With yesterday’s final Test finishing in Sydney after 2am Monday London time, the Evening Standard was the first newspaper to go to press since the SCG match and wasted no time in calling for coach Trevor Bayliss’ head.
Rating the Australian a 3/10 for the series, cricket correspondent Tom Collomosse said it was “time for someone else to take the Test team”.
“In the Test game, he has made virtually no difference at all,” Collomosse wrote, pointing out that England have won just 15 of 38 Tests during Bayliss’ tenure, and just three from 19 away from home.
Of the 14 players used in the five Tests, only four rated higher than 5/10 – Dawid Malan and veteran quick Jimmy Anderson (both 8), wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow and injured bowler Craig Overton (both 6).
An article in The Telegraph also condemned Bayliss, the headline saying his “laissez-faire” approach had spelled “disaster”.
With all eyes on Andy Murray’s troublesome hip and Philippe Coutinho’s monster transfer to Barcelona, the loss is yet to meet with the vitriol expected from the nation’s notorious press.
Perhaps that is to be expected, however, with Australia’s series win confirmed in Perth almost a month ago.
Writing for The Guardian, Vic Marks said the England and Wales Cricket Board was to blame.
“We have a domestic structure that militates against the production of fast bowlers and spinners,” he wrote, also hitting out at the governing body’s increasing focus on Twenty20 cricket.
“It seems a balanced domestic schedule is less important than eking out as much cash as possible.”
Elsewhere the Telegraph pointed to statistics, concluding that the current series represented England’s third-heaviest defeat in Australia since World War II.
The tourists’ runs per wicket score trailed that of the hosts by 76 per cent.
Historically, the Telegraph said, the winner of an Ashes series in Australia leads that measure by about 40 per cent.
The Sun went with ‘Crash and Urn’, describing the defeat as ‘humiliating’. The Murdoch tabloid offered five pieces of advice for the tourists after a controversy-laden tour: don’t be out until 2.30am, find a fast bowler, find a spinner, prepare better and rise above the baiting.
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