Anyone who has watched England’s Test team play over the past 12 months feared this was coming.
The victory in Sri Lanka in January appeared to suggest better was on the way. A win in the series-opener against the mighty India later that month hinted even further at something special. But the remainder of that series set the real tone – three consecutive losses – before a series defeat to New Zealand and a lacklustre display against India again, this time on home soil, followed.
The final and most painful ignominy was still to come, however. England travelled Down Under full of hope, if not too much expectation, given their previous record on Australian soil, that they could prevail where others had failed before them and win back the Ashes.
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