As England look forward to ending their Australian tour nightmare they do so with so many questions hanging over the performances of many individuals.
The hierarchy at the ECB will undoubtedly perform a thorough autopsy on Alastair Cook, the management and the players with a view to rebuilding during this summer and challenging Australia in eighteen months time to regain The Ashes that they surrendered so tamely.
Although the tour in general can only be viewed as a disaster, in terms of results, the England selectors have seen some individual performances that will leave them with hope for the future. Some players will return with reputations enhanced and with opportunities to become England stars of the future.
This tour will prove to be a watershed for most of the established England stars and has already witnessed Graeme Swann end his international career and huge questions hanging over the futures of Jonathan Trott, Matt Prior and potentially others.
On the positive side England have unearthed some young stars of the future. The most promising of these players has to be the Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes who has produced the goods during the Test matches and One-Day Internationals. He is a cricketer who England need. No matter what he does he does it with 100% commitment and has the potential to follow in the footsteps of some of the great England all-rounders of the past. His aggressive and competitive nature is something most of the England players, including the senior members of the squad, should follow.
The One-Day Internationals have shown that all is not lost for England. Jos Buttler and Chris Jordan have also given hope to England supporters and both have the qualities and capabilities to make an impact in Test Cricket as well Eoin Morgan has shown why he is so highly rated and other players such as Yorkshire trio Gary Balance, Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow still have time on their hands to back up the glimpses of quality they have already shown. Michael Carberry has also shown that he is capable of succeeding in International
cricket and made some useful starts as an opener in what was a struggling Test side.
Australia, as a team, are now an ageing side and England should sense an opportunity to now give youth a chance by giving their talented youngsters extra responsibilities within the team and see how they stand up to the pressures of regular International cricket.
It is therefore not all doom and gloom for England supporters. Yes, England clearly have issues that need addressing but the England hierarchy must now see this winter tour as a watershed in England's history and use the outcomes of this tour as an opportunity to build a new side that can challenge the world's best for years to come.
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