The Ashes; Steve Harmison says ’embarrassing’ defeat for England has left ‘careers on the line’ | Cricket News

“There is no other way to sweeten it: something has to happen, something has to change, if it’s looking through the system, if it’s personal. Our bowling unit has been able to win international cricket matches. Our quip. unity was abysmal ”

Last updated: 28/12/21 5:08


Steve Harmison says England’s surrender on day three in Melbourne was “embarrassing”

Steve Harmison says the “embarrassing” defeat of England’s Ashes will lead to a “grand investigation” with “careers at stake”.

The former England fast bowler was speaking BT Sport after seeing Joe Root’s team drop to 68 on the third day of the Melbourne test.

England were burned to the ground in 27.4 overs when they lost the game by one inning and 14 points and Australia took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-game series.

After the tourists lost their last six wickets for 22 runs, Harmison said: “It’s embarrassing, there hasn’t been any fight.

“It can be said that Australia played well, which they did – they were magnificent, as painful as it is for an Englishman to say.

“But losing by an inning when a team only gets 267 points tells you all about where this series has been. There will be a big investigation. There will be people’s careers at stake.

“Our bowling unit in recent years has been able to win international cricket matches. Our batting unit has been abysmal.

Joe Root scored 1,178 more test runs than any other English player in 2021

Joe Root scored 1,178 more test runs than any other English player in 2021

“There is no other way to sweeten it: something has to happen, something has to change, whether it’s controlling the system, whether it’s the personnel.

“The only time we win is when our captain has scored a hundred or two hundred points to give us the best chance of staying in the game. There is only Root in this team who can beat for six hours, no one else has.

“This team is in a worse position than the white ball team was when they had a reset [after being knocked out of the 2015 50-over World Cup].

“From the moment England won the draw in Brisbane, they have not been good enough as a collective unit – it would be unfair to single out an individual. Australia and England are close but there has been a huge gap in performance.

“We are so obsessed with marketing and financing the game with white ball cricket that we took our eyes off the red ball cricket.

“The problem is not first-class cricket, but the problem is how we play it and when we play it.

Pat Cummins and Cameron Green are all smiles after Ashes' victory in Australia

Pat Cummins and Cameron Green are all smiles after Ashes’ victory in Australia

“If that changes, it gives us a little bit more of a chance to bridge the gap between playing at home and playing away and producing cricketers who have the concentration, the skills and the ability to beat for six hours.

“We have to find a balance between red and white cricket. I don’t think we have seen red cricket as badly as in this country since probably before it started playing in 2002.”

British handyman Moeen Ali, who retired from Test cricket earlier this year, believes tourists now have some “soul searching” to do.

Moeen, also speaking with BT Sport, said: “This is coming. England struggles when they leave, and if Root doesn’t score points, they struggle to get even 200.

“When we had Sir Alastair Cook and Root we got by a little bit more. You need that experience, techniques and hard work in Test cricket. I’m not sure we work on the right things often enough. We need to be more. shrewd with former players.

“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. I don’t remember many sessions we’ve won in this series.

“It’s embarrassing as a player and you feel down. We’ve been out of pace and have some inner research to do.”

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