How to Spot the Early Signs of an England Batting Collapse

As the winter nights draw in and the covers are lifted over yet another season, it’s time to reflect on what has been another dismally poor summer for England’s cricket team.

signs of an england cricket batting collapse

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1. They have just come off the back of a victory

As the saying goes, it’s ‘the hope in life that kills’ and for supporters of England’s cricket team, there are few more optimism crushing devices than the match following a big victory.

After bowling an uncharacteristically sluggish India side out for 78, a much-changed and rejuvenated England team went on to post a stellar 432 all-out, before once again toppling the Men in Blue’s batsman to secure the win by an innings.

Filled with positivity heading into the decisive fourth test, it was perhaps no surprise at all to see England’s top and middle-order surrender their wickets in foolish fashion, handing a famous victory over to the side from the sub-continent.

There are countless examples of the false dawn casting a shadow over the national team’s performances, making the match after a massive win a banker for the opposition side.

2. They're playing Australia or India or New Zealand

With one victory in six test matches this summer, it’s safe to say England’s red-ball team haven’t enjoyed the best couple of months, but is that really a shock given who they chose to play?

New Zealand were the triumphant tourists back in June, before India enjoyed a successful stay, winning the shorted five test series 2-1.

It is now just one win in eight matches against world cricket’s powerhouses, with their only test victory against the trio coming in 2018 against India.

Granted, the three do occupy the top spots in the ICC Test Match Rankings, yet for a county that invented the sport, England don’t half love a collapse against the best teams in the world.

3. Bowler is bowling overarm

You sometimes have to feel for James Anderson, the highest wicket-taker in England’s history, when he’s toiling away at the ripe old age of 39-years-old, only to watch the batsman perform so poorly.

Throwing away cheap wickets seems to be par for the course in an England batting line-up, whether that’s the ever-so-shaky openers or the less-than-reliable middle order.

Yet, it does only seem to be a phenomenon that affects players when they pull on the England shirt, with many batsmen flourishing in other formats of first-class cricket.

The much-maligned Dom Sibley, who was dragged out of the set-up during the ill-fated India series, has flourished since being thrown back into the Warwickshire side and hit back-to-back fifties in their County Championship winning match against Somerset.

4. It's a day of the week that ends in day

Maybe it’s time to accept that England’s time amongst the test elite has finally come to an end, after all there’s the white ball game anyway.

Whilst the money generated by the ECB means the ICC will never let English cricket fall by the wayside, the emergence of New Zealand as top team and the return of Pakistan to the test scene means international red-ball cricket is suddenly a much more competitive gig.

Finding the right balance between the white and red-ball cricket has proved a struggle for England following their 2019 World Cup success and it’s clearly impacted their batsman from being able to manage sticky period in big tests.

It’s not an unusual sight to see an England batsman’s stumps flying through the sky, after attempting a big headline chasing shot, only to leave the side with much work left to do. Patience dear, patience.

5. It’s not snowing

Rain? Check. Wind? Check. Bad light? Check. England does boast the perfect conditions for cricket, erm not. It is bizarre to think the country least suited to a sport that is entirely weather dependent, were the ones that invented it.

Whenever a ‘perfect batting day’ comes along in England (whatever that means), England’s batsmen still can’t help themselves from an early walk back to the changing room, begging the question: is there such a thing as perfect conditions for our batters?

Fair enough, there isn’t just one horse in the race and touring teams have also had their fair share of bad days at the English office, yet playing on home soil, England really should be performing better.

It’s now just under a year until we welcome test cricket back to these shores – with a trip to down under for an Ashes series against Australia sandwiched in between – and with no obvious signs of an upturn in fortune for England’s side, don’t be shocked if we’re seeing yet another collapse at the crease next summer.

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