Former England right-arm pace bowler and the hero of 2005 Ashes, Steve Harmison, feel heads will roll in the team’s dressing room following the humiliating innings and 14-run loss in the Boxing Day Test, which Australia finished inside three days at the MCG on Tuesday.
“There is going to be a big inquest. There’s gonna be a lot of things blamed, people’s careers on the line, but first, you marvel at Australia,” Harmison, who took 226 wickets in 63 Tests and set England on their way to a historic Ashes victory in 2005, told BT Sport on Tuesday.
England was bowled out for 68 in the second innings, with the hosts taking an unassailable 3-0 series lead going in the fourth Test at the SCG from January 5.
Harmison said the Joe Root-led side showed no fight and called for changes in the batting line-up following the abysmal display. The 68 by England is their lowest total in Australia since March 1904 after the tourists lost six wickets for just 22 runs before lunch on Day 3.
“Last night, they (Australia) bowled brilliantly, but that’s embarrassing, I’m sorry. No fight, there was nothing there. You can say Australia have bowled well, which they have done. But to lose by an innings when a team only scores 267 runs, that tells you everything,” added Harmison.
Harmison also praised Australia’s Ashes preparation, saying they bowled nagging line and length, scored enough runs to put pressure on the opposition and were excellent in the field.
“They have been magnificent, as painful as it is for an Englishman to say, they have been right in preparation, in the selection, they have bowled the right areas. They have put enough runs on the board, and they took catches. That is why they have won the Ashes before the series is even halfway through.”
Calling for changes in the batting unit, where apart from Joe Root and No.3 Dawid Malan none of the batters have clicked, Harmison said it has been “abysmal”.
“This batting line-up in the last three to four years has not been good enough to win enough cricket matches for this England cricket team. The only time we have won is when our captain has scored a hundred or a double hundred to give us the best chance to stay in the game. Our bowling unit over the last few years has been able to win games of international cricket. Our batting unit has been abysmal.
“If Joe Root doesn’t score runs, England lose heavily. What has just happened? The catching has been poor, but the batting has been worse. We are being carried in the bowling department by a 39-year-old (Jimmy Anderson) who looks as good as ever, and we are being carried in the batting by one of the best of the modern generation,” added Harmison.