This winter England cricket team played a five-test series away in India. They lost 4-0. It is a concern for England given the progress that has been made of late. But whilst disappointing, maybe it is a sign of where we are as to why we are so unhappy with what went on in India.

What once was

With this in mind, it is important at the outset to apply context. For a long time English cricket was a laughing stock, especially in the 1990s. This was summed up by former England batsman Mark Butcher who revealed an "often spoken quote" that "we don't want to go back to how things were in the 90s".

As reported on Sky Sports, the 1990s were a decade of "struggle and disappointment" for England. It seemed that they were "kind of losing their way". Although there were some highs, such as reaching the 1992 World Cup Final and defeating South Africa 2-1 in 1998, Butcher pointed out that at times, "chaos reigned".

The past decade

In context of this, what has happened to English cricket over the course of the past decade has been nothing short of remarkable, most notably in the test series against Australia. One cannot forget the Ashes series in 2005. As the nation was "utterly transfixed" for the entire summer, it was referred to by the Telegraph newspaper as the "greatest series" and the "grandest sport of our times" as England won 2-1.

It is important to remember that the last time before 2005 that England had won an Ashes series was in 1986-7. The victory in 2005 was not a one series wonder either. They followed up that victory by winning the Ashes in 2009, 2010/11, 2013 and 2015 as reported on the ESPN cricinfo website. This clearly shows how strong a period that this has been for English cricket that as the BBC stated, after beating India at Edgbaston in 2011, they topped the world Test rankings.

It is also the case that over the past ten years we have had some remarkable world-class cricketers such as Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff. Even today there are a number of high quality players. This can be illustrated by the International Cricket Council (ICC) player rankings. With Joe Root number three on the batsmen's list and both James Anderson and Stuart Broad on the bowlers list, there is still plenty of strength within the team.

The need to pick themselves up

It is because of this that the recent test result against India is so disappointing. One of the problems with that is the high expectations that have been created as a result of the success that England has attained. This has been evident in the past year. After defeating South Africa away from home at the start of 2016, which was followed up by victory against Sri Lanka and a series draw with Pakistan, so much was expected of the recent tour of India. But the manner of the defeat is what is most surprising. They are better than this and the team knows it. With South Africa to come this summer followed by West Indies, the team needs to pick themselves up and start delivering again.