sure there is dissappointment with a loss especially the Ashes but surely we dont have to go through this replace the captain/coach drama? Eng were outsmarted by Aus and Eng didnt see this coming and credit to Aus for that but lets not get carried away. This is the same team that beat India this year and Cook batted as well as anyone ever has in India and yes the Ashes at home and yes sure, all in the past but it's all this year! Cook will break all Eng batting records by a country mile and has proven himself on all surfaces against all attacks so I dont think this needs to be debated and I think he is too good a batter to be out of form for too long - look out who ever is touring Eng next year. There could be nothing worse that Eng can do now than panic and make wholesale changes that could have a long term impact.

  • RonG on December 17, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    I do not think large scale changes are needed, it is just that Australia played much better. Come this summer, with the same team England will easily beat India and regular order will be more or less restored.

  • IndianInnerEdge on December 17, 2013, 11:42 GMT

    Admire the humility and honesty of the man, well said - AC.The problem with Eng is they've just run into a superior team who are just outplaying themselves. For England fans and supporters, take it in the right spirit, enjoy the game, at the end of the day it is just that -a game, enjoy the skills we get to see...peace :)

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on December 17, 2013, 11:27 GMT

    Cook is a likeable character and despite some lean form recently (against a very good bowling unit) he is an exceptionally good batsman so no there's no reason to replace him, I think what has happened is the brand of attritional cricket they have been used to getting good results with just doesn't work anymore. Don't forget we have been playing on the flattest of pitches and if it weren't for some collapses from England we might have had a couple of draws on our hand. The Australian top 8 has 6 genuine whackers of the ball, aggressive, fast scoring batsman who can all take the game away from the opposition so it's tough to bowl to but at the same time is why we were in a few dodgy positions at times with the the bat. The ability to get out of a hole and win from seemingly impossible positions was the norm for Australian fans but it is not right now despite the improvement. Cook needs a couple of Stokes, less conservative and gritty guys who are up for it. It's time for a new brand.

  • skilebow on December 17, 2013, 11:14 GMT

    Let Cook concentrate on his batting. Broad should be captain as long as he's fit.

  • PACERONE on December 17, 2013, 10:49 GMT

    Flower has not been heard from.He is usually complaining to the umpires,match referee and whom ever he can complaining to trying to get an edge.England will use the excuse of the ball used as we know they are always trying to get the ball changed.

  • on December 17, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    Test cricket is not only about individual styles but strategies as a team. Home conditions play a vital role in defining these strategies. Teams like India, Pakistan, South Africa and others have utilized these conditions and have made winning strategies around them. Foreign teams succumb to spin in India and similarly subcontinent teams fail to perform in swinging conditions in England and bouncy pitches in South Africa and Australia. If we look properly at the last 3-4 years, teams playing well and formulating a winning home strategy have obtained higher test rankings. In this case Australia used its traditional home conditions to its fullest and unleashed a lethally fast bowler unto the hapless English batsmen. Cook has to admit, Australia did hold their cards well and did not reveal the Johnson play until the beginning of the the Brisbane Test. This caught Cook and Co. completely off guard. The result is for everyone to see. Australia just capitalized where England failed.

  • on December 17, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    Quick note to none English fans. No one who understood cricket outside of the gutter UK press EVER thought England were the best side in the world.

    A good competitive side who expressed an interest in building on the success they had between 2008 and 2011 (which is exactly as it should be). The last 2 years have been pretty poor with 2 highlights.

    Losing to Pakistan, losing to South Africa, failing to beat NZ in NZ and now losing the Ashes are offset only a little by winning the Ashes 4 months ago and beating India in India.

    While "The Sun" might talk about England as a great team. No one really thought they were. A good team. One that should beat 5 of the other sides and give the others a shock now and then. Third maybe? The fact was when people were raving we were number 1 - but that was helped considerably by the order of the fixtures and issues other sides were having with politics and injuries.

    It's only 18 months and some odd days till Aus return to England for ANOTHER Ashes!

  • here2rock on December 17, 2013, 10:39 GMT

    England is better served with Cook not being the captain of the side, not having the extra burden of captaincy. He is a poor captain anyway. I don't see him as a leader of the side.

