Englands batting brutally exposed as picking openers labelled a lottery

England's batting order has been 'brutally exposed' by Australia according to former captain Nasser Hussain – who also dubbed the selection process for the openers as a 'complete lottery'.

England suffered yet another batting collapse after a sensational performance from the bowlers dismissed Australia for 267 – leaving the tourists trailing by 82 after the first innings but still with a very slim chance of rescuing something at the Ashes.

However, Australia’s bowling attack of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Scott Boland cut through the batting order to leave the visitors struggling at 31-4 following the dramatic second day of the third Test in Melbourne.

Starc got Zak Crawley caught out and ousted Dawid Malan via lbw in successive balls to rattle England at 7-2 before Boland, who was making his Test debut at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, edged Haseeb Hameed out. The 32-year-old added the wicket of Jack Leach just two balls later.

And Hussain, who captained England between 1999 and 2003, ripped into the visitors' batting performances with Australia looking to claim the urn in just hours time.

"We saw why Test cricket remains the best format of the game because I’m afraid, however hard England tried and however much character they displayed with the ball, their failings and weaknesses with the bat were again brutally exposed," wrote Hussain in his column for The Daily Mail.

"For an hour England were subjected to the fiercest examinations by world-class bowling from Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc in particular and the MCG day two audience were treated to great cricketing theatre. To see the way that crowd reacted, especially when Starc was on a hat-trick, to the Australian performance was incredible.

"A mention, too, for the pitches because I think they have been brilliant for Test cricket throughout this series. Four years ago in Melbourne the surface was horrible for the health of the game and Alastair Cook ground out a double century in a high-scoring draw.

"This one favours the bowlers but the sheer drama and entertainment were all the better for it and this Australian attack were once again far too good for England's openers."

What have you made of England's batting at the Ashes? Let us know in the comments section.


England’s below-par batting has been heavily criticised after poor showings in each innings of the Ashes series so far, and the second day of the third Test was no different.

The Melbourne crowd created a hostile atmosphere that powered Australia as they ripped through England’s batting order.

And dismayed by the performance, Hussain branded the selection process for picking openers from county cricket as a 'complete lottery' since Alastair Cook retired in 2018.

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