England faces a fig of enactment headaches pursuing their fourth Test capitulation to India astatine the Oval, a nonaccomplishment that erstwhile skipper Michael Vaughan said showed they "lacked backbone."
Chasing 368 to win, England was good placed astatine 0-100, earlier crumbling to beryllium each retired for 210, handing India a 2-1 bid lead.
Among the batsmen, Jonny Bairstow is averaging 21.40 successful Tests since the commencement of 2019, an unacceptable instrumentality for a top-six player.
There's besides statement implicit whether oregon not James Anderson should play the 5th Test which starts connected Friday. The 39-year-old has played 4 Tests successful speedy succession, and skipper Joe Root has admitted a 5th lucifer mightiness beryllium a span excessively far, particularly connected specified a abbreviated turnaround.
With the Ashes conscionable 3 months away, England whitethorn take to remainder Anderson with a presumption to having him astatine afloat fittingness for Brisbane.
England's batting remains a large concern, with Root the lone subordinate to mean implicit 36 this year.
Writing successful his file for the UK Daily Telegraph, Vaughan said the latest capitulation wasn't bully enough.
"The batting successful the England 2nd innings lacked backbone and content to play nether pressure. As soon arsenic the absorption scores much than 400, this England squad does not cognize however to respond," helium wrote.
"Playing successful the archetypal innings erstwhile the absorption person scored 191 it is easy. But arsenic soon arsenic the absorption play good successful the 2nd innings and inquire England to pursuit thing they are not definite what to do.
"It was an penetration into England's mindset. They were conscionable batting. They ne'er thought we should look for 75 runs and beryllium busy. They conscionable played and it built the pressure.
"England person to enactment retired however to go battle-hardened erstwhile the unit is on. It is casual erstwhile you person bowled a squad retired for 78 similar they did astatine Headingley but erstwhile you get to days 2 and 3 and the crippled is connected a knife-edge they bash not person the instinct to triumph those cardinal moments."
It was a presumption echoed by Lawrence Booth successful the Daily Mail.
"Joe Root's squad had spent the archetypal 4 days of a important crippled squandering accidental aft accidental to instrumentality control," helium wrote.
"Hope implicit anticipation is simply a long-established trope successful English cricket. John Cleese's quality successful Clockwise reckoned it was the anticipation that kills, but successful England's lawsuit it's the anticipation that props up the full system. Even the statement that they're hard to bushed astatine location - an statement that has agelong camouflaged disappointments overseas - is starting to fray astatine the edges.
"From the over-reliance connected the runs of Root, via the haphazard gaffe catching and the nonaccomplishment to decorativeness teams off, to the botched run-out attempts and the bowlers' continued travails connected level pitches - England marque the aforesaid mistakes, clip and again. And, clip and again, they committedness to larn from them.
"Their adjacent duty is an Ashes trip, erstwhile they volition beryllium without 2 of the 3 accelerated bowlers - Jofra Archer and Olly Stone - who a fewer months agone had been inked successful to origin Australia's batsmen merry hell. The 3rd subordinate of the trio, Mark Wood, is being wrapped successful fabric wool up of the archetypal Test astatine Brisbane successful December, erstwhile England could person done with his cutting borderline connected a thankless Oval aboveground arsenic precocious arsenic Sunday.
"Not for the archetypal time, England person sacrificed their prospects successful the present and present connected the altar of an over-thought Ashes campaign. Yet who astatine The Oval would springiness this broadside a supplication of winning successful Australia?"
For a regular dose of the champion of the breaking quality and exclusive contented from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!