Australia v England, 5th Test, Sydney, 2nd day January 4, 2014

Gloomy Gooch warns of more pain to come

22

If you have assumed that England have reached their low point, think again. England's batting coach Graham Gooch has warned that some more pain might be in store next summer before a rebuilt side begins to show signs of improvement.

As England face up to uncomfortable changes in their playing personnel, Gooch also believes that the entire backroom staff will be desperate to keep their jobs and be given another opportunity to put things right after the Ashes debacle.

Gooch might be imagined to be one of the people most in the firing line. England's loss of their first five wickets for 23 in Sydney on the second day was their fifth worst start in Test history. They have also only made one century in the series - that from a novice, Ben Stokes, playing in only his second Test.

"Everyone has to look at themselves," Gooch said. The coaches, the players; we're all going to be under scrutiny, quite rightly, and we all have to take it on the chin and we have to take the criticism.

"If you play the way we play, the brutal truth is it's not been good enough. We have to look for ways to move forward and ways to improve and that might entail taking some more pain before it gets better. Obviously there will be a rebuilding process. I don't make those decisions but I've been here before many times.

"Everyone on this tour would not like to leave under the circumstances of this tour and the debris of this tour. 4-0 down and behind the 8 ball in the fifth game is not the way you want to leave. Everyone will want to try to put things right and try to move English cricket forward."

Gooch did not place the blame in Sydney entirely at the batsmen's door. He suggested that Australia's first-innings 326 was substantially over par - much more so than the 60 runs which Stokes had suggested after the opening day.

"A total of 326 is way over par on this pitch, in my opinion," Gooch said. "Looking at the way the pitch behaved on the first day, once that score is on the board it's always going to be difficult - especially once we got the start we did. Drawing on all your experience I'd have said 250 was a good score, 200 even, but once you concede that sort of score, it's going to be tough.

"We managed to recover a little bit but it's the sort of pitch where there are lots of wicket-taking balls going around, and you need to play well. You probably need to play a bit aggressively. So it's going be tough from here, from this position.

"As for the rest of the tour, a lot has been said but our players have not met the challenge with the bat, obviously. We've not competed as we'd have liked to and not shown the skills that have been necessary. Good Test players generally get out lbw, caught behind, caught slip, but we've gifted too many wickets. If you look at Nathan Lyon last game - he bowled pretty well but five wickets he got, not one, personally, bowled out, really.

Gooch conceded that England's faltering batting was already evident in the Ashes series last summer when they still managed to beat Australia 3-0.

"You try to coach run-making - obviously that's not gone very well this trip for us. You have to take responsibility as well. You try to give insight, give ideas, you try and condition the players to what they're going to face, and how to think and how to construct innings, and the knowledge as well as the skills, as well as the technique. You do your best. Plainly, we've not had the effect and I've not had the effect that I would've liked in this series.

"Over a little period now, we've not been getting the runs. Ian Bell played brilliantly in the summer and held our batting together. In Australia, possibly the fourth afternoon at Perth, when Stokes and Bell were batting, was the only time they probably felt a little bit under pressure.

"We all have to look at ourselves and our methods. Personally, I have total belief in the messages I give to the players but we'll have to look at it and see whether there's a better way. The powers that be will definitely be reviewing everyone after this series, as they do, and quite rightly. So we'll all be under scrutiny.

Gooch, a mentor of Alastair Cook since his formative years, did insist that he should be spared from any examination. "For any player, your No. 1 job, whether you're a bowler, an all-rounder, or a batsman, is to contribute to the side. No captain is going to be happy with just being captain and not contributing. For me, he's still a guy who's learning and he's still the guy who should be there when some sort of rebuilding takes place."

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mike_Tyson on January 6, 2014, 13:03 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster. You seem very confident, overconfident even of India's chances in Eng in the summer. While I agree that you have a good batting lineup, your bowling is still extremely poor. You nearly lost the first test in SA defending 450 odd in pretty helpful conditions and then got wallopped in the second test. I am sure some of the young Indian batsman will score runs, Kohli and Pujara are class but I'm still not sure about Rahane, Vijay or Dhawan. Then you have MS who simply can't bat abroad, Jadeja is also a poor bat, less said about Rohit Sharma the better. Are 2 guys can carry your batting?

