'Accident waiting to happen': Former England captain joins chorus of Ashes criticism

The English press’ verdict on their side’s first innings capitulation was predictably savage, but perhaps the most cutting was that of former captain Nasser Hussain.

Writing for the Daily Mail UK, Hussain labelled the English side ‘an accident waiting to happen’ after Marnus Labushagne, who was brought in to replace the injured Steve Smith, managed to singlehandedly outscore England in Australia’s second innings.

With the visitors in front by 283 runs at stumps on day three, Hussain was highly critical of what he considered to be a fundamental flaw of England’s batting approach.

“England desperately need to find the answer because what we saw on Friday was an accident waiting to happen,” Hussain wrote after the second day.

Former England captain Nasser Hussain has taken aim at Joe Root and the rest of the English batting lineup. Pictures: Getty Images

“Why were England’s batsmen trying to drive through the covers so often when there was so much movement against high-quality bowling? They just should not be doing that. They should be letting the ball come to them.

“Did they not absorb anything of what went on during the first day, when they saw that ball move around so much? Did they not look at the way Marnus Labuschagne left the ball outside off-stump and realise that’s what you had to do here?”

English media line up to slam players

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.”