England torn to shreds by Aussie critics

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The Independent Online

England came under concerted attack from the Australian media yesterday for their negative approach on the final day of the second Ashes Test. England were 59 for 1 heading into day five but were bowled out for 129, ultimately succumbing to a six-wicket defeat.

"One side raised the drawbridge, the other tried to storm the castle," Robert Craddock wrote in the Adelaide Advertiser. "The day was a savage clash of two contrasting mentalities."

The former Australia batsman Steve Waugh praised the efforts of spin legend Shane Warne, who prompted England's spectacular second-innings collapse by taking 4 for 49.

"All the tricks came out of the showbag and it was unmissable Test match cricket," Waugh wrote in his Adelaide Advertiser column. "The king was back on his throne meddling with minds with an extraordinary display of stamina, variation and subtlety. Each delivery was well thought out and deadly accurate, creating the sort of pressure that forced mistakes."

Echoing Craddock's view on the contrasting attitudes of the sides, Waugh added: "Two sides turned up but only one believed it could win."

Alex Brown, of the Sydney Morning Herald, highlighted the England spinner Monty Panesar's absence after Ashley Giles was given another chance after failing to impress in the first Test in Brisbane.

Brown wrote: "With nine overs remaining yesterday, Channel Nine's cameras showed a close-up of Monty Panesar. Producers then cut back just in time for the first delivery of the over, bowled by Giles, to be dispatched to the boundary by Michael Hussey. In two frames, Nine had revealed the problem with England's spin attack.

"Panesar remained consigned to his seat when the tourists were screaming for a spinner with his aggressive mindset. And Giles, who spent the majority of the match nagging around leg stump, was unable to make the breakthroughs needed of him."