    I honestly won't be surprised if Eng win that series 3 or 4 nil. you really don't have anything in the pace department that will unsettle Eng.

  • on January 5, 2014, 12:26 GMT

    Gooch wants to sound accountable for England's batting performance but thats just bollocks. Why wasn't there talks of rebuilding thrown about before the Tour. There is a simple explanation. Cricket is as much a mental game as physical. Australian side is still above average but they raised their game and played with supreme passion and anger that comes from a bruised ego. England team have the ability but caved in mentally everytime things didnt go their way, instead of taking the fight to the Aussies. In almost every match they were close to be in a dominating position but couldn't break Haddin's resistence and ended giving up and giving up the match. You cannot take credit away from Johnson and Co's performances, they were spitting fire but you gotta fight fire with fire. Stand up to the bullies and show you ain't intimidated. Similar to the Indian batsmen on the SA tour.

  • Hash_Tag on January 5, 2014, 7:32 GMT

    @Greatest_Game on (January 5, 2014, 1:03 GMT) very disappointing comment from you. Many of my Indian brothers will make graceless comments like yours on games and teams that do not concern them. But I know that you are South African. I expect it of posters like Harmony, GPVQR and Meanster, but I do not expect it of you. I had felt that you were a dispassionate follower of this great game.

  • MarinManiac on January 5, 2014, 6:49 GMT

    Who's the best county captain (who hasn't retired or isn't qualified for England)?

    It worked well with Ray Illingworth....and Mike Brearley....Straussy wasn't bad either....

  • heathrf1974 on January 5, 2014, 5:55 GMT

    England playing India in England will give a good indication of whether the problems in this series were mental or ability and where England now stand in the world pecking order.

  • on January 5, 2014, 4:27 GMT

    @Greatest_Game hahaha spot on mate!!! I can't stop laughing!!!

  • humdrum on January 5, 2014, 4:14 GMT

    The least that should be done is to give the bum's rush to Gooch,Flower and the rest of the backroom boys and no punishment or censure will be enough to compensate for the disgrace heaped by the Aussies in this series.Unless Gooch personally feels that its par for the course and so long as you don't lose to the likes of Bangladesh or Zimbabwe,its business as usual.The boys continue with this no-show,Gooch and Flower make inane comments(Why should I resign,Be prepared for worse etc) to soothe the ruffled feathers back home and the circus continues on its merry way.

  • on January 5, 2014, 1:42 GMT

    What on Earth has happened to England? Last Ashes series we were constantly bombarded with triumphalist declarations of how this was 'the greatest England team ever', 'the greatest team in test cricket' - there seemed no end to it! Odder still, despite the strength of the team revolving around a handful of key players and there being no clear favourite for third seamer, we were told the reason England was so GREAT was their 'incredible depth'.

    Somehow they have gone instantly from 'the world's greatest' to now the coaching staff are saying they need to be trusted for 'years of rebuilding'? They lose one series and the cupboard is bare? The backup players they had, that incredible depth, has been discarded out of hand. Finn, Tremlett, Panesar, Root? Nope. Not good enough. Not even close. And it looks like Bairstow is next.

    Does somebody in England understand this all more than me? It was clear Australia weren't the same world beaters by 07/08, but the crisis didn't happen overnight!

  • Greatest_Game on January 5, 2014, 1:03 GMT

    English Cricket Experts.

    1. "The Best Keeper-Batsman in the World" morphed into "The Most Unwillingly Retired Keeper-Batsman." English fans mocked de Villiers when he took the gloves, & sagely pronounced his batting demise. Now ranked #1 Test & ODI batsman, he scored 50+ in his last 10 tests, incl 5 tons, & has the 3rd best (10 tests +) D/I (keeping ave) in history. Debate over?

