England have perhaps undergone one of the worst periods in their history after sliding from defeat to defeat and lurching from one disaster to another over the past year.
To say it has been a year of turmoil is an understatement. England have lost key personnel, have a new coach and back room staff, suffered an embarrassing Ashes tour and were informed of a shock retirement by their best spin-bowler. They have also chosen to ignore their best player, Kevin Pietersen, by exiling him from the team.
However, on the plus side England have used a number of new, young and exciting players who appear to be adapting well to life in International cricket and could now excel because of the tough start they have to endure.
Relief for Cook
England though, and particularly captain Alastair Cook, could not let their dismal run continue much longer and were more than thankful for their dominant 266-run victory over India in the third Test at the Ageas Bowl this week.
That victory ended a run of ten matches and 354 days without a victory since England defeated Australia to win the Ashes at Chester-le-Street in August 2013.
In those ten matches without victory England were beaten seven times and beaten heavily in many of those games, particularly on their tour of Australia. England's current summer had not started well either as they were defeated in the series to Sri Lanka, despite coming close to victory in the first Test, and fell behind in the Indian series until their success at Southampton.
England though should not get carried away with this victory as there is still much to do for the current players, coaches and back-room staff for them to be able to challenge for the world number one spot once again. If they rest on their laurels now it could be another year before we witness victory again.
However, the performance at Southampton could well be the turning point for team England. The whole performance over the five days was pretty much faultless and the signs were good throughout the side that this group of players can develop together and once again be a force in World cricket.
Let's hope this is the case, for the sake of English cricket and this current crop of players.
England's wait for a Test win since August 2013
5th Test v Aus (h) drawn
1st Test v Aus (a) lost by 381 runs
2nd Test v Aus (a) lost by 218 runs
3rd Test v Aus (a) lost by 150 runs
4th Test v Aus (a) lost by 8 wickets
5th Test v Aus (a) lost by 281 run
1st Test v SL (h) drawn
2nd Test v SL (h) lost by 100 runs
1st Test v India (h) drawn
2nd Test v India (h) lost by 95 runs
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