England's remarkable Ashes success is a great achievement for the team, and a huge personal triumph for captain Alastair Cook. However, the biggest question on everyone's minds is where to next?
This team has just achieved the cricketing pinnacle.
But we all know great and successful teams don't just win once, they win continually and adapt to all conditions. England face away series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, and South Africa over the next five months and there are many flaws and major improvements required to become the number one team in the world again.
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Starting from the top, Adam Lyth is simply out of his depth. He appears to have joined the roll-call of those who have tried and failed to fill the spikes of Andrew Strauss at the top of the batting order. Coach Trevor Bayliss has hinted that Moeen Ali could open in the UAE to accommodate an extra spinner.
Personally, this would be a backwards step. Ali should move to five, discarding Bairstow who in my opinion will never be a test match class batsman and the impressive Alex Hales should be given a go at the top, to continue with this positive front foot game England seemingly have stumbled upon since New Zealand graced our shores early in the cricketing summer.
Form of Buttler
Next, although Buttler's glove work has drastically improved since his Test match bow, he continually struggles to adapt his powerful 'one-day' game to the rigours of a five-day Test. Buttler's form is a concern, and should look to model his game on that of the legendary Adam Gilchrist, who looked to dominate bowling attacks wherever he went and stick to a simple 'see ball hit ball game'.
Furthermore, a front line spinner is drastically required. England need a spinner who either is going to consistently take wickets and challenge batsmen - Ali currently just doesn't. Rashid is one of those who will take wickets but leak runs. Both should go to the UAE alongside the young spinning duo of Kent's Adam Riley and Hampshire's highly impressive Mason Crane, who would certainly provide competition and a potential future.
Finally, the search for a natural replacement, for England stalwart Jimmy Anderson must be an ever pressing issue. 400 plus Test match wickets is no easy thing to replace, but without him, England still lack a natural cutting edge and consistent control with a new duke ball in hand.
In winning the Ashes with one Test to spare, England far exceeded expectations and transformed the image of this team. But, as Cook conceded afterwards, they are 'nowhere near' their peak.
Watching this exciting but unpredictable team try to get to number one promises to be compulsive and edge of your seat viewing.
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