Ashes 2021: Police ‘investigate’ England batting collapse, wicket videos

You know you’ve had a shocking start to the Ashes when you were so bad an Australian police force says it needs to get involved.

Hello, police? We’d like to report a crime against cricket.

England was humiliated on day one of the first Ashes Test, skittled for just 147 inside 51 overs after captain Joe Root won the toss and batted on a gloomy day in Brisbane.

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Experts questioned the wisdom of leaving 1156 Test wickets on the sideline when the Poms confirmed neither Jimmy Anderson nor Stuart Broad had made the final XI, but there were bigger problems to face with the willow first.

Mitchell Starc bowled Rory Burns with the first ball of the day and Pat Cummins took five wickets on his captaincy debut to bury England — and the world reacted just as you’d expect.

Queensland Police landed a cruel sledge on social media as the tourists’ brittle batting order fell to pieces.

“Queensland Police are launching an investigation into a group impersonating a Test batting order at the Gabba,” they tweeted.

Meanwhile, Sportsbet suggested rain was England’s only hope.

The English media showed no mercy either. Writing for the Daily Mail, former England player and coach David Lloyd said: “England had to get through that first session and they were clearly not good enough to do so.

“Hindsight is a wonderful thing and we are all guilty of it but England would obviously have been better off bowling in those conditions.”

The Telegraph’s Oliver Brown called out England’s “timeless gift for self-sabotage” while Daily Mail journalist Lawrence Booth also took aim.

“From the start, England provided little justification for Root’s decision to bat on a green surface whose preparation had been hampered by the weather,” he wrote.

“Was it bold? Definitely. Was it foolhardy? Probably. Regardless, there was only one way for England to lose the Test on the first day, and that was by batting in helpful conditions against Australia’s world-class attack.

“It was the 10th time they have been dismissed for under 200 this year — barely a basis for negotiation, let alone the foundations of an Ashes-winning bid. Almost before they have begun, England are chasing their tails.”

BBC commentator Jonathan Agnew said “England’s batsmen were like rabbits caught in headlights”.

Ollie Pope was England’s second top-scorer with 35 and said his teammates didn’t adjust to the bounce in the Gabba wicket, as several batters were caught behind nicking balls they could have left on length.

“They bowled very well and the steepness of the bounce you get at the Gabba — the pitch felt quite soft and I think that tennis-ball bounce probably dragged a few shots that you don’t have to play,” Pope said.

“It’s probably the adjustments you have to make on a day-one Gabba pitch that we didn’t make quickly enough.”

Pope said it was imperative England bowled at the same level as their arch-rivals when play resumes on Thursday, with day one’s action having ended prematurely after heavy rain.

“I think it will quicken up and the nicks will definitely carry so if we put it in the right areas early, hopefully we can make some early inroads,” he said.

With AFP

Originally published as Police launch ‘investigation’ into England’s humiliating Ashes collapse

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