Former England Test players have delivered harsh judgement on the performances of Joe Root’s side in the Ashes series, after Tuesday’s thumping defeat in the third Test saw Australia retain the urn with two matches to spare.
- Former England captain Sir Ian Botham said he was “embarrassed” after England were bowled out for 68
- Michael Vaughan blamed a lack of Test cricket in the lead-up to the Ashes
- England trail 3-0 with the fourth Test starting next Wednesday
England were routed for 68 in their second innings on the way to a humiliating innings-and-14-runs loss in Melbourne as Australia took a 3-0 lead after winning the Brisbane opener by nine wickets and the second match in Adelaide by 275 runs.
“I’m a little embarrassed, to be honest,” former England captain Sir Ian Botham said on Channel Seven.
“To lose the Ashes in 12 days … I just think that England have lost their way. The performance [on Tuesday] summed it up.
“It’s been a walk in the park for the Australians. It burns me to say that but they have completely outplayed England.”
Another former captain, Michael Vaughan, said England had not focused enough on Test cricket.
“They’re a group of players [who] pride themselves on competing and they’ve just not managed to find any kind of consistency or skill,” Vaughan told Fox Cricket.
“It’s not been easy in these times: The England side haven’t had a great deal of preparation. But if you want to look for excuses, you can. You can always find excuses: this Test match team for quite a while has not been good enough.
“The focus has been on the white ball team and it delivered a World Cup, but we’re not a good enough cricketing nation to take our eye off the ball of Test match cricket.”
Moeen Ali, who retired from Test cricket in September, said there was a massive gulf in class between Australia and England.
“Australia are just way ahead of England,” Ali told BT Sport.
Former England pace bowler Steve Harmison added that “there was no fight” and said careers were on the line.