England’s efforts so far on this tour have been the worst ever performance by an Ashes team, and I reckon you can mark a 5-0 win to Australia down as a certainty.
I should know a bit about it – I was part of the team that lost 5-1 in 1978-79, and that was an absolute drubbing, but on three occasions we were a chance to win those games.
But this mob have just been absolutely smashed in the three Test matches so far, and they will be in the next two.
Eight of this England group have been involved in the past three winning sides and this is one of the most amazing turnarounds in sport.
England have stuck with the same group for a long period of time and that group’s now got stale and aren’t hungry anymore – as shown by Kevin Pietersen’s batting. He’s not hungry for Test runs and he’s taking the soft options.
James Anderson is battle scarred and tired, they haven’t got a main strike bowler.
The chopping block would be out for Matt Prior, they don’t have a ready-made replacement for Graeme Swann and Pietersen’s been poor.
The loss of Jonathan Trott was massive, his ability to bat for long periods of time was holding the whole thing together.
I think they’ve come over here complacent.
It’s hunger – Australia have lost the past three, so the hunger in those blokes is at a maximum, while England have won the past three so there’s isn’t where it should be.
That’s life. If you’re searching for success, you’re just more desperate.
England have underestimated Mitchell Johnson, they thought he’d weaken because of his past history.
David Warner’s played brilliantly too, he’s come together at just the right time.
The man management skills that Darren Lehmann’s brought to this group are just exceptional.
He only got the job on June 24, 16 days before the first Test of the last series, and they were a basket case when he was handed them – Clarke and Watson didn’t get on, Warner was in strife.
A lot of the modern day coaches have that school-teacher type attitude, Lehmann’s just brought back good old fashioned self belief, good old fashioned ‘let’s sit down and have a beer and talk about things’.
I think he’s brought relaxation back to the dressing room, but he can still ignite the discipline that’s required.
You spend five days in the change room, it should be a homely, friendly sort of place, you don’t want to be sitting around looking over your shoulder.
And you have to give massive credit to fast bowling coach Craig McDermott – when he had them the last time they seemed to rise to the occasion, and now he’s come back they’re bowling beautifully.
Their ability to build up pressure at both ends was quite incredible in that heat in Perth.