The English team toured India under Alistair Cook and played four test matches. They lost the series 0-3 after drawing the first test match. Four years back the English team under Cook had the better of the Indian team led by MS Dhoni and took the series 2-1. It was expected that England would repeat the last visit's result, but it did not happen as both the batting and the bowling failed. In addition, the English team allowed a young Nair to hit 303 not out in the last test match. The Aussies who are now touring India were expected to fare worse, especially after they were swamped 0-3 in Sri Lanka.

They have performed creditably and won the first test at Pune and are giving a good fight in the ongoing second test at Bangalore. What went wrong with the English team that they lost so badly?

Wrong selection

In the last team, England had a determined batsman in Kevin Peterson and a spin bowler of some standing - Monty Panesar. These two performed creditably and steeled the performance of the other players. Kevin Peterson has been sacked and Monty is no longer in the reckoning. England thus did not have a quality spinner in the team nor a batsman who could play spin and hit his way out. It was a wrong selection that cost England the series. In addition, Cook was not up to the task to confront the aggressive Indian skipper Kohli.

Mental toughness

The Aussies made amends after their Sri Lanka fiasco and came with a plan. They decided to play the Indian spinners with determination and Steve Smith the Australian captain led from the front. He hit a century at Pune. The contrast between the English and Australian team was visible to all as unlike the English team the Aussies refused to be hassled and their spinners Lyon and O'keefe exploited the turning wickets.

India is notorious for preparing turning wickets and the Aussies came mentally prepared. In contrast, Cook, despite having the confidence of the last tour made no similar preparation. The sacking of a quality player like Peterson, with none to replace him, also added to his troubles.

Cook has now relinquished the captaincy but perhaps its a bit too late in the day. Maybe it will be better luck next time.