    2. "The Most Skillful Bowler in the World" has a series average of 43.21 at SR 79.5. From "Military Medium," to "Bog Average," to "Club." Would not make the Indian team. Not very skillful, either.

    3. "The Best Spinner in the World," after taking 7 in 3 tests, @ ave 80, SR 121.7, & conceding 560 runs, did the honorable thing & promptly retired, mid-tour, to pursue his IPL career. Book due soon.

    4. "The Best Batsman since Bradman" ... is not. Clearly not. Tour ave 26.55. Best since Chris Tavare?

    5. Botham predicted 10-0. Nostradamus is safe.

    Welcome to Fortress England & The Golden Age of English Cricket!

  • balajik2505 on January 5, 2014, 0:25 GMT

    Typical management speak. The more I hear these guys, the more I am reminded of Dilbert. Fact is Gooch is also part of the problem. Even in his playing days, he could not tolerate players who were not cast in a particular mould. He was the man who ended Gower's career. How can you expect Gooch to really be part of the solution. The way Trott, Swann and Panesar fell apart should tell a tale of something wrong with the English management. Funny thing is, Australia was pretty close to falling apart 6 months ago. Lehmann has done something good. The English management would never have backed either Haddin or Johnson or for that matter Chris Rogers, a player who has quietly been one of the success stories of this series. Nor do I see them backing up Ryan Harris, given his fitness history. Never mind Johnson, Harris has led this bowling attack.

  • Mike_Tyson on January 6, 2014, 13:03 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster. You seem very confident, overconfident even of India's chances in Eng in the summer. While I agree that you have a good batting lineup, your bowling is still extremely poor. You nearly lost the first test in SA defending 450 odd in pretty helpful conditions and then got wallopped in the second test. I am sure some of the young Indian batsman will score runs, Kohli and Pujara are class but I'm still not sure about Rahane, Vijay or Dhawan. Then you have MS who simply can't bat abroad, Jadeja is also a poor bat, less said about Rohit Sharma the better. Are 2 guys can carry your batting?

    I honestly won't be surprised if Eng win that series 3 or 4 nil. you really don't have anything in the pace department that will unsettle Eng.

  • on January 5, 2014, 12:26 GMT

    Gooch wants to sound accountable for England's batting performance but thats just bollocks. Why wasn't there talks of rebuilding thrown about before the Tour. There is a simple explanation. Cricket is as much a mental game as physical. Australian side is still above average but they raised their game and played with supreme passion and anger that comes from a bruised ego. England team have the ability but caved in mentally everytime things didnt go their way, instead of taking the fight to the Aussies. In almost every match they were close to be in a dominating position but couldn't break Haddin's resistence and ended giving up and giving up the match. You cannot take credit away from Johnson and Co's performances, they were spitting fire but you gotta fight fire with fire. Stand up to the bullies and show you ain't intimidated. Similar to the Indian batsmen on the SA tour.

  • Hash_Tag on January 5, 2014, 7:32 GMT

    @Greatest_Game on (January 5, 2014, 1:03 GMT) very disappointing comment from you. Many of my Indian brothers will make graceless comments like yours on games and teams that do not concern them. But I know that you are South African. I expect it of posters like Harmony, GPVQR and Meanster, but I do not expect it of you. I had felt that you were a dispassionate follower of this great game.

  • MarinManiac on January 5, 2014, 6:49 GMT

    Who's the best county captain (who hasn't retired or isn't qualified for England)?

    It worked well with Ray Illingworth....and Mike Brearley....Straussy wasn't bad either....

  • heathrf1974 on January 5, 2014, 5:55 GMT

    England playing India in England will give a good indication of whether the problems in this series were mental or ability and where England now stand in the world pecking order.

  • on January 5, 2014, 4:27 GMT

    @Greatest_Game hahaha spot on mate!!! I can't stop laughing!!!

  • humdrum on January 5, 2014, 4:14 GMT

    The least that should be done is to give the bum's rush to Gooch,Flower and the rest of the backroom boys and no punishment or censure will be enough to compensate for the disgrace heaped by the Aussies in this series.Unless Gooch personally feels that its par for the course and so long as you don't lose to the likes of Bangladesh or Zimbabwe,its business as usual.The boys continue with this no-show,Gooch and Flower make inane comments(Why should I resign,Be prepared for worse etc) to soothe the ruffled feathers back home and the circus continues on its merry way.

