The selection of Trevor Bayliss as head coach was geared towards the white ball game where England have developed an identifiable strategy and method. Through consistency of selection England have built a very strong one-day team. For years in one day cricket we played on green tops, won series at home but were knackered when we went away and played on flat ones. Now we play on flat pitches in one day cricket in England, and have the game to beat anyone in the world even when playing away.
But in Test cricket we have not had the same approach. We play on pitches at home where it hoops around and win. We need new strategic thinking to make sure Test wickets are flat so we have to bowl with more zip and spin. We might have to take a few defeats along the way but it will pay off in the long term.
England have to break Test cricket down to a four year cycle and start planning now for how to win here on the next Ashes tour. Joe Root is young enough to still be captain by then but he needs people around him ensuring England are producing the right type of cricketer to win the Ashes in Australia.
It is the ultimate test to come to Australia and win. You have to prepare your players over a long period of time to compete here. If they are getting advice telling them the right way to compete here is to bowl attritionally then they are getting duff information. I have been here enough now to know you can’t beat a strong Australian team bowling like that.
In the 21st century our results in Australia have been abysmal. No disrespect to the England team of 2010-11 but the Australian team they beat was not very good. They did not have any pace. Mitchell Johnson was all over the place, his pace was down and he was dropped for the second Test. Ryan Harris broke down injured as well.
They picked Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle and Doug Bollinger. Xavier Doherty and Michael Beer were the spinners. They did not have an attack anywhere near as good as those we faced in 2002-03, 2006-07, 2013-14 and on this tour.
Those that say pace is not important because England won here in 2010-11 without it are wrong. England won because Australia were poor, although the tourists had been together for a couple of years and were a very, very good side. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to win like that. I doubt it will happen again for a very long time.
Instead England have to build towards the next Ashes series in Australia and somehow find an outstanding spinner and inject pace into the attack. If you want to be the best team in the world you have to play in all conditions. Surely that is the goal of any Test match team.
You know what happens here. You get pace and the pitches have bounce. You can prepare for it but England have a squad here without pace or unorthodoxy.
What England might do is panic, produce a couple of green ones at home next summer to win some Tests. Look back at the 2015 Ashes series. The pitches at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge suited England. The ball moved all over the place. England needed that Ashes win after all the trouble with Kevin Pietersen and sacking of Peter Moores. I understood that at the time. But in terms of developing the team to play overseas it did not help.
Let’s not make the same mistake again. I think there are 15 bowlers in county cricket who can bowl in Test match conditions in England with the Duke ball.
But we need to prepare over the next four year cycle players who can bowl in Australia when it is flat and you need a bit of pace and mystery.
Stuart Broad and James Anderson have been a disappointment here but I would not get rid of both of them. Instead perhaps it is time to split them up and rotate them. I would play one of Broad and Anderson with a consistent bowler like Toby Roland-Jones or Chris Woakes. Add in Ben Stokes then your fourth bowler can be that firecracker like George Garton at Sussex or Mark Wood. Somehow they have to find pace and give it a chance.
It means preparing better pitches which is down to planning over a long period of time. With the Duke ball you will always get movement anyway so don’t prepare wickets that do a bit as well. England will win at home anyway by playing good cricket, they do not need help from the pitches.
The downside of two divisions in county cricket, which I like, is that when a team reaches the halfway stage of the season and needs some wins they prepare juicy pitches. They would rather gamble for the win than draw because you earn more points. There are many reasons why we do not produce quick bowlers. The Duke ball moves enough without having to bowl quickly. Also some captains and coaches do not want the luxury of a fast bowler because they might go for a few runs.
Somehow they have to put a system in place to put England in a position to come here in four years time and win. That means pace, a good spinner and a mentality for playing fast bowling. If you come here with negativity you will be found out. It sounds dead obvious but it is something I hope ECB will look at. Gear the whole system for winning the Ashes in four years time putting in the same energy and effort into the Test game as we do to one-day cricket.