Ashes 2013-14: Former captain Michael Vaughan fears whitewash repeat unless drastic changes are made
England suffered a second straight humbling defeat to go 2-0 down in their defence of the Ashes
Monday 09 December 2013
Former captain Michael Vaughan believes drastic changes are needed if England are to avoid a 5-0 Ashes whitewash in Australia.
The tourists went down to a 218-run defeat in the second Test at Adelaide, that coming off the back of a 381-run hammering in Brisbane to leave them 2-0 down in the series.
Alastair Cook's team have endured a tumultuous time Down Under so far with the captain's form among that of many to come under question and batsman Jonathan Trott returning home due to a stress-related illness.
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Australia paceman Mitchell Johnson has also been giving England a torrid time, claiming man of the match honours in both Tests so far, and Vaughan finds it difficult to see where England will get a win from.
"Brilliant from Australia... Seriously this will be 5-0 unless something drastic changes in the England dressing room very soon," he wrote on Twitter.
Sir Ian Botham is also fearing a drubbing and believes England need to show more hunger if they are to mount a recovery in the series.
"Ben Stokes was the quickest of the England bowlers, on debut," he told Sky Sports. "There's a message there. England have got to think about where they are going to go and say 'how much do you want it boys? Do you want to go home 5-0 or do you want to make a fight of it?'
"That's the question you've got to be asking the dressing room now. Australia wanted this so much. They've lost the last three series. England had a chance to set a record and Australia weren't going to let them do it.
Former captain Vaughan feels that drastic changes must be made to save the 2013-14 series
"From what I've seen here, they are the side who want it. They are the most hungry of the two sides. They want the victory and they are going out there and they are playing accordingly.
"We talked about their bowling before the series and how it looks; we thought it might be a bit fragile but we need to have a look at ourselves, when it comes to fragile."
Former Australia bowler Glenn McGrath, who made a habit of predicting Australia whitewashes in his playing days, has also taken to the social networking site to express, possibly tongue in cheek, his belief that Australia will win 5-0.
"Another great win by the Aussies.......here comes 5-0!!!!" he said.
Captain Cook faced just 18 balls and scored four runs in Adelaide as he remains without a century in either of the back-to-back Ashes series thus far.
Andrew Strauss captained England to Ashes victory twice from the top of the order and he believes Cook will have a vital role to play in the remaining three Tests.
"He's very much part of the solution to this with the bat," he told Sky Sports. "He can lead by example.
"I think one of the things that we saw in this game was that Joe Root played in a very calm manner.
"There wasn't any highlights cricket from him, there weren't loads of hook shots and massive shots on the up and Alastair Cook, that is his natural game and it will be effective in Perth.
"If he can lead the way, if he can win the toss, England bat first and he gets a big score than that's giving England an opportunity.
"But he's also got to get the other players fired up. Too many of them have underperformed so far.
"They'll say 'well maybe we've been unlucky' but the truth is you can't blame luck, you've got to find a way of overcoming that.
"And England have also got to find a way of overcoming the momentum that is all against them at the moment. That's not an easy thing to do in an Ashes series."
Mitchell Johnson has been England's tormentor throughout this season
Another former England skipper, Nasser Hussain, also had praise for Root after seeing him move up the order to take Trott's place at number three.
The young Yorkshireman made a battling unbeaten 26 batting at number six during the second innings in Brisbane and followed that with 87 in the second Test.
"The thing with the batting what's disappointing me is the repetitive nature of dismissals," Hussain added on Sky Sports. "People continue to get out the same way.
"Have a look at young Joe Root, 22-years-old, got out flashing at the Gabba first innings, he's learned from that, he's put that shot away.
"He put the sweep shot away here in the second innings, he doesn't take on the short ball, it's too high risk.
"So he's learning from his mistakes and I just hope the England players do that."
Changes to the England team for the third Test in Perth are inevitable with second-spinner Monty Panesar virtually certain to come out of the side.
But Hussain believes Cook and director of cricket Andy Flower must also look at the mental state of the other players after two comprehensive defeats.
"Andy Flower and Alastair Cook have got to look at each individual player and make sure that they're not shot mentally," he said.
"It is a difficult place to tour when you go down because everyone on and off the field will get on your case, that's for certain."
He added: "This is when you need to be tough, this is when Flower and Cook need to earn their cash and this is when the players need to show what good players they are."
Former opener Geoffrey Boycott has bben damning in his opinion of England's performance so far
Geoffrey Boycott was even more damning is his assessment of England and believes wholesale changes are now needed to the core of the team which made it to the top of the Test rankings in 2011.
"I think the glory days have gone," he told BBC Sport.
"They're like my side Manchester United, they're short of some quality players and some desire and heart.
"Sometimes you need a change and you have to be strong enough to make the changes. It doesn't last forever."
He added: "It's all beginning to unravel.
"We've had three series we've won comfortably. We're going to get annihilated in this one because I think their mind isn't right. I don't think they're there as a team.
"I think it's beginning to unravel."
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