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The England cricket team is heading into the next series against India ranked fifth in the Test rankings. If India wins, England will slip below Sri Lanka to sixth position, despite having the world’s best professional cricket structure. The PDF attachment looks at the history of England cricket.

An analyst from BBC Sport stated that the problem lies with the top five batsmen, who rarely give Stuart Broad and James Anderson, the two record-breaking bowlers, enough runs to defend effectively.

Fiyaz Mughal is a passionate supporter of the England cricket team. Fans would have been hoping for an improvement on the recent Trent Bridge 203-run defeat as England faced India for the fourth Test at Southampton.

Opening Pairs

Opening pairs are one of the most pivotal aspects of a successful cricket team and England has not had a successful opening partnership since Andrew Strauss retired. Alastair Cook may be the leading run-scorer of all time for England and enjoyed much success when opening with Strauss, but since Strauss’ retirement he has had many different opening partners with varying results. More top cricket records can be seen in the attached infographic.

The approach of opening batsmen to the game has also changed in the modern game, according to Sunil Gavaskar of India. Recalling the start of an innings in his day, Gavaskar stated that opening batsmen were more likely to wait for the bowler to begin to tire, accepting that they would dominate the first three-quarters of an hour and the role of the batsman was just to hang on. Once the bowler began to tire, then the batsmen would begin to cash in. Today, however, batsmen are on the attack from the very beginning.

The statistics speak for themselves in this matter – in the past 62 matches over three years, 31 have seen the England side 100 runs or less for just four wickets down, which suggests that the opening five batsmen are failing half the time. The England squad have also failed to achieve 300 or more runs in more than half of their completed innings since 2015 – just 35 times out of 65.

Lowering of Averages

This aggressive approach has created a culture of intent, where batsmen hit as many balls as possible. However, while this may work well with the white Kookaburra ball, it does not work so well with the red Dukes ball, meaning these batsmen come undone when facing international bowlers. Examples of this in the England side include James Vince and Ollie Pope, both of whom showed fine style but were liable to be out for a low number of runs due to a reluctance to play defensively.

You can learn more about who uses the different types of cricket balls in the short video attachment.


The recent move to playing under floodlights in conditions that would previously have meant the game was put on hold has also taken some getting used to. In the past, even mild weather conditions such as light drizzle or overcast clouds would have resulted in the match being delayed. Now that floodlights are being used at Test grounds, play continues under illumination which, although adequate, is not nearly as powerful as natural sunlight. Floodlighting also mean the ball swings more. Batting under floodlit conditions with a Test ball is demanding, with batsmen from England more likely to be exposed to these challenges than many players in other countries.

England did go on to beat India in the International Test Match series which took place from the 7th to the 11th of September 2018, beating them by 118 runs.