5 things we have learnt from England's tour of Down Under
Problems that England will have to address in the near future.
England's away form is depressing for the Barmy Army, to say the least. England's tour of the land down under was supposed to be the true test of their credentials. But not even the most pessimistic of their fans would have expected such a meek surrender from their players.
England has now equalled their worst run of 12 consecutive overseas test matches without a win. They managed to pick up 20 wickets in only two of those twelve matches. More embarrassingly, they have suffered innings defeats in five of those last seven matches. They narrowly avoided the lowest score in test match history, and they have to thank tail-ender Craig Overton for saving them from this agony.
It has reached a sense of inevitability now and this predictable tale of crushing away defeats has left England with a lot of thinking to do once they head back home.
Here are some of the key learnings from their torrid tour of the land down under
#5 Poor slip catching
Six or seven years ago England possessed some of the safest fielders patrolling the slip cordon. Andrew Strauss, Ian Bell, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Alastair Cook were some of the best slip fielders across the world during their time. Batsmen could start taking the long walk back to the pavilion if the edge carried to the slip fielder. This is not the case now, though.
England has had to shuffle their slip cordon multiple times as they are yet to discover top-order batsmen to replace the retired stalwarts. Alastair Cook has put down plenty of catches in recent times and is no more the safe slip catcher he once was. Joe Root has also been sloppy in the slip cordon.
Ben Stokes is the only one who is capable of inspiring some sort of confidence to his bowlers. Dropping catches demoralize the bowlers, and when wickets are at a premium when travelling, dropping catches is a sin and England have dropped plenty of them.