Is English cricket set for a decade of decline?Nina Otori |
Depressingly, the only thing that stopped India from winning the first Test at Trent Bridge was the Nottingham rain. The truth is, however, if this English summer wasn’t doing everything it could to impersonate the unsettled winter months, then England would be going into the second Test at Lord’s 1-0 down.
Indeed, at no point did Chris Silverwood’s team look like winning and the verdict of the pundits seemingly reflected the precarious situation for England throughout the five days. That being said, there’s three more Tests to go and the cricket betting live odds have England at drifting prices of 17/10 to be declared the outright winners. Even though Virat Kohli’s men were held to a draw, you do feel it’s just a matter of time before India take a lead in this five-Test series given the mounting problems that the Three Lions have to deal with. In fact, the cricket tips for the remainder of the series predict that a break in the weather will eventually come and India will manage to beat England.
— BCCI (@BCCI) August 8, 2021
It should be said that this is a popular view shared by most cricket enthusiasts. Simply put, there’s just too much to fix within this English Test team in time to pull off a miraculous win against India this summer. The Telegraph probably put it best when they said England had ‘batting problems that would see the recall of parliament if they were a political crisis.’ If you needed any further proof of this then just consider for a second that Dom Sibley batted for over five hours at Trent Bridge and only mustered a total of 46 runs in the match. The top order, barring Joe Root, have quite literally frozen and are unable to find a way to get out of first gear. Calamity is the only likely outcome when the confidence of a batting lineup is in such short supply, like it is with England, as the opposition pin the batsmen down and pick them off at will. Alarmingly, there are also problems in the bowling department that run extremely deep too. At 39 and 35 respectively, James Anderson and Stuart Broad are on their last legs, and given that the ECB’s attention has been focused on making the Hundred a success over the last 12 months, it’s not hard to figure out why the next generation hasn’t been blooded yet. Regrettably, there’s been a desperate lack of foresight amongst England’s think-tank and the future is looking anything but promising. And then, of course, there’s also been some downright bad luck with a long-term injury to Jofra Archer that will rule him out of the T20 World Cup and crucially, the Ashes in Australia at the end of the year.
❗ Jofra Archer will not play again in 2021 ❗
The England fast bowler’s right elbow issue has flared up once again pic.twitter.com/oM2QqqoBQU
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) August 5, 2021
England will be desperate for Ben Stokes to make himself available for selection again in time for the Ashes after taking an indefinite break from cricket but, then again, that won’t help the Test team here and now. Indeed, it’s all hands to the pump for the Three Lions but the personnel they have trying to assist will sadly only ensure that a summer of trouble and defeat lies ahead for England.