India vs England 2018: 5 things England must do to put an end to their Test woes
England has won just one of their last nine Test matches, losing six in the process. The tour of Australia and New Zealand was disastrous.
They lost five of the seven Test matches that they played while managing to draw the remaining two. It's not just that they lost, but it's the manner in which they lost.
In their 4-0 Ashes drubbing by Australia, they lost two matches by an innings and one by 10 wickets. In New Zealand too, the only Test they lost was by an innings.
When they toured India in 2016-17, two of their innings defeats came after scoring 400 plus in the first innings.
Big defeats are not good for team morale and this, in turn, affects their performances on the field. It also negatively impacted their ranking. England now lie in the fifth position and are in danger of being overtaken by Sri Lanka.
Some visible frailties have developed in their set up and with India touring next month, they will be anxious to get things in order.
#1 Change in their batting mindset
A change in the batting mindset is evident. England were lagging far behind in the shorter formats after a humiliating exit from the 2015 World Cup at the hands of Bangladesh.
In the three years since, there has been a complete overhaul. They brought in a new coach, a new captain and changed the way they approached the game. While they've arguably become the best ODI side in the world, it has come at a price.
They've tried to bring this attacking mindset to the test arena as well. In lieu of this, they selected offensive players like Alex Hales and Adam Lyth.
Although Lyth did manage a century against New Zealand, he was dropped after averaging just 20 in his seven Test matches. Hales didn't fare much better either.
Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes are two players whose natural instinct is also to be aggressive. In the five Test matches, Bairstow has played this year, he’s averaged a mere 28.22.
In 2017 as well, his numbers are bleak. While he averaged slightly higher at 34.31, he only managed one hundred.
I’m not suggesting for a moment, that England need to drop these players and change their whole squad. However, they need to approach their innings a bit better.
England's batsmen seem to have forgotten the importance of being patient out in the middle. Poor shot making in reasonable batting conditions has led to their downfall once too many times now.