England beat India, but hosts still have issues to address - Jonathan Agnew

By Jonathan AgnewBBC cricket correspondent

England have an unassailable 3-1 lead over India, but the series has been closer than that.

There have been some tight games and India will feel like they have missed opportunities.

Even the fourth day in Southampton, when England eventually earned the win that sealed the series, was nip and tuck. For a while it looked like India captain Virat Kohli might lead his team to a remarkable win.

Instead, India missed out, just as they did in the first Test at Edgbaston.

On both occasions they could not finish off England and Sam Curran has to take a lot of credit for dragging the home side through.

What has made it such a tight and interesting series is that the batsmen have never really felt 'in'. It has been a tough series to be a top-order batsman because they have been up against conditions that have often suited India's classy pace bowlers.

We have talked about the collapses, particularly in relation to England and, for that reason, the cricket has not been perfect. Still, when runs have to be worked for, it makes for a much more interesting game.

Do we know much about this England side that we did not know at the beginning of the summer? Not really, other than they still have a number of issues to address.

They collapsed frequently, including being bowled out in a session at Trent Bridge. The batting order has undergone some frequent tinkering and they have dropped too many catches.

In short, they are what we already knew them to be: a very good side at home, but still a long way from challenging for away wins.

It is odd that England have beaten the world number one side despite having so many holes, but it is to their credit that they have done so.

Now, the fifth Test at The Oval provides the first opportunity to start solving some of those problems.

With regards to the batting order, captain Joe Root has made it very clear that he wants to bat at four, to the extent he made the switch from number three midway through the Southampton Test.

We have always known this was Root's preference and I have always felt he should have stayed at four.

As captain, he has enough distractions, without feeling uncomfortable about where he is batting. He should remain at four.

That, though, leaves a gap at three, one filled by Moeen Ali in the second innings in the fourth Test.

I am not sure Moeen is a long-term solution, especially not in countries where the new ball and short-pitched bowling are vital factors in the game.

But, with a tour to Sri Lanka on the horizon, Moeen could be a stop-gap solution.

Moeen is one of a number of all-rounders in this England team. From the side that played in Southampton you could argue five players - Moeen, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Curran have two strings to their bow.

The idea that too many all-rounders are hurting England is a bit of a red herring because, with the probable exception of Curran, they are also the best batsmen available.

What matters is the way they play, which is often too expansive. All-rounders can be like that, but it does not have to be the case. Look at the way Jacques Kallis, one of the finest all-rounders the game has ever seen, batted so correctly in Test cricket.

Now it is up to those all-rounders to realise there is a 'situation vacant' sign above the number three position and for one of them to make it his own.

In the short term, England will probably pick the same side at The Oval.

In some ways, it is a shame we are not heading to London with the series poised at 2-2. It almost deserved a decider.

England will not be thinking like that, though. Even if they have some issues, they are most likely to be judged on winning Tests and series - that is what they have done.

By the same token, India have looked a very good side and they have certainly not harmed their reputation by coming up short.

The fifth and final Test will still be an entertaining game of cricket.

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