Former England captain Michael Vaughan feels that 2019 has been the one of the worst years for England in terms of test match cricket. Since a revamp in the approach in 2015, England’s rise in limited-overs cricket has been phenomenal. Exiting the 2015 World Cup in the group stages, England, by the next edition of the next World Cup, went on to win the tournament. But their performances in test cricket have been on the decline. In 2019, England won just one Test series, which was a one-off test match against Ireland. They suffered losses to West Indies, New Zealand before ending the year with a loss to South Africa in the Boxing Day test match. And on top of all the aforementioned matches remains the humbling at home against Australia in The Ashes.
“In terms of Test cricket, it’s one of the worst years England has had in my time,” Vaughan was quoted as saying by Fox Sports . “I have no problem with teams losing and I understand everything went against them this time, with the players being ill and Ben Stokes’ father, who thankfully looks like he is pulling through.”
“Those are uncontrollables that affect the team. It’s the controllable things that worry me. The controllable things are the tactics, selections, bowling first – I just don’t get the science behind it for this England team to ever bowl first in Test matches unless you’re playing on a farm. I just don’t get it.”
England have had problems building the squads for in test matches. For a few years after the retirement of Andrew Strauss, England did not have an opener to partner Alaister Cook. His retirement left another big void.
This year, they seem to have found a good opener in Rory Burns, but he still doesn’t have a solid partner. A few more positions below remain questionable. England, despite trying many options, couldn’t stick to one. Haseeb Hameed, Keaton Jennings, Nick Compton, Jason Roy and the list goes on.
“They’ve got to admit that for whatever reason they’re not maximising the talent they have in the squad,” Vaughan further said. “You look down from one to 11, there’s a little bit of inexperience there but there’s also a huge amount of talent.”
“It’s an England team that is struggling in terms of confidence. They might say they’re fine but over the last two years they’ve just not found a way of playing that has made them a team that can be confident of winning games overseas.”
“They’ve just got to be honest with themselves. They can talk a good game, they can say everything with a smile and they can say they’re a tight unit but ultimately it’s about results.”