Australian newspapers on Wednesday said the country's cricket team was in a parlous state and the coveted Ashes series all but lost after Ricky Ponting's men were smashed by England in Adelaide.
“The Ashes are all but gone,” Malcolm Conn wrote in The Australian. “So too, it appears, are the last vestiges of Australia as a Test force after England's imposing second Test victory in Adelaide.”
The post-mortems were damning, admitting that Australia was unlikely to win the remaining three Tests in the series given its beaten, broken and injury-hit team.
"The Ashes? Forget it -- this side would be lucky to beat Bangladesh," opined a headline in The Sydney Morning Herald, while the Sydney tabloid Daily Telegraph ran with: "Get used to it" above a photo of a joyous England team.
"Australian cricket has not been in such a parlous state for two decades," said the Daily Telegraph, which in a column described the Adelaide Test as a "massacre".
Anderson flies home, to return for 3rd test
England fast bowler James Anderson has returned home to be present at the birth of his child but plans to return in time for the third Ashes test in Perth, coach Andy Flower said on Wednesday.
"It’s not its not perfect but we try to get the balance right between our commitments to England and our responsibility to the individual and his family," Flower told the media in Melbourne.
Waugh calls for Ashes stability
Former Australia captain Steve Waugh says national selectors are "in a quandary" over their team's form slump and may be best to give incumbent players the chance to redeem themselves the Ashes series.
Waugh was a member of the last Australian team to lose an Ashes series at home, 23 years ago, and said it will be difficult for the present lineup.