  • PACERONE on December 17, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    In the series that England won they had everything going their way.Getting to bowl in bowling conditions and bat in batting conditions,DRS went their way.Now it is no good playing for your place in a dead rubber,There is no real pressure to win.This talk of moving Bell up the order is wishful thinking.He is performing when the others before him has failed.Move him up and he will be under pressure.Most teams do not perform well when they are put under pressure.Swann and Anderson are used to batsmen respecting them and they taking advantage of the batsmen not playing aggressively.Now the Australians went after those two and they had no answer.I like how Cook has become so influential that he can be saying who he wants as coach.His captaincy has not been inspiring or tactically good.When he is making runs it does nor really matter.Who are all these good players trying to get into the team?

  • on December 17, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    Cook has never been a brave captain. He was a successful skipper because he had a team that was having 3 key batsmen and 3 bowlers playing the best cricket of their lives at the same time in favorable conditions at home. Also they were up against a poor Aussie line up which had practically 1 batsman and 10 men who can just bat a bit. Clarkey has always been a brave and proactive skipper. He won in Srilanka with a nothing line up. He could not help them in Australia because none have faced Indian spinners before the tour. Australia have got their intensity back. They will be a tough challenge for all the test teams at home surely in the next few years... They will struggle in Asian tracks surely for Johnson can't use his bounce in India. Siddle and Harris won't get much movement even if they bang the deck for 70overs a day and Lyon is still not a test material. Australia exploited the conditions better and Mitchell singlehandedly scared the poms away

  • on December 17, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    Keep Saker Away From Stokes!

    Saker has sucked the pace out of Broad, Finn and Bresnan and gave a couple of them the yips. Guys in their 20's who USED to bowl 90mph+ now unable to do it after 18 months of being "Sakerized". Anderson and Tremlett also down on pace - and it's noticeable! "Horses for courses" should have been the way. Anderson where their is no swing is not 1/2 the bowler he is when their is. I have barely seen Swann turn a ball all series.

    Pietersen, Prior, Swann and possibly Bresnan are all at last knockings. Pietersen. is a player capable of the odd great innings, not a great player. The gap between those innings is increasing. He's offering little in between as his shrinking average shows.

    Luckily the talent pool in England is HUGE for batters coming through, and several 90mph+ bowlers. But no spinner the quality that Swann was, and that might be the hardest slot to fill. Having a world class spinner for 4 years made a huge difference.

  • dunger.bob on December 17, 2013, 10:30 GMT

    I don't mind Cook. .. Leaving his own wedding on a tractor with cans tied to the back of it is a nice touch. I think he interviews well and I think there's not too much ego about him. He seems to be open and honest about things and faced up to this manfully. . I agree with @Meety that he might be a little plain as a captain though. Great when things are rolling along nicely but he seems to be slow to react when our boys try to change the pace of the game. The Haddin/Mitch partnership in the first test was a classic example. He was very quick to spread the field when we where 5 for bugger all. Too quick, he should have attacked us , not defended. .. He may have actually lost the series on day one with that one decision. He let us get on a roll and it's turned into an avalanche. He had his chance to change the entire course of the series right there and then but was too slow. By the time he did anything, they had reached the relative safety of 250 +. The rest, as they say, is history.

  • Maroubra_Flyer on December 17, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    Don't despair England, Border was the same type of captain when he started delegating morale to Greg Matthews, Cook needs to take charge. Flower should step aside to begin a regeneration. KP should go, but deserves to play out the series as he has been a exceptional cricketer. He should go & not hang on as Ponting did. Prior MUST be dropped his keeping was lamentable & he let the situation get to him in second innings. Otherwise you can make a good transition - Carberry looks fine as an opener & his time will come. Cook had a bad series but fought well, Bell to No 3 & Root to No 4 (he played some tough innings & will be better for it). Stokes - what a sensational innings under difficult circumstances. Ballance & Bairstow to round out the order. England need wicket takers - no more hold up an end types. Siddle & Hoggett did this but also take wickets. Finn & Rankin need to play & stick with them. In the 90's you swapped & it didnt work, identify, pick & stick like Oz. Bugger Fleet St

