England in desperate bid to avoid 'worst year' in history ahead of Mumbai Test

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 22, 2012 09:40 hrs

England is on course to record the worst year in terms of Test losses unless Alastair Cook's team win or at least draw the second Test in Mumbai, which begins on Friday.

Eight defeats are the most suffered by England previously, in 1984, 1986 and 1993, but that was before central contracts and a support staff that spilled over into double figures, according to a report by ex-England cricketer Derek Pringle in the Telegraph.

The current team, having begun the year as the world's No 1 Test side, has lost seven matches so far, and with three remaining, a new nadir could be set if the rot is not stopped, a decline that would speak more of complacency than legacy, the paper added/

Pringle said in his article: "England's bowlers struggled for wickets in the last match so anything that gives them more chance to take them and the Wankhede (Mumbai) pitch should also offer them some extra bounce as well as turn will be welcome."

"On the 1984-85 tour, when England came back from one down to win the series (the only time India have lost at home after winning the opening Test), the distractions were off the scale, with the assassinations of Indira Gandhi, India's prime minister, and Sir Percy Norris, the British High Commissioner," he added.

"Their deaths put cricket into perspective, which in turn took the pressure off the players. In a different way, perhaps the arrival of some players' wives and families here in Mumbai can do the same this time," he said.

"If they don't, this team could go from being the best in the world to the most defeated in a single year in England's history, which would be a dizzying fall from grace," he concluded. (ANI)

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