Joe Root has called on his England players to learn their lessons from the heavy 3-1 Test series defeat in India.
Captain Root’s side fell away badly after a hugely impressive start to their tour of the sub-continent. After sweeping Sri Lanka aside 2-0 in January, they won the first of four Tests against India in Chennai.
Then, things unravelled badly as they only passed 200 once in six innings during the last three Tests – all defeats.
They were beaten inside two days and inside three days in the third and fourth Tests at Ahmedabad, the most recent finishing on Saturday.
“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,” said Root.
“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.”
During the series, England were bowled out solely by spinners on three occasions, with Ravi Ashwin – employed by Yorkshire as their overseas player for 2020 before Coronavirus forced the deal to be cancelled – taking 32 wickets across the four Tests.
“It was a frustrating way to finish,” said Root, of the fourth Test.
“Credit does have to go to India, again they’ve out-skilled us. They batted very well, showed us how to bat on that wicket.
“We’ve just got to keep working together to try and find ways of being better in similar conditions in the future.”
Root was England’s top run-scorer with 368 in the series, including his majestic 218 in the first Test at Chennai – his 100th Test cap. In fact, he scored 794 runs in Sri Lanka and India combined, 546 more than any of his team-mates.
“I don’t think we reacted to the change in surfaces as well as India did,” he continued. “They exploited them better and found ways of managing the turn. That’s played a factor.
“I do think there have been periods where we’ve found ourselves at parity and India managed to grab them. Generally in the lower scoring Test Matches, that is the difference.”
One significant talking point through the sub-continent tour was England’s rest and rotation policy, owing to time spent in bio-secure bubbles as Coronavirus continues to ensure a lack of normality.
Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali were just three who came in and out of the India series at various junctures.
And Root has hinted that may be a similar scenario during England’s next overseas Test assignment – the Ashes in Australia at the end of the year.
“It’s not the ideal scenario. As a captain, you always want all of your players available for selection,” added Root. “But we have to get away from playing guys until they fall over.
“If we are in a bubble environment (in Australia), there will be an element of this that will carry over.
“It would be silly for us to look at this and not make it better for the next tour. It does deserve a lot of time, attention and thought before any decisions are made on it.”
England’s next assignment is a five-match T20 series against India, starting on Friday. Root and Dom Bess are not part of that series, whereas Yorkshire team-mates Bairstow, Dawid Malan and Adil Rashid are.