  • on December 17, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    England, in this last innings in Perth, showed something positive to build on. Young Stokes did wonderfully well, Bell chimed in, Carberry and Root showed great application. Cook is out of form, perhaps Pietersen is the one to go. So too Prior, he had a shocker of a game where it counted, with the gloves on behind the stumps. He seems a mental wreck. As an Aussie, I don't see England as that far off recovery in the next two tests. Give Pietersen and Prior a spell, maybe Swann too (go Monty!), but stick to the rest and just get your heads down and stop getting out to crappy, ill-disciplined shots. Oh, and have a bit more fielding practice, and you'l be competitive again.

  • Vnott on December 17, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    Matt Prior is one who needs to be shown the door. Very inconsistent. KP has also not been consistent enough especially at no:4...though he has scored a few good fifties. Cook had an incredible run which has run its course. Add James Anderson and Swan who have both badly underperformed.... All 5 careers are on the line in one way or the other.

    The best they can hope for is to limit the damage in the next 2 tests, prevent a 5-0 and rebuild.

  • irishhawks on December 17, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    With all due respect for English cricket team i think time has come that there are such players in team with eye for eye attitude..especially when you tour abroad..every team needs cricketers like that.Just like Warner..he just doesn't talk..He Bats damn well too in attacking manner..Just like Shane Warne who always looked in to eye of batsmen..And Capatain clark..we all know he scores runs but he always gives mouthful to opposition... So English cricket need cricketers with more attacking outlook..No more Gentleman's game...when u r facing tough guys..u gotta be tough...U have to remind them u are not gonna give up or not gonna take belting lying down...

  • wightred on December 17, 2013, 10:10 GMT

    I think England have been unlucky in not winning the toss and getting first bat on three good wickets.I'm not for one minute saying the results would have been different,there's no doubt the best team won on all three occasions.I would, however,like to see us bat first in the next test, and if we crumble again then it's definitely time to ring in the changes.

  • AB_DeVilliers on December 17, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    If you take a step back and look at things with no bias, the positions of Anderson and Swan are in jeopardy. In fact, if England don't drop those two, they'll go down 5-0. One other thing that strikes me is that KP lacks a bit of hunger, but he always has a brilliant innings up his sleeve. With Stokes at 6, England don't need Bresnan and should go with Broad, Finn, Rankin, Stokes and Panesar. The non selection of Onions was always going to be a mistake. Cheers from a Saffer.

  • Easyrider7 on December 17, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    A major problem with Cook's captaincy is that he throws in the white towel way too early. When the opposition bats first and reaches a score like 100/1 he gives up trying to win and immediately goes on the defensive trying the draw the test.

    Secondly, when his team is in a good position he is often content to just cruise and wait for it to happen than go for the throat as good Australian teams always do.

    Another problem is that he isn't his own man - he relies too much on Andy Flower. I remember in one of the tests against NZ this year when NZ was 9 wickets down and almost certain not to reach the follow-on score, Cook rushed off the ground to ask Flower for advice on whether he should enforce the follow-on or not. But any decent captain should have his own idea and be willing to back himself fully. Can you imagine Ricky Ponting running off for advice from his coach? Not likely!

  • Narkovian on December 17, 2013, 9:55 GMT

    What ever happened to batsmen.? It seems to be very much in vogue to say batter. Probably batsmen are considered posh - and that would never do would it? ! Personally, batter is what I get with fish and chips. Oh dear the English language does change doesn't it. Rarely for the batter (sic) ! Anyway... whatever they call 'em.... ENG better find some soon who can bat.

  • SurlyCynic on December 17, 2013, 9:52 GMT

    Swann and Anderson have been dreadful. Get rid. Averaging 80 and 60? Might as well select Monty and send an SOS for Onions (or select Rankin?) - it's not as if Swann bats better against pace than Monty anyway.

    The last time England made 400 Compton was in the team. He grew up on hard pitches and would have been perfect for this tour. Why was he dumped from the squad? Bizarre selections.

  • sgang on December 17, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    I always felt Cook is a decent batsmen, and a very defensive captain like his coach. England has always been an over rated team despite a few success. Last home series win against Australia was much closer than the result showed unlike the current series in which Australia just outplayed them in the no contest series so far! And I don't expect any reversal in the remaining matches.

