KP's Axe and the 5 Biggest Shocks to England Cricket Team Since Losing Ashes

Freddie WildeContributor IFebruary 11, 2014

KP's Axe and the 5 Biggest Shocks to England Cricket Team Since Losing Ashes

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    Andy Brownbill/Associated Press

    In recent years, this England cricket team have made a habit of bouncing back strongly from heavy defeats, but the aftermath of their harrowing 5-0 Ashes defeat has been followed by a plethora of poor decisions and one crisis has followed another. 

    This slideshow assesses these decisions and moments.

The Limited-Overs Matches

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    Andy Brownbill/Associated Press

    England will have hoped that with a fresh set of players and a new coach at the helm, the limited-overs matches would have brought a change of fortune. 

    This was not to be.

    England's younger crop of players staggered and spluttered their way to seven defeats in eight matches.

    What's more, Andy Flower may have felt that there was enough promise in England's next generation to help him garner success. He would no doubt have been disappointed with the performances on offer.

Alastair Cook Considering Resigning

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    Theron Kirkman/Associated Press

    After England's ODI series defeat to Australia, Alastair Cook appeared shell-shocked and distant in the post-match press conference and appeared to question his future as captain. 

    Although he emphasised a few days later that he was keen to stay on in the position, whether he does is less certain. Managing director Paul Downton will no doubt assess the role in the coming weeks.

Andy Flower's Resignation

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    Scott Heppell/Associated Press

    David Collier very publicly came out in defence of Andy Flower before the Ashes series had even ended and strongly asserted that he felt he should continue as England team director. 

    Just weeks later, however, Flower had resigned. 

    It wasn't a particularly big surprise, but in light of Collier's defence—and indeed everything Flower had said—it went against the grain. 

    Perhaps Downton and Flower came to the conclusion that he should move on; perhaps he saw the ODI and T20 series and felt he could do no more; or maybe, on reflection, he had just had enough.

    Whatever the reason, he has now gone and England have to search for a new coach.

Kevin Pietersen Dropped

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    Matt King/Getty Images

    Rumours over Kevin Pietersen's future had been mounting for some time after the Ashes defeat.

    A day before England named the first squad of the post-Flower era, it was announced in a short statement that Pietersen had been dropped—with "long term planning" and team "ethics" being cited as reasons. 

The Reaction to KP Being Dropped

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    Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

    Worse than simply dropping Pietersen, which was a shock, has been the shambolic manner in which the story has been dealt with by the ECB.

    The initial statement was horribly lacking in empathy or emotion. After a week of rumour, innuendo and gossip suggesting reasons as to why KP had been dropped, the ECB released a second, equally timid statement alluding to team "culture" and the need to "invest" in the captaincy of Alastair Cook.

    The emphasis on team spirit, faith in Cook and package of nebulous notions has called into question the entire philosophy of the team.