Former England captain Michael Vaughan has warned the Three Lions that they risk losing 5-0 in their upcoming Test series in India if they do not improve. The player-turned-pundit watched as England scrapped past Bangladesh to win by 22 runs on Monday (24 October) – but Vaughan fears their susceptibility against top-class spin bowling will prove their undoing later this winter.
India are currently the number one-ranked side in Test cricket and boast two of the world's finest spin bowlers, in off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and slow left-armer Ravindra Jadeja. Vaughan said that England – who scored 293 and 240 against Bangladesh in Chittagong – need to show marked improvements with bat and ball if they are to challenge India.
"If they perform like they did against Bangladesh, it'll be 5-0," the former captain told BBC Radio 5 Live. "It doesn't matter who [bats at the top of the order]. England for such a long time are always 30 or 40 for three. If they're 30 or 40 for three against India they'll get blown away.
"Yes, you celebrate a win, but hopefully England, in the background, are being honest with themselves that they can play better."
England won their last Test series in India in 2012, with Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar making key contributions for the tourists. But Alastair Cook's side have more modest spin bowling resources available to them at present, with Moeen Ali, Gareth Batty and Adil Rashid all failing to make the desired impact against Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, England coach Trevor Bayliss has admitted they have considerable work to do in the coming weeks. "Our spin bowlers need to be a bit more consistent in length," the coach explained following their tension-filled win against Bangladesh. "It's difficult bowling spin to players who are used to playing spin."
England begin their second and final Test against Bangladesh in Dhaka on Friday (28 October). Thereafter, Cook's team begin their five-match Test series against India in Rajkot on 9 November.