For all the furore surrounding pitch condition and questionable third umpire reviews, England’s abysmal performance in India can be attributed to their woefully poor batting.
Joe Root’s men arrived in Chennai with confidence high having defeated Sri Lanka in a two-Test series, but faced a far sterner test of their quality in Virat Kohli’s World No 2 ranked side.
And the visitors got off to a flying start in the first of the four-Test series in Chennai, with Root putting in a masterful display to notch a double century and guide England to victory.
England put up little fight as India rolled the visitors over to win the fourth Test on Saturday
India roared back from losing the first Test to clinch an emphatic 3-1 test series over England
However, what has followed has been nothing short of disastrous.
The hosts responded with a 317-run victory in Chennai before skittling the visitors over by 10 wickets in under two days in the third Test in Ahmedabad. On Saturday, India secured an innings and 25 run victory to wrap up a 3-1 series win.
England leave India having been served a sizeable lesson in what it takes to succeed on the subcontinent, namely that a brittle batting order is of no use on a turning wicket.
Here, Sportsmail looks at the batting statistics that shame England in India.
England’s series defeat can be attributed to their lacklustre batting as Sportsmail picks out the statistics that shame the visitors following their humbling setback on the subcontinent
Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin stole the headlines with their superb partnership tearing through England’s batting order, with Jack Leach and Dom Bess paling in comparison.
But in truth, England’s spinners weren’t afforded the same margin of error given the low totals made by the top order.
After they made 578 in the first Test at Chennai, the last three games have brought England totals of 134, 164, 112, 81, 205 and 135.
Root and Ben Stokes have been responsible for carrying the run-scoring burden for England in recent years, but the greatest contribution in the last three Tests has come from an unlikely source.
Dan Lawrence ended the series as leading runscorer despite playing just two of three Tests
The Essex batsman’s average of over 25 was better than any other England player in India
The leading runscorer in the last three Tests has been Dan Lawrence, with 131 – and he played in only two of the games.
The Essex batsman’s overall total of 131 is hardly remarkable, and his series average further demonstrates England’s ineptitude at the crease.
Only Lawrence has averaged over 25 since the first Test. Moeen Ali averaged 24, while everyone else has averaged below 20. Jonny Bairstow and Dom Sibley have averaged under 10.
Lawrence dug in when everyone else around him fell apart in the second innings on Saturday, notching a half-century before England inevitably succumbed to the Indians.
The 23-year-old is just the third England player to make 50 in these last three defeats
The 23-year-old became just the third England player to make a half-century in these last three defeats. Zak Crawley hit 53 in the third Test, mainly before the spinners came on. And Ben Stokes hit 55 in the first innings of this Test.
Captain Root was expected to carry over his imperious form in Sri Lanka and Chennai through the series. However, the 30-year-old hit a stumbling block at just the wrong time for England.
After making 684 runs at 114 in the first three Tests of the winter, Joe Root made 110 at 18 in the last three.
Moeen Ali played a minor role this series, with Leech and Bess preferred. Ali has scored five centuries since making his Test debut in 2014. No England batsman who has debuted since then has scored more than two centuries.
Joe Root’s form has dipped dramatically since that first Test, averaging just 18 in the last three
England have gone 75 consecutive batting partnerships without a stand of over 50 runs
A good batting innings is built around strong partnerships. When England emerged victorious in India almost a decade ago, partnerships between Sir Alistair Cook, Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell set the foundations for victory on the subcontinent.
England’s latest collapse, however, means they have had had 75 consecutive batting partnerships without a stand of 50 or more.
The visitors have struggled to determine a settled top six, and that uncertainty has translated on the scoreboard.
England’s top six have averaged 21.91 this series, their lowest average in a multi-Test series since the 21.79 they recorded against Bangladesh in 2016. It’s their lowest in a 4+ match series since 1935, and their third lowest ever.
Stokes has been the hero of this England team in the past two years, often masterfully rescuing the side when found in precarious positions. A rescue mission in India, however, proved impossible.
Ben Stokes has been strong with the ball but has averaged his lowest with the bat since 2018
Stokes’ batting average in this series, 25.37, is his lowest for a Test series (min two matches) since India visited England in 2018. He’s averaged less in only four Test series where he’s played at least twice.
England have also faced a selection headache over their wicket keepers, with Jos Buttler, Ben Foakes and Jonny Bairstow all vying for the gloves.
Buttler entered the four-Test series with the lowest Test batting average out of the trio. After Saturday’s defeat, he now has the highest.
It does not get any better for Bairstow, who returned to the fold after a spell out to rediscover his form.
The No 3 ended this series with just 28 runs from four innings. That equates to the fourth lowest series total for an England No 3, from a minimum of four innings, and the lowest since 1981.
Meanwhile, Jonny Bairstow has had a series to forget after a nightmare two Tests at No 3
Bairstow’s 28 runs from four innings is the lowest series total from an England No 3 since 1981
Bairstow scored three ducks from four innings in India, taking his tally of ducks against the Indians in Test cricket to six. Only Nathan Lyon and Danish Kaneria have more against this opposition, while Shane Warne and Mervyn Dillon have the same total.
The performance of the opening batsmen is integral in setting up the rest of a Test, and England”s openers have been left wanting recently.
In their last three Test series, England’s openers have averaged 14.75, 13.85, and 17.26.
With the Ashes series fast approaching, Root and Co will be desperate to arrive Down Under with a settled top order. It’s a case of back to the drawing board as all eyes turn to the visit of New Zealand for a two-Test series in June.