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England destroyed in fourth day as the second test goes down under

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England have endured hell in this second test of the 2015 Ashes and have now plunged into fresh doubt whether the current squad is good enough to mount a serious challenge for this summers Ashes.

The England squad will now have 10 days to clear their heads before the third test begins at Edgbaston and we could see a completely different side walk out on the first day if some players can’t prove their worth this summer.

The defeat of over 400 runs is England’s third biggest loss ever and although Australia have really brought the pain in this second test, the finger must be pointed at the top of England’s batting order.

Batsmen including Adam Lyth, Ian Bell, Gary Ballance and Jos Buttler are all struggling for runs at the moment and as far as science is concerned, you can’t clone Joe Root. England’s reliance on both Cook and Root has forced both batsmen to fall heavily in this test and both of them need help putting runs on the board. The question isn’t who, but why when it comes down to playing for England do these batsmen struggle?

Today Jonny Bairstow picked up a ton in county cricket for Yorkshire, another batsman that had to drop out of the England team because of his lack of form.

England started the day already 363 runs behind and Australia captain Michael Clarke gave his batsmen freedom to rout. With stellar performances from David Warner on 83, Rogers retiring hurt on 49, Smith hitting a 58 and then the pair of Michael Clarke and Mitchell Marsh finally hitting form with a respective 32 and 27 before declaring on 254-2 before lunch.

The only plus in Australia’s second innings for England was the proof that Moeen Ali is still on form with the ball, picking up the wickets of both Warner and Smith as he looked to be the difference for England.

A mammoth 508 run chase was standing over England and each individual batsman looked engulfed in its shadow as England fell to the constant struggle of losing wickets early on. The out of form Lyth was first to fall to Starc on 7 after losing his wicket the exact same way as his last innings, shamelessly poking the ball to the helpful gloves of keeper Nevill.

Captain Cook was soon to follow Lyth back to the pavilion after horrendously flicking the ball straight to Peter Nevill again from Mitchell Johnson on 11 runs as England slumped to 23-2.

40 minutes later and the completely miserable form of Gary Ballance ensured England looked completely out of the game at 42-3. Falling to the same error of both Cook and Lyth, Ballance poked at a decent ball and once again Nevill had it straight to him as England looked dead and buried for the second time in this test.

Misery then turned to martyrdom as England slumped again to 48-4 when Ian Bell once again loses his wicket early on. Bell had a bat pad combo caught by sub fielder Marsh on Lyons bowling, having only being dropped on 10 from Mitchell Johnson.

England fell to 52-5 as Ben Stokes was run out from a direct hit from Mitchell Johnson. Stokes looked back in his crease but had not planetesimals his bat in the crease as he looked to dodge the incoming ball from Johnson.

Peter Nevill looked like grabbing a career best as England fall to 64-6 on the first ball after tea. Jos Buttler fell for the same trick as his colleagues when he stabbed at a decent ball from Johnson only to see it land in the hands of the now gleeful Nevill.

In the same over Mitchell Johnson proved that you can’t stop him with a dead pitch as his furious bowling caused Moeen Ali to lash out with the bat, throwing the ball up in the air and straight to the substitute fielder Marsh again at short leg.

By now, the humiliated England are at 64-7 and Australia looked set to have another day off tomorrow. Stuart Broad and Joe Root then looked set to battle it out for the sake of a bit of respect as they broke the 100 run mark that looked impossible only one hour prior. Broad eventually makes a mistake and volleyed a ball straight to Adam Voges at Cover from the bowling of Nathan Lyon, on what looked an impressive score of 25 compared to any of the top order batsmen.

It then took 14 minutes to clear the last two wickets Australia needed for an empathic win, Root was bowled by Hazlewood on 17 and Anderson was skittled by the same culprit as England were 103 all out, 405 runs off target and England’s third biggest loss against Australia.

The last 6 batsmen for England spent a despicable 51 minutes at the crease between them, although it’s the top order who face the blame for this shambles. England have a line up that can nearly bat all the way through and to lose in such horrid circumstances in atrocious.

Australia will now be licking their lips at facing such a destroyed and inconsolable England side who are bound to face the baited teeth of the English media in the coming days. After seeing England’s 37 over collapse, cricket legend Geoffrey Boycott called the performance ‘amazingly poor’ after believing that the pitch gave England a real chance to make a fight in this second test.

England now look set to lick their wounds and hit the nets like never before while they consider who can revitalise this England line up. Fans are unsurprisingly calling for Kevin Pietersen to return for the three lions, but any move for the former hero would surely cause more controversy during an Ashes when England need to focus on cricket.

adam lyth Alastair Cook ashes ian bell joe root lords

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