Ultimate Test for the team ethic

Andy Lloyd
ENGLAND&rsquo;S ethic is all about playing as a team and, following their Headingley humbling, they will need to provide the perfect example of that approach in the Ashes decider.<br /><br />Individually, they just don&rsquo;t possess the quality to bounce back. They do not have a Sachin Tendulkar or Muttiah Muralitharan at their disposal to drag them out of a hole.<br /><br />Look at England&rsquo;s line-up: not one of them would get into a world XI. The team is made up of good, slightly above average players, but when they play a little below their best, results like yesterday&rsquo;s can happen. We saw something similar in the Caribbean during the winter, when England were dismissed for 51.<br /><br />It would not even have made any difference if Andrew Flintoff had been fit. Talismanic though he is, England&rsquo;s deficiency was with the bat, not the ball.<br />There will be the temptation to make changes, and Ravi Bopara&rsquo;s place at No3 looks to be at risk. Three months ago Bopara was a shining light, now he&rsquo;s more like a rabbit in the headlights. Rob Key is an experienced batsman who could come in, but then again switching things around now may stink of panic.<br /><br />England will need an exceptional team performance to regain the initiative, and the Ashes, at the Oval. That alone may not be enough &ndash; they will also be relying on the Aussies to have an off day or five.