The Ashes 2021: England media react to Boxing Day Test humiliation at the hands of Australia
England were humiliated in just over two days at the MCG and the reaction that swept through the media at home was, unsurprisingly, scathing.
Journalists and former England cricketers called the Boxing Day Test tourists’ performance ’embarrassing’, called for ‘a major inquiry’, said ‘people’s jobs are at stake’ and warned raised serious fears about the future of coach Chris Silverwood.
The backlash comes after England’s innings loss forced the visitors into a 3-0 series deficit, with Australia retaining the Ashes urn amid shaky resistance.
READ MORE: Aussie rookie wins Johnny Mullagh medal in sports poetry
“It’s embarrassing. There was no fight,” former England fast Stephen Harmison told BT Sport.
“You can say Australia played well, which they did; they were magnificent, painful as it is for an Englishman to say.
“But losing by an inning when a team only gets 267 runs tells you everything about how this streak has evolved.
“There’s going to be a big investigation. There’s going to be people’s careers at stake.
“Our bowling unit over the past few years has been able to win international cricket matches. Our batting unit has been abysmal. There’s no other way to sugar coat it.
“Something has to happen, something has to change, whether it’s looking through the system, whether it’s the staff.”
READ MORE: England good advice Ashes horror for the years to come amid the nightmare
Former England all-rounder Moeen Ali lamented the gap between the two teams.
“I didn’t think the gap was that big before the series, but I almost think it’s bigger than we’re willing to admit,” Ali told BT Sport.
“I don’t remember many sessions that we won in this series.
“It’s embarrassing as a player and you feel depressed. We’ve been late and we have some soul-searching to do.”
Dean Wilson of The Mirror focused on the devastating moment in which the series was decided, with Australian Cameron Green shaking James Anderson’s stumps as the MCG crowd erupted.
“In 12 days either side of Christmas, England have lost the Ashes and their cricketing dignity with over half the series still to play,” Wilson wrote.
“At 11.50am on day three of the third Test at the MCG, Cam Green captured England’s last wicket to rout them for 68 in their second innings as they lost by one innings and 14 runs.
“It was not just a defeat for the Ashes, it was a complete surrender. A surrender which simply has to bring about real and meaningful change in the way England approach Test cricket.”
FULL SUMMARY: Relive the third Test from the Ashes in our play-by-play blog here
The Times’ Nick Hoult highlighted the destructive final hour of play on day two, in which Australian fast bowlers Mitchell Starc and Scott Boland decimated England’s top order.
The Poms hit stumps on day two in shock at 4-31 and still need 52 points to force Australia to beat again, something they failed to do in disastrous scenes.
“Australia retained the Ashes when James Anderson was knocked down to bring down the curtain on a pitiful batting performance in England that summed up that dismal tour,” Hoult wrote.
Boland seizes the English skipper
“England never recovered from an electrifying final hour on day two when they lost four wickets to intimidating and brutal fast bowling.”
Then came a grim outlook on Coach Silverwood’s future.
“Ashley Giles, the team principal, will be in Sydney next week and has a major decision to make on the future of the head coach ahead of the West Indies test tour in March,” Hoult wrote.
“Silverwood has been in charge since 2019 when he replaced Trevor Bayliss as head coach.
“He was given even more power in May when Ed Smith, the head coach, was sacked by Giles who handed Silverwood overall control of selection. Since then England have lost six out of eight Tests.”
For a daily dose of the best news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by by clicking here!