England may have regained the Ashes but the memory of their humiliating exit from the World Cup is still all too vivid for assistant coach Paul Farbrace.
An innings and 78-run victory in the fourth Test against Australia at Trent Bridge last weekend saw England reach an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match Ashes series.
In the immediate afterglow of that success the rollercoaster ride England had endured since then coach Peter Moores and deputy Farbrace took the reins last year was easy to forget.
In this year’s World Cup – with Ashes-winning skipper Alastair Cook axed from one-day duty – England crashed out in the first round.
They also failed to beat a single Test nation in Australia and New Zealand, culminating with a humiliating defeat by Bangladesh in March – something that Farbrace will remember for a long time.
It signalled the beginning of the end of Moores’s second spell as England coach and his eventual replacement by Australian Trevor Bayliss, alongside whom Farbrace had previously worked with Sri Lanka.
“We were all low. It was a disaster – there is no getting away from it,” said Farbrace. “We got blown away in the first game (by Australia), and I don’t think we ever recovered.”
Former Kent and Middlesex wicketkeeper Farbrace added: “The last week in Australia was a horrible week for all of us. Players get stung by that criticism.
“You bump into people on the street, or wherever you go, and they say ‘Oh, you work with the England team, you are rubbish’.
“It hurts, it really does.
“But we came back, and the lads just felt it was time to change the way we were playing and our approach to certain things.”
Evidence of a new style came during England’s home series with New Zealand which preceded the Ashes clash.
“I don’t think we set out to be an ultra-attacking team,” Farbrace said.
“It just happened by chance, at 30 for four on that first day at Lord’s, that (Joe) Root plays one way, get his singles and scores boundaries, and (Ben) Stokes came in and whacked it.
“All of a sudden the headlines were ‘this new England way of playing’ … but I think we stumbled across it as opposed to set out to play in that way.”
He added: “Trev keeps telling them to have a positive mindset, because then you are in the best position to play whatever ball is delivered to you – in the best position to leave, defend or hit it.”
Farbrace knows plenty of difficult challenges still lie ahead, including an upcoming series away to Pakistan.
“The next Test match series in UAE will be as tough, if not tougher, than this series – because the conditions are very different, and Pakistan are a fantastic side in those conditions,” Farbrace said.
“We have got to play exceptionally well in that series. We will be a little bit up-and-down, hit-and-miss and inconsistent.
“We have to accept that – which is hard as coaches.”