The Ashes: England greats predict Australian 5-0 whitewash after Adelaide loss

  • 07/12/2017
The Ashes, Mitchell Starc, England, Australia, Michael Vaughan, Ian Botham, Bob Willis
Mitchell Starc surrounded by his teammates after the match-clinching wicket of Johnny Bairstow Photo credit: Getty

Former captains Bob Willis and Michael Vaughan believe England are heading towards a 5-0 Ashes defeat after losing the second Test in Adelaide.

Willis said the tourists' lack of competitiveness for most of the first two matches has proved Australia are the superior side.

"England are fighting as hard as they can, but the bald fact is they are up against a better side in these conditions," Willis told the UK's Sky Sports.

"The glaring differences are that Australia have express pace in the seam department and a world-class spinner. We have neither.

"At this rate, you wouldn't be surprised if it was 5-0, as Adelaide probably represented England's best chance to chalking up a victory."

England began day five at Adelaide Oval on Tuesday with a chance to steal victory having bowled themselves back into the match, only to lose their final six wickets in the first session for a 120-run loss.

It followed their 10-wicket hammering in Brisbane in the opener.

Vaughan, the lead run-scorer in the losing 2002-03 tour of Australia, suggested England had neither the skill nor resilience to win a match.

Michael Vaughan (right) chats with England skipper Joe Root after a Test win over South Africa in July 2017.
Michael Vaughan (right) chats with England skipper Joe Root after a Test win over South Africa in July 2017. Photo credit: Getty

He said England competed strongly only when their backs were to the wall.

"This was the week we all fancied England to take something from," Vaughan told the BBC.

"In Perth, the ball won't swing like this.

"We are now looking at - like we did in 2013, like we did in 2006-07 - you look at this England side, and realistically, can you see them winning a Test match?

"How do you win Test matches with those kinds of scores? You haven't got 20 wickets yet. I think it's going to be very difficult to win a Test match on this tour."

England captain Joe Root has insisted this series did not resemble the lopsided 5-0 thumping that unfolded in Australia four years ago.

"We showed throughout the two games for periods that we can outperform Australia," he said.

"I don't think that we're as unevenly matched."

Meanwhile, England great Ian Botham has called for star all-rounder Ben Stokes' selection for the third Test in Perth.

Sir Ian Bothan and Sir Bob Willis chat with England quick bowler Jimmy Anderson
Sir Ian Bothan and Sir Bob Willis chat with England quick bowler Jimmy Anderson Photo credit: Getty

Stokes was named in the one-day international squad on Thursday but is on the sidelines for the Test series as he awaits a UK prosecutors' decision on whether to charge him for his involvement in a brawl.

"I would play the strongest side and that includes Ben," Botham told Fox Sports.

"He would be the X-factor that might shake things up. England need to act and act quickly."

AAP