Former England captains vent Ashes anger

Several ex-skippers question Duncan Fletcher's team selections, asking why Monty Panesar was sidelined in the first two Ashes Tests.

india Updated: Dec 07, 2006 02:09 IST

Former England captains reacted with dismay at England's spectacular defeat to Australia in the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval.

The hosts came from behind to win by six wickets, going 2-0 up in the best-of-five series with three to play, leaving England with a mountain to climb in their battle to retain the Ashes.

Several former England skippers questioned head coach Duncan Fletcher's team selections, asking why Monty Panesar, who Fletcher hailed as the best finger spinner in the world earlier this year, was sitting on the sidelines after being left out of the first two Ashes Tests.

A downcast Geoffrey Boycott, commentating for BBC Radio, feared the upbeat Aussies could "bury" England.

"I personally don't think they can pick themselves up," said the no-nonsense former opener, who also called on England skipper Andrew Flintoff and wicket-keeper Geraint Jones - picked for his batting - to up their run-scoring.

"Australia are cock-a-hoop, they are in good form and are confident. There's a danger they will bury England.

"The batsmen are making too many mistakes. You can't keep depending on Paul Collingwood, Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell. Andrew Flintoff and Geraint Jones are not making enough runs.

"And I don't see how England are going to get 20 wickets," the Yorkshire legend added.

"I think the England squad is a pretty decent set of lads, but stop talking a good game and start performing a good game. It is as simple as that. Don't tell us you will come back, just do it."

First Published: Dec 06, 2006 13:07 IST