  • on January 5, 2014, 1:42 GMT

    What on Earth has happened to England? Last Ashes series we were constantly bombarded with triumphalist declarations of how this was 'the greatest England team ever', 'the greatest team in test cricket' - there seemed no end to it! Odder still, despite the strength of the team revolving around a handful of key players and there being no clear favourite for third seamer, we were told the reason England was so GREAT was their 'incredible depth'.

    Somehow they have gone instantly from 'the world's greatest' to now the coaching staff are saying they need to be trusted for 'years of rebuilding'? They lose one series and the cupboard is bare? The backup players they had, that incredible depth, has been discarded out of hand. Finn, Tremlett, Panesar, Root? Nope. Not good enough. Not even close. And it looks like Bairstow is next.

    Does somebody in England understand this all more than me? It was clear Australia weren't the same world beaters by 07/08, but the crisis didn't happen overnight!

  • Greatest_Game on January 5, 2014, 1:03 GMT

    English Cricket Experts.

    1. "The Best Keeper-Batsman in the World" morphed into "The Most Unwillingly Retired Keeper-Batsman." English fans mocked de Villiers when he took the gloves, & sagely pronounced his batting demise. Now ranked #1 Test & ODI batsman, he scored 50+ in his last 10 tests, incl 5 tons, & has the 3rd best (10 tests +) D/I (keeping ave) in history. Debate over?

    2. "The Most Skillful Bowler in the World" has a series average of 43.21 at SR 79.5. From "Military Medium," to "Bog Average," to "Club." Would not make the Indian team. Not very skillful, either.

    3. "The Best Spinner in the World," after taking 7 in 3 tests, @ ave 80, SR 121.7, & conceding 560 runs, did the honorable thing & promptly retired, mid-tour, to pursue his IPL career. Book due soon.

    4. "The Best Batsman since Bradman" ... is not. Clearly not. Tour ave 26.55. Best since Chris Tavare?

    5. Botham predicted 10-0. Nostradamus is safe.

    Welcome to Fortress England & The Golden Age of English Cricket!

  • balajik2505 on January 5, 2014, 0:25 GMT

    Typical management speak. The more I hear these guys, the more I am reminded of Dilbert. Fact is Gooch is also part of the problem. Even in his playing days, he could not tolerate players who were not cast in a particular mould. He was the man who ended Gower's career. How can you expect Gooch to really be part of the solution. The way Trott, Swann and Panesar fell apart should tell a tale of something wrong with the English management. Funny thing is, Australia was pretty close to falling apart 6 months ago. Lehmann has done something good. The English management would never have backed either Haddin or Johnson or for that matter Chris Rogers, a player who has quietly been one of the success stories of this series. Nor do I see them backing up Ryan Harris, given his fitness history. Never mind Johnson, Harris has led this bowling attack.

  • on January 4, 2014, 21:54 GMT

    Obviously this has been a pretty torrid time for England but there is plenty to work with going forward, there is some big 'must do's' though, first and foremost, get Steven Finn back on the park and bowling to his full potential, a 5 man bowling attack based around Broad, Finn and Stokes has some pretty serious potential. I honestly believe Anderson is all but shot, he just doesn't look like he is in the contest, he's not old but he has been on the treadmill a long time and wouldn't be the first good bowler to hit the wall in his early thirties. The other priority is sorting the wheat from the chaff with the younger batsmen and bringing through a couple of strokemakers, the English batting has become far too turgid by half! When Ian Bell is being labelled a strokemaker you are in trouble, he is not, he is a sturdy little accumulator of runs and should be in the side but please go out and find a 2, 3 and 5 that will play some shots! Cook, Bell, Prior, Stokes and Broad is the nucleus

  • TripleCenturian on January 4, 2014, 19:35 GMT

    Buttler is a one day slogger and was not even the best keeper in Somerset.

