London: Jan 5, 2014
“This has been one of the most depressing and humiliating days for English cricket,” Boycott wrote in his column for The Telegraph on Sunday when England lost the fifth and final Ashes Test in Sydney inside three days.
“Losing is part of the game, but we’ve lost five Test matches and this [Sydney] has been the worst defeat, because it’s happened in three days. We just collapsed. We almost gave up. It got to the point today where Michael Clarke told his batsmen to just bash runs as quickly as they could,” Boycott wrote.
“He wasn’t bothered about making too many runs because he had enough confidence that his bowlers only needed two sessions to bowl England out. That’s what’s so upsetting, or should be for the players,” he said referring to scores of 155 and 166 in two innings.
The 73-year-old felt Mitchell Johnson was the lone special bowler Australia had and England should have faced the other bowlers better.
“When you think about it, they only have one special bowler and that’s Mitchell Johnson,” Boycott said of the left-arm fast bowler, who ended with 37 wickets at an average of 13.97.
“The off-spinner [Nathan Lyon], who has done very well, used to be a groundsman and he’s getting a bucketful of wickets. And Harris [Ryan]? Damn good bowler but he’s got a wonky knee and he should be no different, as a quality bowler, to Jimmy Anderson or any of our bowlers.”
“Siddle’s [Peter] a straightforward, honest workhorse, just a good bowler. But they’re supposed to be good bowlers in Test cricket. If you were playing a county match years ago, you wouldn’t have had a sleepless night about facing Siddle or Harris. You’d have just said, ‘Ah, good bowlers’,” said the cricketer turned commentator.
Boycott said the whitewash was more embarrassing than the one suffered down under in 2006-07.
“This has been embarrassing, because I can’t remember a series where England have played so poorly and batted so badly. Losing 5-0 in 2006-07 was upsetting, but they had some great players. Where are the great players in this side?”
“Australia had plans, confidence, conviction, they’ve gone at us hard, and we have been awful. So the gap has been enormous, yet on a piece of paper you would say there is nothing to choose between these two teams. It hasn’t turned out like that,” concluded Boycott.
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