Australian media react to 'horror' defeat

The Australian cricket team collapsed to defeat before what could have been a potentially test-saving storm in Adelaide, but had little cover from the deluge of media criticism today that greeted their 1-0 deficit to England in the Ashes series.

Tuesday's crushing innings and 71-run loss in the second test at Adelaide, the hosts' biggest in 24 years to arch-rivals England, brought a collective groan from local newspapers.

"Oh the horror," Melbourne tabloid, the Herald Sun, gasped in a headline, splashing pictures of captain Ricky Ponting's furrowed brow.

"Beaten. Broken. Bereft of options. Australian cricket has not been in such a parlous state for two decades," the paper's Will Swanton wrote.

"The team that lost to England will never play together again. It will be ripped apart like a Christmas turkey at a boarding house the next time the selectors meet."

Fairfax writer Richard Hinds took a more optimistic view about Australia's chances of winning the series, but was referring to the one against Bangladesh next year rather than the Ashes.

"Indeed, the idea of Ricky Ponting and his demoralised battlers halting the English juggernaut is like putting a toothpick on the tracks in the hope of derailing a speeding bullet train.

"The final two days at Adelaide, we were assured, was when we would find out what this Australian team was made of.

"The results are not yet back from the lab, but it seems to be some sort of gooey, soft-centred material that melts rapidly when heat is applied, is easily removed from flat surfaces, does not bounce or spin and which stinks to high heaven."

Australia's blunt attack has prompted a number of resigned journalists to call up Shane Warne to see whether the blond legspinner great might be tempted out of retirement for a last crack at "the Poms".

"Yes, yes, I know he's 41. I know he's caused more ugly tabloid headlines than Paris Hilton. I know he hasn't bowled a ball in anger since April," wrote Peter Fitzsimons in the Sydney Morning Herald. "What is important is to save the Ashes and beat England."

The 41-year-old, who made a habit of terrorising England's cricketers in an illustrious career, dodged the questions on a newspaper blog before tweeting that he was flying to England on business.

Tempers have also frayed on the sidelines of the Ashes, with former Australia captain Ian Chappell confirming he had "exchanged words" with former England skipper Ian Botham during the Adelaide test.

"The rest is a fairytale," Chappell, who shares a mutual grudge with the Englishman dating back over 30 years, told the Age newspaper. "We were not at each other's throats."

Another former Australian skipper Mark Taylor called for calm while defending Ponting's captaincy.

"Australia don't have the cattle at the moment. They've got to find a few. And (Ponting's) got to try and remain as positive as he can... and be a bit more relaxed," said Taylor.

"It's a game of cricket. The Australian cricket team and cricket teams in general play their best when they are relaxed.

"I'm not sure the Australian team is relaxed at the moment."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas