England lacked mental strength to succeed in India, says Michael Vaughan

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England lacked mental strength to succeed in India, says Michael Vaughan

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SportsCafe Desk


After their 4-0 drubbing, former England skipper Michael Vaughan feels that the visiting England side lacked the mental strength to win in subcontinental conditions. Vaughan also believes that it is high time for Cook to sit down and ask himself if he is the right man to lead the team.

Vaughan, in his column in 'Daily Telegraph', has suggested that this English side just did not have the mental toughness to succeed in the subcontinent. 

"Mental toughness is sometimes playing the way the game dictates even if it is against your natural instincts. Mental toughness is fighting through tiring times, and staying the distance and keeping performance levels up to the end of the fifth day of the last Test of a series," he insisted.

"In seven of their last eight series England have lost the last match. When you reach the last day of the series and have two sessions to bat out with 10 wickets in hand, the mentally tough thing to do is play the situation and game in front of you. Just see out the Test.

"In India, they consistently collapsed or produced soft dismissals, and the excuse was made that England do not have a world class spinner. It is nothing to do with not having a world class spinner if you can't bat out the last two sessions of the day with 10 wickets in hand," said Vaughan.

Alastair Cook’s strategic errors were on full display in the series against India, as England went down 4-0 without showing a glimpse of their fighting spirit. The defensive field-set and over-reliance on seamers played into the hosts' hands as they overcame the initial hiccup in the first Test to steamroll the visitors Test after Test. Apart from being defensive as a leader, Cook also failed to score runs as an opening batsman.

Vaughan has remarked that Cook needs to score runs at the top of the order and that they are more important for the team than his leadership traits. 

Vaughan wrote, "When you are captain, and the team is losing, you do not enjoy the game. It drags you down. You wake up in the morning not really wanting to go out and play. Cook somehow has to rediscover that zest and energy to play the game. The team needs his power and runs at the top of the order more than his leadership.”

Vaughan also believes that Cook needs to assess himself as a batsman and has to sit down and ask himself if he is the right man to reenergize this England side. 

"Nobody can accuse him of not giving everything. But to pick up a Test team that is on a losing streak to take on South Africa and the West Indies next summer, and then to Australia, he has to be absolutely committed to being captain. He has to sit down and ask himself is he the man to energize this England side for seven Test matches in the summer and win the Ashes down under or has he taken it as far as he can?

"If he feels he is the man to lead them next year then he needs to bring together that core group of players who appear in all formats and ask them to drive the team in a different direction. He can't have any inkling he wants to go. He can't suddenly lose the first Test against South Africa in July and think 'oh no what have I done? Why have I carried on?,'" he asked.

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