England Lost to India on Monday by over 100 runs.  It’s a heavy defeat in any form of thestevenfinn game.  It’s an even heavier defeat when England had a custom made ‘green’ seam friendly pitch prepared for them. If you consider won a favourable toss it begins to hit home how poor this defeat is.

Normally I’d write a match report with the twists and turns of the game – and this was an excellent game of cricket – but I feel like it’s best to lay out what’s wrong with English cricket and the England team.

Defeat to India alone doesn’t represent a disaster.  India were excellent in this test match on the whole. Vijay and Rahane were outstanding with the bat and Kumar & Sharma were equally as brilliant with the ball.

However India hadn’t won an away Test match in three years – a staggering amount of time.  There was always the chance they’d improve and this series was never going to be easy.  However creating your perfect, winning the toss and still losing is a real low moment.

The problem is it doesn’t look like getting any better.  Alistair Cook has vowed to continue as captain.  He should not be in the team.  Matt Prior has decided that he needs to concentrate on his form and fitness.  That the decision was left to him is maddening – here is a valiant servant of English cricket who has been a great player.  Has been.  That Cook came out this week and said they’d leave it up to Matt Prior about whether he’d play in Southampton on Sunday gives you a good indication of where England are at.

We got to number 1 in the world by working out specific plans for batsmen and bowlers and executing them very well – it was a wonderful time to be an England cricket fan.  However the rest of the world has caught up and England managed to achieve this with a sprinkling of world class players in the peak of their career.  These days things are different.  England’s young players seem ‘over coached’ and stifled.  Look at the players who’ve regressed when they’ve reached the England side.  Steven Finn should be England’s best bowler.  He was a revelation when he joined the team – he’s nowhere near the side now despite 90 test wickets.  England’s batsmen are incapable of playing anything other than defensive cricket as that’s how they’re coached.

Players such as Kevin Pieterson and even Nick Compton and Michael Carberry have been jettisoned from losing sides despite their superior records?  Why is this?  It happens with such regularity that no one even questions it anymore.  The English cricket team is in danger of becoming an old boys club where if your face doesn’t fit, you’ve got no chance of making the side.  You need to get your head down and follow the managements rigorous bowling and batting plans.  Smile for the camera in your Waitross England shirt.  Do not think for yourself.

England are no fun to watch or even support anymore.  It’s the people running the show who are to blame and they’re so convinced by their utterly ridiculous and archaic methods that they refuse to acknowledge there’s a problem.

Things aren’t going to get any better soon.



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