  • on December 17, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    He's right on one thing - ALL the senior players, with the possible exception of Broad, have failed dismally. The only hundred has come from a newbie No.6, and nobody has taken 5 wickets in an innings. That says it all.

  • BradmanBestEver on December 17, 2013, 9:32 GMT

    Cook has overrated his senior players for some years now and so have much of the English media and their supporters.

    This series has shown up exactly how good the English team really is.

    This Australian team is by no means a great team - they are just a group of good players but who play AS A TEAM and who NEVER SAY DIE. These two attributes are the critical differences between the two sides.

    Heaven forbid, if this Australian team had some "great players" in it the margins would have been much wider and the tests finished earlier. At least this way we have only a flogging to observe instead of an absolute, total and complete pole-axing of the English.

  • muzika_tchaikovskogo on December 17, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    This series pretty much confirms what I've suspected for quite some time now: many members of this team are in decline now. Since their tour of India last winter, England have looked a distinctly middling side bereft of ideas and content to let things drift.

  • chicko1983 on December 17, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    its.rachit - if you take away any of KP, Cook's, Bells, Swann's, Anderson's or Bresnans 2010-11 years from their stats, they are pretty average cricketers. They came up against the worst Aussie team ever and rightly dominated. But since then, they have failed against good opposition because they are only average players.

  • Rishi03 on December 17, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    Is Cook sending a warning to Pietersen? I feel England is an over rated side only good in home conditions. The only unusual mark they made was by winning a series in India, which alone cannot be a reason for them to be call the best in the world. This series is a reality check for all English fans!

  • jackiethepen on December 17, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    Not impressed. Alastair says other players' futures are on the line and yet says he is going to carry on. Defends himself and his coach and doesn't defend his players who still have two Tests to play. And yet he asks himself if he is not getting the best out of them? Isn't that the role of the captain and the coach? Yet all he is thinking about is his own spot. So he has been accepting advice from Flower about what to do? As if we didn't know. Flower has shown no aptitude how to raise a team that is losing morale and confidence and neither has Cook. It's when the going gets tough that the cracks appear all right. Flower clinging on to power through his mouthpiece is not a pleasant attitude at the same time as threatening the team. Says everything about the kind of coach he is.

  • Meety on December 17, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    No real arguements with anything Cook has said. I really do worry for him - as I genuinely like the guy. Like Strauss, I think Cook is a good leader of men, but strategically on the field in battle, he is not very good. Interestingly - apart from KP & maybe Prior, I didn't see to many players offering advice. I don't think there is a genuine captain in any of the players in the side at the moment. Compton I think could of been a good one. I think that Cook might think things are tough right now, but I think Fleet Street will be worse to face than MJ downwind (lol - that line works so many ways!). == == == Really will be interesting to see how England approach the last 2 tests. Unlike in England where Oz had to try & find something for the return series, it will be a couple of years before Oz return to England & the sides will have undergone some serious changes. So I suppose as Cook says - some players will be playing for their futures.

  • its.rachit on December 17, 2013, 9:13 GMT

    England had been preparing for this loss for the last 2 years ... apart from the series win in India last year, which can be attributed eqully to India's incompetency, they have struggled since defeating India 4-0 in 2011 ... loss to pak 3-0, losing to SA 2-0, Failure to win a match in NZ ... even the 3-0 Ashes win in Aug was hardly convincing ... and the evidence of their bad performance is clear if you look at some stats : at the end of the India series in 2011, bell, cook and KP all averaged between 49.2 to 50.2 after around 70 tests each ... 28 tests later, they all average between 46.5 and 47.3 ... a fall of almost 3 runs in 2 years is a huf

  • ooper_cut on December 17, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    Decent way of seeing things when you have lost. Magnanimous in defeat, Cook is. Hope he can rally his troops around salvage some pride in the last 2 matches.

