Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

England Are Ordered to Rediscover Ruthless Side

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

England Are Ordered to Rediscover Ruthless Side

Article excerpt

ENGLAND are under orders to go 'back to basics' for this summer's Ashes, to try to rediscover a ruthless edge against Australia.

Caretaker coach Paul Farbrace will hand over the reins to his new boss Trevor Bayliss as England begin their bid to try to win back the Ashes after their whitewash defeat down under in 2013-14.

Farbrace's exchange of information with Australian Bayliss, if his de-brief following England's drawn series against New Zealand is a reliable guide, will be centred on improving basic skills and achieving a consistency which has been lacking.

Both against the Kiwis - who won the second Test by 199 runs at Headingley on Tuesday - and the West Indies a month earlier, Alastair Cook's team have lost 1-0 leads to end up sharing the spoils.

Farbrace (right), assistant in the Caribbean before Peter Moores' sacking and then in sole charge at Lord's and Leeds, cannot deny England have been repeat offenders when it comes to blowing their advantage.

"We have said now for a few series that we have had opportunities to win," he said.

"In the West Indies we should have been 2-0 up going into the last game.

"We weren't, and it allowed them to come back into it."

It is his task to work out why and report to Bayliss - and it seems, after New Zealand levelled up, he has drawn his conclusions.

There was certainly plenty of evidence in the second Investec Test that England must do better - and Farbrace is not hiding away from the fact that catches were spilled, far too few runs were made by Ian Bell and Gary Ballance in particular, and the pace bowlers lost their composure against opposition tailenders.

He said: "Ruthlessness comes from doing the basics right - if you do your basics well, catch your catches, you have opportunities to put them under huge pressure.

"We somehow missed those opportunities (at Headingley). They have taken theirs and put our bowlers under huge pressure.

"There were periods in the second innings where I didn't think we bowled too badly. But as soon as we slightly missed line and length, they whacked it for four - and then our bowlers were under pressure all the way through. …

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