UK View: ‘Show your face’: ‘Embarrassing, abysmal and humiliated,’ England careers on the line

Retribution is in the air after England’s abject surrender of the Ashes on just the 12th day of the series. The predictable British press savaging was … predictable.

Their second innings rout of 68 was England’s lowest in Australia for 117 years since March 1904, when they were dismissed for 61, also at Melbourne.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan was scathing of England players leaving Joe Root to face the music alone on the field for the post-match formalities.

“What I didn’t like, when Joe Root was doing the press and doing the interview with Gilly, and I didn’t see any other England players out there. I didn’t like that,” Vaughan told Fox Cricket.

“I didn’t like the fact that the England players – they went straight down into the dressing room. They’re embarrassed.

“And of course you’re embarrassed. You’ve just performed poorly, you’ve just been bowled out for 68. Show face, get on the pitch, support your captain.

“The captain’s going to answer all the questions now, he has done. Well, his team have got to be right beside him even in the tough times.”

(Photo by Darrian Traynor – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

“England saved their worst until last,” seethed Simon Wilde in The Times.

“There was no late fight-back, no pride-induced flurry of runs. They surrendered this Ashes series with barely a whimper on the 12th day of action: a dozen of the dirtiest days of cricket produced by any England team on a major tour.

“The result condemned Joe Root to his third unsuccessful Ashes campaign.

“He has now lost seven Tests in Australia, more than any England captain in history, and the result took England’s loss tally in 2021 to nine, the most for any year. Now Root and head coach Chris Silverwood must face the consequences.”

Former England fast bowler Steve Harmison said there was going to be a “big inquest” on England’s shattering series defeat.

“They [Australia] bowled brilliantly, but that’s embarrassing, I’m sorry. No fight, there was nothing there,” Harmison told BT Sport.

“You can say Australia have bowled well, which they have done. But to lose by an innings when a team only scores 267 runs, that tells you everything.

“There is going to be a big inquest. There’s gonna be a lot of things blamed, people’s careers on the line, but first you marvel at Australia.”

The Daily Mail’s Lawrence Booth rolled out the stats on an ignominous day for English cricket.

“This was England’s ninth Test defeat in 2021 – their most in a calendar. They have now lost 12 of their last 13 Tests in Australia since winning 3-1 in 2010-11,” Booth noted.

“England equalled their own world record for the most Test ducks in a calendar year – 54 back in 1998. Twenty different players have contributed to the haul, led by Rory Burns’s six and Ollie Robinson’s five.

“Their latest surrender included England’s 53rd and 54th Test ducks of 2021, equalling their own world record,. They’re a laughing stock now and, assuming no more complications with COVID, there are still two Tests to come.

“This could get even messier, and it seems inconceivable now that heads will not roll once this fiasco of a tour is finally put out of its misery.”

The Telegraph’s Nick Hoult said England’s last remaining hope of prolonging the resistance ended with the dismissal of skipper Joe Root, who finished the year with 1,708 Test runs at 61 – just two short of Viv Richards’s 1976 aggregate for West Indies with Pakistan’s Mohammad Yousuf on top with 1,788 in 2006. 

“It was all but over for England when Joe Root, their last remaining hope, edged Scott Boland to slip an hour after the restart and slowly dragged himself off the vast MCG arena knowing his dream of leading England to an Ashes series victory was over,” Hoult wrote. 

“England never recovered from an electrifying final hour on the second day when they lost four wickets to some intimidating, brutal fast bowling.

“There was no respite when play resumed with the heart ripped out of the remaining batting with Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow and Root all gone within 13 overs.”

The Guardian’s Ali Martin paid tribute to the stunning Test debut of Victorian fast bowler Scott Boland.

“There are dream Test debuts and then there is the match that Scott Boland just experienced,” Martin said.

“The 32-year-old was handed his Baggy Green cap on Boxing Day and just three days later ripped through England with a quite remarkable six-wicket haul that saw Australia retain the Ashes at the earliest opportunity.

“The coup de grâce came at 11.49am on the third morning, less than half way through the scheduled series, when Cameron Green pegged back Jimmy Anderson’s off-stump to secure an unassailable 3-0 lead.

“England were all out for a meagre 68 in just 27.4 overs, having somehow conspired to lose by an innings and 14 runs in a match where their opponents had stuck just 267 on the board.

“As Australia’s players managed to catch up with Green’s haring sprint of celebration English cricket was in a state of humiliation.”

The BBC’s Amy Lofthouse lambasted the English performance.

“Even by the low standards England have shown on this tour, this was an abysmal performance,” she said.

“After being blown away on the evening of the second day, England were always facing a tough task even to make Australia bat again. But no-one could have seen this capitulation coming.

“England arrived in Australia short of match practice but that is no excuse. They, simply, have not been good enough with the bat.

“Root, as he has done all year, has carried England. Relying on one man, who is also captain, was never going to be enough.”

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