In a Test series that started so well for England, they left the field on the third day of the fourth Test having lost the series 3-1. It looked so encouraging for the England team following their victory in the first Test but they were thoroughly outplayed in the remaining three matches and there can be no doubt India deserved to win the series.
The question is, how do England bounce back from the last defeat and the overall series loss against India?
The first thing will be to focus on the upcoming Twenty20 International series that begins on the 12th of March. All five games of the series will take place at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad and those who remain in the team from the Test side will need to put the memories of recent defeats at the venue behind them. The 2021 ICC Men's T20 World Cup will be played in India in November and therefore, this series takes on extra significance ahead of that event.
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Interestingly, Moeen Ali and Jos Buttler will return to the England squad for the T20 series having left during the Test series. Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, and Mark Wood are the only other players to remain in the England squad from the Test series but it is a completely different game.
However, England will see this as the perfect opportunity to put the disappointing Test series behind them and get back to winning ways. Following the T20 series, there is a five match One Day International series, so they is plenty of time for England to put smiles on faces of the cricket fans back home. England are ranked the number one team in world T20 cricket and the number one team in ODI cricket. India are currently in 3rd place in the T20 rankings and in second place in the ODI rankings, so these games are going to be extremely competitive.
In terms of Test match cricket, there are certainly plenty of things for the England players to learn from the 3-1 defeat. England's batsmen struggled desperately on turning pitches against India's spinners but will not play their next Test in Asia until the end of 2022. With that in mind, how much attention can the players give to working on their performance in Asian conditions?
Speaking after the defeat in the 4th Test, England captain, Joe Root, said, “We would be stupid to come away from this trip and say 'it was India, it was extreme conditions, it is impossible to bat'. That is the wrong attitude” before continuing, “The most important thing is to know there are things we can get better at. Yes, they have world-class spinners, but we can be better.”
England’s next overseas tour is a massive one as it is for the Ashes in Australia. A much improved performance will be required if England are to succeed.