A successful, but ageing side disintegrated rapidly over the course of the Ashes and for the likes of Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior and James Anderson it will be a very unwanted swansong.
Ladbrokes have priced up the next Ashes series, to be held on these shores in the summer of 2015, expecting England to show far more fight, at an identical 5/4 price as their rivals, to win back the urn.
But, with a rebuilding mission now firmly in place, who are the men that the selectors should be picking for the next Ashes series?
Ben Stokes’ future as England’s premier all-rounder is secure after a pleasing tour, meaning England can return to the formula that won them the 2005 Ashes, fielding five batsmen, four bowlers and two all-rounders (one being the keeper).
At the top of the order retained skipper Alastair Cook should be partnered with Aussie-born Sam Robson, who has scored accomplished runs for Middlesex and was the third highest runscorer in the Championship last season.
Joe Root has shown plenty of heart and talent despite being dropped for the fifth Test and will benefit from a long run in the side at number three. He’s joined in the middle order by the familiar names of Stokes at six, Gary Balance, the Championship’s leading scorer last term and a gutsy debutant at Sydney, and Ian Bell the side’s best player for two years back in his accustomed position of number five.
Jos Buttler, the Somerset man and One Day International sensation, is an English Adam Gilchrist waiting to happen, while with the ball, Stuart Broad and Steven Finn can combine with Sussex’s Chris Jordan, who snared 59 Championship wickets at 3.62 runs per over and made an impressive start to ODI life, to form a fearomse and varied pace attack.
The only area of concern is spin, with no immediate candidate leaping out for selection. Simon Kerrigan and Scott Borthwick both endured miserable debuts for England while Monty Panesar and James Tredwell are the wrong side of 30 and Hampshire’s Danny Briggs remains on the periphery of the one day squad.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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