  • playfaircricket on December 17, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    As Shane Warne Said Alistair Cook Waits For chances To Come , In 1st Innings At Brisbane Aus are 130/6 and He didn't attack to get remaining wkts ..I Think Cook Losts The Urn in The 1st Test Itself

  • vswami on December 17, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    The senior players are all best friends, and dropping them now is probably the end of their career. Would Cook be brave enough to do that ? It has to be the selectors to take that call.

  • Big_Chikka on December 17, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    too early to be talking of cook's fall into oblivion. its just one series and many contributory factors. one thing i will suggest though is that cook becomes his own man and not gooch's or flowers or anyone's "boy."

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  • Big_Chikka on December 17, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    too early to be talking of cook's fall into oblivion. its just one series and many contributory factors. one thing i will suggest though is that cook becomes his own man and not gooch's or flowers or anyone's "boy."

  • vswami on December 17, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    The senior players are all best friends, and dropping them now is probably the end of their career. Would Cook be brave enough to do that ? It has to be the selectors to take that call.

  • playfaircricket on December 17, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    As Shane Warne Said Alistair Cook Waits For chances To Come , In 1st Innings At Brisbane Aus are 130/6 and He didn't attack to get remaining wkts ..I Think Cook Losts The Urn in The 1st Test Itself

  • ooper_cut on December 17, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    Decent way of seeing things when you have lost. Magnanimous in defeat, Cook is. Hope he can rally his troops around salvage some pride in the last 2 matches.

  • its.rachit on December 17, 2013, 9:13 GMT

    England had been preparing for this loss for the last 2 years ... apart from the series win in India last year, which can be attributed eqully to India's incompetency, they have struggled since defeating India 4-0 in 2011 ... loss to pak 3-0, losing to SA 2-0, Failure to win a match in NZ ... even the 3-0 Ashes win in Aug was hardly convincing ... and the evidence of their bad performance is clear if you look at some stats : at the end of the India series in 2011, bell, cook and KP all averaged between 49.2 to 50.2 after around 70 tests each ... 28 tests later, they all average between 46.5 and 47.3 ... a fall of almost 3 runs in 2 years is a huf

  • Meety on December 17, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    No real arguements with anything Cook has said. I really do worry for him - as I genuinely like the guy. Like Strauss, I think Cook is a good leader of men, but strategically on the field in battle, he is not very good. Interestingly - apart from KP & maybe Prior, I didn't see to many players offering advice. I don't think there is a genuine captain in any of the players in the side at the moment. Compton I think could of been a good one. I think that Cook might think things are tough right now, but I think Fleet Street will be worse to face than MJ downwind (lol - that line works so many ways!). == == == Really will be interesting to see how England approach the last 2 tests. Unlike in England where Oz had to try & find something for the return series, it will be a couple of years before Oz return to England & the sides will have undergone some serious changes. So I suppose as Cook says - some players will be playing for their futures.

  • jackiethepen on December 17, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    Not impressed. Alastair says other players' futures are on the line and yet says he is going to carry on. Defends himself and his coach and doesn't defend his players who still have two Tests to play. And yet he asks himself if he is not getting the best out of them? Isn't that the role of the captain and the coach? Yet all he is thinking about is his own spot. So he has been accepting advice from Flower about what to do? As if we didn't know. Flower has shown no aptitude how to raise a team that is losing morale and confidence and neither has Cook. It's when the going gets tough that the cracks appear all right. Flower clinging on to power through his mouthpiece is not a pleasant attitude at the same time as threatening the team. Says everything about the kind of coach he is.

  • Rishi03 on December 17, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    Is Cook sending a warning to Pietersen? I feel England is an over rated side only good in home conditions. The only unusual mark they made was by winning a series in India, which alone cannot be a reason for them to be call the best in the world. This series is a reality check for all English fans!

  • chicko1983 on December 17, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    its.rachit - if you take away any of KP, Cook's, Bells, Swann's, Anderson's or Bresnans 2010-11 years from their stats, they are pretty average cricketers. They came up against the worst Aussie team ever and rightly dominated. But since then, they have failed against good opposition because they are only average players.

  • muzika_tchaikovskogo on December 17, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    This series pretty much confirms what I've suspected for quite some time now: many members of this team are in decline now. Since their tour of India last winter, England have looked a distinctly middling side bereft of ideas and content to let things drift.