    Hales was dropped by Notts for the four day team so that's hardly a steer to him being a test player.

    Give Ballance a chance.

  • Cpt.Meanster on January 4, 2014, 19:31 GMT

    @salazar555: You know what, some of you English fans baffle me. I keep hearing all this talk about how good Joe Root is and that he should never have been left out and all that. The fact of the matter is, Root isn't looking like a match winner at this moment in time. He hasn't done anything of substance so far this series. In fact, his defensive batting has cost the team runs whenever he has held the strike. But I will give cut him some slack because his mates were equally woeful. But come on guys, you all seriously think Root is your future ?! I mean.. he can still play if he wants. The one thing that he has in his favour is his age. Still, I wish him well. I know he's a fine one day and T20 player though. Why not bring that attacking game into test cricket ? Make a boring format into an exciting one ?

  • Cpt.Meanster on January 4, 2014, 19:17 GMT

    @yorkshirematt: "if you want to blood young players and get some of the senior blokes back into form then England's two opponents for the summer, without being disrespectful, would probably be up near the top of the list." - I know whom you are talking about. Mark my words, India are not the same team of daddies that toured in 2011. They are now a fiery young side who play fearless cricket pretty much like the way Australia played this Ashes series. England can kiss their 4-0 memory goodbye. After seeing this English performance, India will be confident to win in England and this English team will be given a run for their money. No proper players in the team for England and it could be a long time before things turn around for them. Sri Lanka are also a good team and will pose some challenges to England in the upcoming summer. Please don't try to be overly confident. Some tough cricket coming up for your team.

  • Cpt.Meanster on January 4, 2014, 19:09 GMT

    @landl47: "The good news is that England has a good crop of young players to work with." What good crop of young players are you talking about ? Only Stokes looks as if he really wants to be there. It will take many years for England to get back to where they were these last 3-4 years. They might fare well at home but since other teams are getting stronger, even that looks shaky. You speak of some other names in your comments. For them to be successful, they need to be given a chance in EVERY form of cricket to begin with. The problem with England is that they waste too much time with 'specialists'. There is no such thing. A good test player will also play T20 or ODIs well and vice versa. India is a fine example. They already have the nucleus of a wonderful test team with youngsters who mainly played limited overs cricket. Does England have a Pujara, or a Kohli or a Rahane ? The next pillars of English batting ? The ODI series following the tests should tell us more.

  • Iddo555 on January 4, 2014, 16:38 GMT

    Cook, Bell, Pietersen, Stokes, Anderson and Broad should be the core England go forward with.

    That means 5 players spots are up for grabs.

    Carberry, Bresnan, Panesar and Rankin need to be cut lose, they are either no longer good enough or never were good enough.

    Butler and Hales are a few players I would be looking to bring in. Root should also be bought back in and should never have been left out, he is the future.

  • Sanjiyan on January 4, 2014, 16:20 GMT

    If England really are a 'sum of all parts' team then what were honestly saying is that the english team isnt good to start with. Them playing better than the 'sum of all parts' has more to do with luck than actually being good cricketers? Where did the athertons,collingwoods and so on go? They might not be called best ever of one of the best ever but they had huge heart, grit and determination. I dont see much of that anymore. Bell is the only batsman who has some of those traits. The aussies are full of confidence when only a few monthes back we could have been saying the same thing about them...whats changed? a new coach with a fresh way of thinking and the players are now playing to their potential(some more than others). Say whatever you like, but imo if england want to change ways, they should start at the top and the management should be prepared to make hard calls. Noone should be irreplaceable...

  • 2.14istherunrate on January 4, 2014, 16:14 GMT

    Gooch is empty of ideas. We need new ideas to take us forward. We also need inspiration and fire in our bellies. Should start with Gower Flying trips! really the overprofessional ethics in place nee relaxing. It is just the recipe for obsessive compulsive disorder. Look at Trott etc.The whole thing needs to lighten up big time.

