Two things spring to mind from Australia's hammering by Pakistan. First and foremost this Australian team are very beatable in conditions when spin plays a part and there is no real bounce for Mitchell Johnson and co. The second thing is England lost 5-0 to an Australian side who are good, but not great.
It is a positive to think the Aussies can be beaten but the negative is wondering why we played so badly to suffer a whitewash. England will have reviewed the Pakistan series and it will be tempting to instruct the groundsmen here to prepare slow, low turning wickets for the Ashes next summer.
I really hope England do not go down that road. It is unnecessary and even if it brings success in the short term, it will not help our batsmen develop.
I believe the groundsmen in England do not need any special instructions anyway. England will be playing at Cardiff, Lord's, Edgbaston, Trent Bridge and the Oval. Those pitches do not need doctoring because we are wary of Johnson's pace. I would just ask groundsmen to prepare the best possible cricket wickets.
The Australian batting is vulnerable enough as it is without producing horrible, turgid pitches to strangle the life out of the match.
Even last winter, when they were beating us 5-0, Australia's batting looked vulnerable. Brad Haddin saved them on a number of occasions and there is no guarantee he will still be around next year.
Look at England's Test performances this summer. Their best match was at Old Trafford, where the pitch had venom. It brought the seamers into the game with short balls and the ball moving off the seam. In turn, Moeen Ali looked more of a threat on that kind of surface so I am hoping the England management show belief in their own side and provide them with the kind of surfaces which suit their strengths, even if that means it could also help the Australians.
If we produce the kind of slow pitches we had for the 2013 Ashes it might ensure an England win but will it help the development of the players? As soon as they return to Australia or go to South Africa next winter, their weaknesses against the short ball will be exploited again. They need to learn on home pitches how to conquer those problems.
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