What England must do to become a better Test team

‘Unless we look at more systemic change and a collective responsibility and collective solutions, we can make whatever changes we want’

You can change me, change the head coach, change the captain, but we’re only setting up future leaders for failure’

England director Ashley Giles said he felt the responsibility for their Ashes series loss in Australia but warned that getting rid of the current leadership without bringing in systemic change was not the answer to their problems in red-ball cricket.

England have lost the first three matches in the Ashes series and are playing only for pride in the remaining two Tests in Sydney and Hobart.

It has been an abysmal 12 months in Test cricket for England, who lost four series in a year for the first time.

“Being here now in this position, I absolutely feel the responsibility of losing this Ashes series,” Giles told reporters at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday. “Absolutely, we all do, and we can only apologise.”

“I know there will be a lot of emotion, a lot of anger about how we’ve lost it but we know it’s not an easy place to come. We can’t kid ourselves. In 34 years we’ve come here and won once.”

“We’ll review the tour and there will be a full review, everything will be on the table.”

Captain Joe Root and coach Chris Silverwood have come in for heavy criticism, with pressure on the pair growing since England lost the third test in Melbourne by an innings and 14 runs.

Giles said that hasty changes to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) or test team leadership would not solve the issues.

“If it was a failing of this leadership, then fine, I’d take that, I’m at peace with accountability,” Giles said.

“Unless we look at more systemic change and a collective responsibility and collective solutions, we can make whatever changes we want.”

“You can change me, change the head coach, change the captain, but we’re only setting up future leaders for failure. That’s all we’re doing. We’re only pushing it down the road.”

While England may pick up wins over teams below them in the rankings it was important to focus on finding a way to win in the most difficult conditions, he said.

“What’s important is that we don’t try to paper over the cracks,” Giles added.

“We could easily go to West Indies and win, then win this summer. I think we still need to be truly focused on finding a way we can compete in Australia and in India.”

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