Ashes: Anderson, Broad and Cook may have England future - Jonathan Agnew

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England's Ashes defeat is rather predictable - before the tour began we worried about the effectiveness of their bowling attack and feared their tail would be blown away all too easily.

What we didn't expect was for Joe Root and Alastair Cook to struggle with the bat while the likes of Dawid Malan and Mark Stoneman would score runs.

Equally, with the ball, Moeen Ali has had a poor tour and Stuart Broad has struggled.

England have missed those big performances from their senior players and it's inevitable after an Ashes defeat in Australia that people will want to see changes.

So it's the future of three of England's most successful Test players of all time - Cook, Broad and James Anderson - which appears to be top of the agenda for many.

In the case of all three, I think the decision is down to them.

Anderson has 12 wickets at 25.83 in the series but Broad has struggled - he's taken five wickets at 61.80.

However, England go to New Zealand after this trip - they will play a day-night Test with a pink ball in Auckland, and a late-summer game in Christchurch.

The ball is likely to be nipping around then, as it will when we get back to England in the summer with the Dukes ball. You would expect England would want the likes of Broad and Anderson in those conditions.

Cook is different. He's 33 on Christmas Day, and it's easy to rush to conclusions about the former captain.

His career, in terms of form, has always been a bit of a rollercoaster.

In his mind he is aware it's not as easy for him as it once was because of his body, so maybe the days of us saying he can play as long as he wants are gone.

He does have a settled life outside of cricket and he loves being on the farm with this family but he is one of the most stubborn men I have met in this sport.

He would want to go out on his own terms, rather than being dropped because of a lack of runs, and because of that I can see him continuing too.

England seniors' struggles - Ashes 2017-18
RunsBatting averageWicketsBowling average
Alastair Cook8313.83--
Joe Root17629.33156.00
Stuart Broad457.50561.80
James Anderson661225.83

Why teams around the world need to grow up

England, let's remember, aren't the only team who struggle away from home.

It's becoming a recognised pattern around the world whereby the touring side tends to lose. England, for example, have a very good record at home to Australia.

Much of it is down to the shortening of tours, a lack of preparation time which players are now afforded and, crucially, the standard of the opposition they are presented with in their warm-up games.

The team England faced before the first Test was not good enough and a line has to be drawn in the sand. It's not just Australia who have done it, everyone does it - including England.

Gone are the days when a touring team would face a first-choice county XI and the match would be taken seriously.

Quite frankly, everyone need to grow up and realise it's not in the best interests of the game for teams to prepare for international cricket against sub-standard opposition.

Selectors got it wrong - now they must get it right

England missed pace badly in this series - and I realise we're going over old ground slightly - but I'm still surprised by the non-selection of Liam Plunkett.

I know he didn't play much first-class cricket last summer, but I don't care about that. The bloke has got pace and that's what England needed in Australia.

Additionally, I still find the selection of 20-year-old leg-spinner Mason Crane utterly bizarre. I don't see how England were ever going to play him.

It's extraordinary really. Moeen hasn't bowled well but England just couldn't make a change.

I would like to see Durham fast bowler Mark Wood given a run-out in the fourth Test - fitness permitting - because England have got to ensure they do everything in their power to avoid losing 5-0.

A lot of England supporters will be travelling over for Christmas and New Year, having saved up for years, and they'll want to see some good cricket and pride.

The Boxing Day Test in Melbourne and the New Year's Test in Sydney are sporting occasions people dream about attending.

England have to continue to give it their best shot for the sake of their supporters and their own pride.

Jonathan Agnew was speaking to BBC Sport's Marc Higginson