LONDON  - Until they start hitting big scores on the subcontinent, England cannot call themselves the best team in the world, feels former captain and opener Geoffrey Boycott.

“If you can’t bat, you can’t win, and this was a pathetic, unexpected and shocking batting display by England. I never thought I would see a three-day Test match in the United Arab Emirates,” Boycott writes in an article that appears in the Sydney Morning Herald.

“These pitches are slow, flat and good for batting on for long periods. Watching England’s two innings gave the impression of a team who had not prepared well and did not have a clue about how to play in the subcontinent,” he adds. 

He said that the squad led by Andrew Strauss and coached by Andy Flower have had time to adjust, and therefore, 350 and more was a par score on this pitch, not 192 and 160.

He believes that England have dug such a big hole for themselves that it will be almost impossible to scramble out of it. “This England team has not won on the subcontinent. They even played badly in the World Cup last year, which was held in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Until they start playing well on the subcontinent, they cannot call themselves the best team in the world and definitely cannot be judged against some of the other great England sides, “he concludes.