'Can't do anything right': England's humiliation hits new low

Chris Young
Sports Reporter

Marnus Labushagne has once been dropped by the English field, after edging a Stuart Broad delivery between Johnny Bairstow and captain Joe Root.

Bairstow got his glove to the ball but couldn’t hang on, with Broad left to watch helplessly as Labushagne was once again left off the hook.

After having been driven for four off the previous ball, Broad challenged Labushagne with another full delivery, but this time created a chance for a wicket.

Bairstow dived for the ball, but a catch would have carried to Root at first slip.

Instead, Labushagne pushed Australia’s lead beyond 300 that same over.

Steve Smith’s replacement has proven just as difficult for the English attack to remove from the crease, although not for the same reason as the former Test captain.

Three times Labushagne rode his luck to stay in the middle on the third day of the Test, having been dropped twice and also dismissed on a no-ball, all of which came from the bowling of Ben Stokes.

Stuart Broad of England reacts as Marnus Labuschagne and James Pattinson of Australia score runs during day three of the 3rd Specsavers Ashes Test match between England and Australia at Headingley on August 24, 2019 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Broad was visibly frustrated after the catch went down.

Salt was rubbed into the wound a short time later, when Broad surrendered four overthrows trying to chase down an errant attempt at a run-out.

England’s blushes were somewhat spared a short time later, when Jofra Archer removed James Pattinson for 20.

'Accident waiting to happen': Hussain slams England

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.

“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?”