England have been savaged for one of the worst batting performances in Test cricket history but Ben Stokes has been singled out for a “diabolical” shot during an infamous collapse.
The host nation were favoured to bat themselves into a dominant position on Friday, having arrived at Headingley without a metaphorical or literal cloud in the sky after rolling the tourists for 179.
In the space of 24 overs, Joe Root's team lost 10-57 and quite possibly the match and series.
Despite plenty of criticism coming from former captain Michael Vaughan and other cricket experts, Stokes seemed to be singled out for a wild shot when England’s top order had already collapsed.
At 3/34 England were hoping Stokes could produce another knock like his century at Lord’s but were left disappointed when the all-rounder lashed out at a wide ball and was caught behind.
England legend Geoffrey Boycott ripped into the all-rounder.
“How do you play that shot?” he said on the BBC.
“It was so wide he could hardly reach it.
“The mindset, it’s a poor shot. That is poor thinking, poor batting.”
Boycott wasn’t the only cricket fan perplexed.
Absolutely awful shot. Diabolical. What on earth Stokes? #ashes— Steve Smith (@stevesmithffx) August 23, 2019
Ben Stokes. Throwing unnecessary shots once again. #Ashes— Ryan Fitzgerald (@FitzySA) August 23, 2019
Hazlewood praises bowling attack
Hazlewood did the bulk of the damage, snaring 5-30 in what was statistically the greatest Ashes performance of his career.
But the big seamer had some kind words for his fellow pace bowlers.
"The way Cummins is bowling is pretty special at the moment ... Jimmy is always at the batsmen, he can take wickets in clumps," Hazlewood said.
"It (this attack) has been in the pipeline for quite a while but never actually happened. That added an element to it.
"It was pretty exciting ... it's quite a good mix."
The luxury of having Mitchell Starc, the fourth member of the so-called 'four pacemen of the apocalypse', on the sidelines is an indicator of just how strong Australia's pace depth is at the moment.