Questions asked of England’s smashing in Ashes

Australia regained the Ashes as they inflicted an innings defeat on England in Perth yesterday to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series.
Questions asked of England’s smashing in Ashes

The performance of the tourists has led to plenty of questions being asked and views being aired.

Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott felt there was a difference in quality between the two first-choice spinners, with Australia’s Nathan Lyon better than Moeen Ali of England:

“It’s not a contest. My mum could play Moeen,” he said.

“We play a batsman who can bowl a bit. He’s done quite well for us, Moeen Ali, but he’s not a quality spinner. He’s nothing like a quality spinner. They need to get better players and they haven’t got better players in English cricket. English cricket has a paucity of quality.”

Ex-bowler Darren Gough called for England’s selectors to be given more time to work on their job of identifying the most suitable talent for future tours: “The selectors have had a mare from start to finish,” he said.

“They’ve got other jobs and they need to have no other jobs in cricket. They should be paid properly and do a proper job.

“At moments like this in the dressing room someone needs to lighten the mood or someone needs to say it like it is. I don’t think they’ve got that person.

“They’ve got some senior players but not senior players who would stand up and say something. The only one with a bit of gob is Anderson throughout the whole team. We’ve been absolutely battered.”

The 2005 Ashes-winning captain, Michael Vaughan, felt the absence of Ben Stokes, who was suspended from England cricket after an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September, left the visitors too weak to compete:

“As soon as Ben Stokes did what he did, it was very clear to me he was going to struggle to be in Australia,” said Vaughan.

“I said it straight away that I didn’t think England would have any chance without Ben Stokes. I would hope that Ben Stokes was watching and I would hope that he’s hurting more than the team in the dressing room.”

Steve Harmison, a former England fast bowler, believes the current bowling line-up is collectively not quick enough to take the desired wickets:

“When you look in the cold light of day the problems are obvious,” he said.

“There’s no mystery about them. The bowlers haven’t been quick enough or affected the game for consistent periods and the concentration of the batting hasn’t been up to standard.

“We’ve been beaten by a decent side, I wouldn’t say a world beating side by any stretch. I would like to see their batting unit face their bowling unit under pressure.”

Graeme Swann, who retired with an elbow injury during the 2013/14 Ashes having won two previous series against Australia, blamed the experienced England players for not standing up and being counted. “The senior guys who you expect to stand up and outshine the rookies have done the exact opposite,” he said.

“Joe Root and Alastair Cook have done next to nothing. The shining lights have been Rocky (Mark) Stoneman and Dawid Malan.

“We go back to England and we trounce everyone at home because we are used to the ball and used to the conditions.

“Cracks get papered over when we are in England. All teams are like this — great at home and rubbish away.”

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