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Ashes: 'Pathetic' England batsmen slammed by former players

November 22, 2013 17:53 IST

Ashes: 'Pathetic' England batsmen slammed by former players



England's shameful batting display at The Gabba invited criticism from former England players, while some have hailed Mitchell Johnson's fine exhibition of pace bowling on Friday.

Stating that England have "given the first Test away" after a shambolic first innings collapse against Australia in Brisbane on Friday, former opening batsman Geoffrey Boycott termed the batting 'pathetic'.

After delighting in Stuart Broad's superb bowling performance which gave England the upper hand on the first day of the Ashes series on Thursday, England fans woke up on Friday to discover they had been bowled out for 136.

A mid-afternoon collapse, in which England lost six wickets for nine runs, allowed Australia to seize control, moving 224 runs ahead with all their second innings wickets intact.

"It's been decent bowling by Australia, but the batting has been pathetic," Boycott, commentating for BBC radio, said of the day's play at the Gabba, which begun with Australia's first innings being wrapped up for 285.

"They've played some poor shots. The problem is we've seen it all before. It's very sad to see them almost give away the Test match like this.

"It will take a dramatic performance to bowl Australia out and then produce a batting display with no mistakes. They've just about gifted the match to Australia."

Image: A general view of the scoreboard after Australia bowled England out for 136 in their first innings during day two of the First Ashes Test at The Gabba in Brisbane on Friday
Photographs: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images


'Today was a great day for Test cricket'

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Boycott also accused England's batsmen of playing Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon as if he were bowling down "hand grenades" after he took two wickets.

England spinner Graeme Swann summed up the mood in the camp when he said on Twitter "On a scale of one to ten that day at the Gabba was a minus six #howler".

Former England captain Michael Vaughan, also watching the carnage from the safety of the commentary box, applauded pace bowler Mitchell Johnson's spell of four for 61.

"What we saw today was quick bowling at its best. Mitchell Johnson changed the course of the match, as did Ryan Harris (who claimed two wickets)," Vaughan, who captained England to their 2005 home Ashes victory over Australia, said.

"For the first time, questions are being asked about (Jonathan) Trott against pace. Mitchell Johnson roughed him up and his feet were all over the place."

Despite it being a poor day for England, however, Vaughan said it summed up the magic of Test cricket.

"The roar of a crowd... bouncy pitch. 90mph bowling... no matter who you support, today was a great day for TEST cricket..." Vaughan added on Twitter.

Image: Mitchell Johnson of Australia celebrates after taking the wicket of Jonathan Trott of England
Photographs: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

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