ENGLAND’S dismal 4-0 series defeat in the Ashes was yet another illustration of how hard touring teams find it to win on the road in cricket – particularly those from these shores.

While home form in Test cricket continues to be strong for Trevor Bayliss and his England players, it is a completely contrasting story away from home.

Our boys have not lost to arch enemy Australia in a home Ashes series since 2001 but have won outright just once Down Under since 1986/7.

It is incredible how the two records differ and it is not just in Oz where England have found the going tough.

England have won 16 of 28 matches at home in the past four years. In that same time, they have won just four of 22 matches away.

Last winter, England were stuffed 4-0 in India and drew in Bangladesh. The previous year, they were outplayed by Pakistan in UAE, though they did win in South Africa, 2-1, shortly afterwards.

At home, they remain a high-quality side. Away from England, they are among the poorest in the world.

They are not alone in being poor on the road and there is a common consensus that cricket remains one of the hardest sports for teams to win away.

But should it really be that difficult.

Traditionally it has been the case. Home teams can prepare pitches to their liking, they are more used to the conditions in their own back yard and, of course, they use different balls. Almost everywhere aside from England, who use Duke cricket balls, play with the Kookaburra style and make no mistake the two are very different.

But if cricket is almost like a different sport away from home and particularly for England who have to swap the northern for southern hemisphere when heading Down Under, to South Africa of the sub-continent, then why don;t we treat it as such.

We have different teams for the shorter format so let’s look at the same principle for away Tests.

Forget being loyal to the first XI who may have done well the previous summer at the likes of Lord’s and The Oval – pick a team to fit what we will face in the winter.

If Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger or Phil Parkinson for that matter are taking their football teams on the road, they often switch things accordingly, both tactically and personnel-wise. Why don’t cricket bosses do that same thing?

If we need batsmen that play well against spin then select them; if we need more swing bowlers then give them a chance. If we need to practice with a different ball before we jet off then let’s do so.

It is not rocket science at all.

Okay, it may still be difficult to win away but at least give yourselves a chance.

As the saying goes – fail to prepare and prepare to fail.