  • yorkshirematt on January 4, 2014, 15:52 GMT

    I don't like to disagree with someone on the inside of England camp but if you want to blood young players and get some of the senior blokes back into form then England's two opponents for the summer, without being disrespectful, would probably be up near the top of the list. With the greatest respect they're not going to face anything near the level and ferocity of bowling they've faced down under. Their biggest opponents will be themselves and their mindset

  • Tomkat6671 on January 4, 2014, 15:24 GMT

    Good leadership ensures the team is more than the sum of its parts. Gooch, flower and Saker have ensured this team on this tour has performed well below the sum of its parts. Asking the right questions as to why this has been the case will be crucial to moving on. Ask the wrong questions and the leadership team will come up with the wrong answers. Worryingly, gooch and Flower seem too one dimensional, and will therefore ask the wrong questions of themselves and the team.

  • landl47 on January 4, 2014, 14:30 GMT

    It's pretty obvious that all aspects of England's game will have to be examined when they get home. It's not just that they've been outbatted- they've been outbowled, outfielded and outcaptained, too.

    There's a lot of work to be done. The good news is that England has a good crop of young players to work with. The bad news is that will take time. For now, they need to bring in a genuine quick bowler to rattle the opposition in short spells (MJ has been used brilliantly by Clarke), replace Carberry and bring in another spinner; Borthwick isn't close to being a test class legspinner.

    The building blocks are there. Cook is only 29 and Broad, England's best bowler, is 27. Stokes seems to be the real deal which gives England more options- a true allrounder is a precious commodity. Balance and Root are good young batsmen and there are several more (Taylor, Moeen, Vince, Robson) coming along. If Bairstow doesn't make it as a WK/Batsmen, there's Buttler or Foakes.

    But it will take time.

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on January 4, 2014, 13:38 GMT

    Goochie comes across as a real hard and well-intentioned worker, but wasn't he the guy who requested the selectors to drop him during a torrid time in an ashes series? Then how is he qualified to serve as a batting 'coach'? And anyways at the international level, i am not convinced u need such a big army of coaches, because it implies players don't have command over their basics and really, the players, if under the pump, should be interacting with their personal mentors from their formative years, who know them as players as well as persons.

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  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on January 4, 2014, 13:38 GMT

    Goochie comes across as a real hard and well-intentioned worker, but wasn't he the guy who requested the selectors to drop him during a torrid time in an ashes series? Then how is he qualified to serve as a batting 'coach'? And anyways at the international level, i am not convinced u need such a big army of coaches, because it implies players don't have command over their basics and really, the players, if under the pump, should be interacting with their personal mentors from their formative years, who know them as players as well as persons.

  • landl47 on January 4, 2014, 14:30 GMT

    It's pretty obvious that all aspects of England's game will have to be examined when they get home. It's not just that they've been outbatted- they've been outbowled, outfielded and outcaptained, too.

    There's a lot of work to be done. The good news is that England has a good crop of young players to work with. The bad news is that will take time. For now, they need to bring in a genuine quick bowler to rattle the opposition in short spells (MJ has been used brilliantly by Clarke), replace Carberry and bring in another spinner; Borthwick isn't close to being a test class legspinner.

    The building blocks are there. Cook is only 29 and Broad, England's best bowler, is 27. Stokes seems to be the real deal which gives England more options- a true allrounder is a precious commodity. Balance and Root are good young batsmen and there are several more (Taylor, Moeen, Vince, Robson) coming along. If Bairstow doesn't make it as a WK/Batsmen, there's Buttler or Foakes.

    But it will take time.

  • Tomkat6671 on January 4, 2014, 15:24 GMT

    Good leadership ensures the team is more than the sum of its parts. Gooch, flower and Saker have ensured this team on this tour has performed well below the sum of its parts. Asking the right questions as to why this has been the case will be crucial to moving on. Ask the wrong questions and the leadership team will come up with the wrong answers. Worryingly, gooch and Flower seem too one dimensional, and will therefore ask the wrong questions of themselves and the team.

