Inspired by a brief discussion yesterday about whether England had ever batted more poorly throughout a series.
Obviously this one has to be right up there, which is tough on the bowlers, but their efforts are clearly trumped by the batters' ineptitiude. Other candidates.
1999 at home to NZ. The eventual 2-1 defeat flattered England, who barely managed a score against a side that had taken a grand total of 14 wickets in their three match series against SA a few months earlier.
1989 at home to Australia. Again, 0-4 flattered us: it could easily have been 0-6 to an Aus side who at that stage had improved from their mid1980s horrors to 'competent'. This time, with the exception of Fraser, the bowling was as feeble as the batting.
1984 at home to WI. Blackwash - that's 0-5 to the younger readers. English players of the time will tell you that WI did this to everyone. They didn't. England were the only side to lose every test in a series to WI, even in their pomp. English players of the time will also tell you that their four-pronged pace attack left no room to regroup and put up some sort of a fight. True in other series, but not in this one, where the 3rd & 4th bowlers weren't nearly as good as the openers.
2005 in Pakistan. tbf they probably hadn't sobered up after winning the Ashes. Should have won the first test but batted like idiots in the 4th innings. Bluffed their way through the 2nd and gave up without a trace in the 3rd. Given what had gone on during the previous 12 months, this was the rudest of awakenings.
1958/59 in Australia. World Champions, A middle order to die for, ditto the pace attack. Yet they went down 0-4, Even allowing for the chucking row, you have to conclude that this lot of famous names simply didn't have the stomach for it.
India in 1993. Keith Fletcher famously dismissed Kumble after watching him struggle in SA. England, despite this being the 1990's, had done respectably over the previous couple of years. But they lost all 3 tests. Selection was a nonsense, but even so, much more was expected. The most clueless performance against spin seen from an England side before the current series.
India in 1986. Apparently we were shell-shocked after our mauling in the Caribbean three months previously. Even so, a home series against India in the mid 1980s in the first half of the English summer was seen as an easy chance to regroup. It didn't happen, and India cantered home 2-0. Roger Binny ffs.
Have I forgotten any? The hammerings in Aus throughout the 1990's and 2000's were hardly unexpected. Even the 2006/07 whitewash.