After Joe Root’s first home defeat as England captain, questions will surely be asked about England’s performance. Yes, they were beaten fair and square by a much better unit in the shape of New Zealand.
Once again England’s problems centred around scoreboard pressure in the second innings. Not for the first time the top and middle order succumbed to pressure of having a first innings deficit.
Everything was rosy in the garden back at the start of the year
In early February when Root hit a magnificent 218 in Chennai to lead England to one of their greatest overseas wins, everything was rosy. Now the plans for the Ashes are in shreds. England have lost four out of five test matches and will go into a forthcoming series against India as underdogs. All this before the ultimate test at the end of the year an Ashes series down under.
The reason for this sudden downturn in form for England has to be put down to the rest and rotation policy they are using. Players certainly need to be managed with special workloads in this strange era that we live in. However, once again Eoin Morgan will have his entire first choice team for the forthcoming one day series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
England policy of rotating players not paying off
Poor Root has to sit back and be told he has to rotate his players. Chris Woakes hasn’t played for England since September. Jonny Bairstow’s test career looks over as a wicketkeeper. Although he would have been better used as a stand in for the recent series against New Zealand. James Bracey has looked out of his depth with both keeping and batting.
Bairstow, was told to rest after the IPL, with Bracey picked before he was even ready for international cricket. Captain Root understandably has backed his young batsman saying it is about “mindset”.
These young players have grown up playing county cricket where the championship is played mostly on poor pitches. They tend to play shots fearing that they won’t last long at the crease.
Return of Buttler and Stokes inimant
On the horizon there is a glimmer of light with the return of Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes to the side. England need to get Dawid Malan back into the side and also get a batsman who can stay at the crease for long periods of time.
However, the truth is that England still tend to put white ball cricket first as their priority, and that will never change.