Cricket - Hussain: England a 'shambles'

Former England captain Nasser Hussain felt the team were "bullied" into submission by Australia as they suffered a crushing 381-run defeat in the opening Ashes Test in Brisbane.

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Cricket - Hussain: England a 'shambles'

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Nasser Hussain thought England were "bullied" by Australia in Brisbane.

The tourists appeared to be in a strong position when Australia were limited to 132 for six in their first innings, but the hosts fought back to post 295 before Mitchell Johnson ripped through England, who lost six wickets for nine runs to be all out for 136.

Australia captain Michael Clarke and controversial batsman David Warner both hit centuries in a second-innings total of 401 for seven declared and England never looked like salvaging anything from the game as they were bowled out for 179.

Hussain told Sky Sports: "It's very worrying (to have lost by such a distance). They were bullied. It wasn't as though Australia started well and they continued - England were bossing the game.

"On day one they were in control, all the memories of the summer were still there, they were playing well and since then it's just been an absolute shambles.

"A lot of it has to do with the opposition. Mitchell Johnson is unrecognisable from the bowler we have seen in previous Ashes battles, the confidence and the togetherness are unrecognisable from the team we saw in England, thanks to (coach) Darren Lehmann.

"The tactics of the skipper were very good on the field, they looked like they were playing as a unit. Warner played (Graeme) Swann brilliantly. There are a lot of ticks in that Australia side and not so many in the England side."

England's all-time leading wicket-taker Sir Ian Botham felt the batsmen should be held accountable for the defeat after they failed to bat for long enough to relieve the pressure on the bowlers.

"The batsmen need to have a long look at themselves - how many of them were got out rather than getting out," he said.

"The bowlers get no respite when you bat for 40 or 50 overs and it put (them) in an impossible situation and you're staring down the barrel.

"It was just a matter of when (England would lose). It's just not good enough and we've got this habit of doing this in a first Test. When you're bowled out for 136 on a shirt front (of a pitch) which that is - and still is - then you are out of the game."

Former Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne hailed the work done behind the scenes by Clarke and Lehmann to improve morale in the camp.

"Towards the end of the Ashes series you just started to see the guys smile a bit more and that was Darren Lehmann's influence," he said.

"He was a guy who liked to have fun - he wasn't hard about the massive preparations and all that sort of stuff. Some of the things he has brought in, in combination with Michael Clarke, have been fantastic.

"If you have a happy dressing room and you're a happy cricketer, it shows out on the field."

He added: "This one for Australia was important - to be in the contest they had to win the Test match. The way they have won, from six for 132 to win like this, shows a lot of character."

While the hosts are riding the crest of a wave, England are taking criticism from all quarters, with Australia opener Warner mocking Jonathan Trott after day three.

The usually reliable Trott was unnerved by short-pitched, hostile bowling from left-arm paceman Johnson, who dismissed the South-African-born England batsman in both innings.

That led to Warner dismissing Trott as "pretty weak", though former Australia seamer Jason Gillespie believes the left-hander did not mean to be insulting.

Gillespie said: "Knowing David, I'm very confident that he wouldn't have meant it to come out that way and wouldn't have meant it as a personal attack.

"I think he was looking to just highlight that Australia have found a chink in the armour of Jonathan Trott, someone who has been a bit of a thorn in their side, and have exploited it.

"Obviously, in his press conference he came out and he did use those words and it is probably something for him to reconsider in the future.

"I certainly don't think there was any malice intended by Warner, but certainly the actual language that came out did come across as questioning someone's character. You could argue, and argue pretty strongly, that that is unacceptable."

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