The Perpetual Debacle That Hampers English Test Cricket

England fans and followers find themselves in an all too familiar position. After an embarrassing loss in Australia, there comes the inevitable inquest into the perpetual debacle. After every recent Ashes tour, English fans have the same question: Can it get any worse? The recent loss does not need much explanation. What eventually transpired was seen, by many, months prior to the tour. One wicket away in a rain-affected Sydney from a whitewash, there can be no doubt this England test team is the worst I have seen, and I have seen England through the 1990s.

The Perpetual Debacle & Its Casualties

There have been the inevitable casualties: Giles – gone, Silverwood – gone, Thorpe – gone, Root – should call time as captain. This leaves the English men’s team without a Director of cricket, without a head coach, without a selector, without a batting coach and they should be without a Captain too. There are many who feel getting rid of Giles and Silverwood is a knee-jerk reaction, especially after all they have been through. Player welfare and the pandemic, being in various bubbles for long periods of time. However, my rebuttal is why has the limited-overs team not seen any dramatic decline whilst going through the same struggle?

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Giles, Silvers, Morgan, and Root decided the focus should be the white ball game throughout the pandemic. They will never admit this but it’s clear to see from the selections made. Morgan was always given the best available squad and team to pick from whilst Root had to settle for whoever is available. From the tour of Sri Lanka to the Ashes, Root never had the best available eleven playing together.

The Error

The Perpetual DebacleThis would have been acceptable but for one huge error. Silverwood, Root, and Gilles on various occasions stated that the squad going to Australia would be the best-prepared squad ever to have traveled. They took the fans for fools and for that alone they do not deserve to hold their position. The pundits I read and listen to all opine “Silver’s is a great bloke”, “Gilo is a great bloke” I fail to see how “great blokes” take the fans for fools for so long.

Silverwood after the decimation of the second ashes test said he would not change the team selected for that and the first test. This shows you the pigheadedness of the man. The refusal to accept he made the wrong decisions shows the job was way above his level.

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Giles however made an even more catastrophic decision. Giles in his wisdom decided that England does not need an independent selector, the head coach should do it. One of the major reasons to relieve Ed Smith of his duties was because the players do not like him. This is a sorry state of affairs to get involved in. It is an example of the schoolboy mentality that is dogging the test team. Selectors are not there to be liked. They are there to be impressed and if players feel too much pressure when a selector turns up it shows he is not mentally ready to play at the highest level. This is a charge leveled against many of the English batsmen over the past two years.

The Root Debacle

Reveling RishabhThe position of Root is not being questioned for the moment. Not because he is a great captain but because there is nobody else to do the job, or at least that is what seems to be the narrative at the moment. It was hoped that Root would grow into the role much like the way Cook did but, alas he is nowhere near. Simply put, he is not a leader in any sense. He does not seem to lead when he’s on the field and more importantly, he doesn’t demand more from the hierarchy when he’s off the field. He will not be sacked but he should realize his time is up and should go with some dignity. It is not his responsibility if there is no heir apparent.

Strauss has made the bold decision to drop Broad and Anderson for the tour to the Caribbean. He stated on record that the team has to balance winning today with winning tomorrow. Surely if you always focus on winning today you don’t need to worry about tomorrow! This is a sign that how much had been learned from the Ashes and not much will change. All test series will be treated as a warm-up to the Ashes as if it is the only series with playing in. The worries for England test fans would not have been eased by these decisions by any means.

Will the Perpetual Debacle ever End?

What are your views about this perpetual debacle of English red-ball cricket? Will it ever be over? Do share and comment in the comments section. You can also write us on our Twitter and Instagram handles. And reach to me directly at my Twitter handle Nimesh Patel. Please do not forget to share this blog with other cricket fans.


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