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Ashes tour failure for england

Ashes Tour Failure for England

After a dismal Ashes performance against a tough, rugged and highly motivated Australian outfit there are now serious questions marks over team England and the whole management structure which was so successful during 2005. So what has exactly gone horribly wrong for England on a winter tour to Australia that promised so much.

A large percentage of England cricket fans point the finger at severe lack of preparation prior to the first Ashes test in Brisbane. A couple of meaningless one day party games and two first class four day games matches against state opposition was quite clearly not enough preparation time for the batsmen and even more importantly for the bowlers who were severely undercooked for that fateful first test match that set the tone for a miserable tour. Relying on a highly rated seam attack which performed so well against Australia in 2005 potential match winner Steve Harmsion openly admitted he was very nervous before even a ball had been bowled and this is testament to Harmison being under prepared and lacked serious overs. Prior to the Ashes tour England bailed out of ICC Champions Trophy in another inept showing.

In order for England to compete against one of the great sides of world cricket, getting off to a good start was key. With serious concerns over the fitness of champion stand in captain Andrew Flintoff it was extremely disappointing to watch a beleaguered and disinterested Steve Harmison, in fact only Matthew Hoggard, who for the record is a traditional seam bowler, displayed the necessary fight and character needed to take the game to the opposition. Harmison soon announced his retirement from one day cricket after the test series. In this statement he claimed that it was to preserve his test career. Who does he think he is trying to kid? It is well known that Harmison suffers major homesickness and in a post match interview with ex former captain Mike Atherton he openly stated that he could not wait to get back home. With the comfort of a central contract, many fans of English cricket have wondered if the desire and heart of test cricket is still in the blood of the Durham paceman. Only time will tell.

Coach Duncan Fletcher has also come in for some serious criticism. The omission of the best finger spinner in world cricket, Monty Panesar and the insistence of selecting the hopelessly out of form Geraint Jones had contributed to Englands downfall. Many cricket experts such as Geoff Boycott has called for Fletcher to be sacked stating that every coach has a shelf life and that his stubborn approach had led to England failing in Australia. Having said that, Fletchers record as coach of England is excellent and surely has be given a chance to redeem himself in the forthcoming Cricket World Cup to be held in the West Indies, 2007.

The justified cause for optimism after the great series of 2005, English cricket has arrived at a cross junction in the world of international cricket. In the next few months we will see if it was another false dawn or that they have strength of character to bounce back in 2007.

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