  • yorkshirematt on January 4, 2014, 15:52 GMT

    I don't like to disagree with someone on the inside of England camp but if you want to blood young players and get some of the senior blokes back into form then England's two opponents for the summer, without being disrespectful, would probably be up near the top of the list. With the greatest respect they're not going to face anything near the level and ferocity of bowling they've faced down under. Their biggest opponents will be themselves and their mindset

  • 2.14istherunrate on January 4, 2014, 16:14 GMT

    Gooch is empty of ideas. We need new ideas to take us forward. We also need inspiration and fire in our bellies. Should start with Gower Flying trips! really the overprofessional ethics in place nee relaxing. It is just the recipe for obsessive compulsive disorder. Look at Trott etc.The whole thing needs to lighten up big time.

  • Sanjiyan on January 4, 2014, 16:20 GMT

    If England really are a 'sum of all parts' team then what were honestly saying is that the english team isnt good to start with. Them playing better than the 'sum of all parts' has more to do with luck than actually being good cricketers? Where did the athertons,collingwoods and so on go? They might not be called best ever of one of the best ever but they had huge heart, grit and determination. I dont see much of that anymore. Bell is the only batsman who has some of those traits. The aussies are full of confidence when only a few monthes back we could have been saying the same thing about them...whats changed? a new coach with a fresh way of thinking and the players are now playing to their potential(some more than others). Say whatever you like, but imo if england want to change ways, they should start at the top and the management should be prepared to make hard calls. Noone should be irreplaceable...

  • Iddo555 on January 4, 2014, 16:38 GMT

    Cook, Bell, Pietersen, Stokes, Anderson and Broad should be the core England go forward with.

    That means 5 players spots are up for grabs.

    Carberry, Bresnan, Panesar and Rankin need to be cut lose, they are either no longer good enough or never were good enough.

    Butler and Hales are a few players I would be looking to bring in. Root should also be bought back in and should never have been left out, he is the future.

  • Cpt.Meanster on January 4, 2014, 19:09 GMT

    @landl47: "The good news is that England has a good crop of young players to work with." What good crop of young players are you talking about ? Only Stokes looks as if he really wants to be there. It will take many years for England to get back to where they were these last 3-4 years. They might fare well at home but since other teams are getting stronger, even that looks shaky. You speak of some other names in your comments. For them to be successful, they need to be given a chance in EVERY form of cricket to begin with. The problem with England is that they waste too much time with 'specialists'. There is no such thing. A good test player will also play T20 or ODIs well and vice versa. India is a fine example. They already have the nucleus of a wonderful test team with youngsters who mainly played limited overs cricket. Does England have a Pujara, or a Kohli or a Rahane ? The next pillars of English batting ? The ODI series following the tests should tell us more.

  • Cpt.Meanster on January 4, 2014, 19:17 GMT

    @yorkshirematt: "if you want to blood young players and get some of the senior blokes back into form then England's two opponents for the summer, without being disrespectful, would probably be up near the top of the list." - I know whom you are talking about. Mark my words, India are not the same team of daddies that toured in 2011. They are now a fiery young side who play fearless cricket pretty much like the way Australia played this Ashes series. England can kiss their 4-0 memory goodbye. After seeing this English performance, India will be confident to win in England and this English team will be given a run for their money. No proper players in the team for England and it could be a long time before things turn around for them. Sri Lanka are also a good team and will pose some challenges to England in the upcoming summer. Please don't try to be overly confident. Some tough cricket coming up for your team.

  • Cpt.Meanster on January 4, 2014, 19:31 GMT

    @salazar555: You know what, some of you English fans baffle me. I keep hearing all this talk about how good Joe Root is and that he should never have been left out and all that. The fact of the matter is, Root isn't looking like a match winner at this moment in time. He hasn't done anything of substance so far this series. In fact, his defensive batting has cost the team runs whenever he has held the strike. But I will give cut him some slack because his mates were equally woeful. But come on guys, you all seriously think Root is your future ?! I mean.. he can still play if he wants. The one thing that he has in his favour is his age. Still, I wish him well. I know he's a fine one day and T20 player though. Why not bring that attacking game into test cricket ? Make a boring format into an exciting one ?