Bazball, or Brainlessball? England implode in 15 overs of ‘pure stupidity’ to gift Aussies golden chance at 2-0 lead
Not even England’s band of bludgeoners can win a Test in a session – but with a series of feckless strokes sparking a torrid collapse to begin play on the third day at Lord’s, they may get prove that it’s possible to lose one in one.
Having resumed just 138 runs in arrears of Australia’s first-innings total, with a docile pitch and a visiting attack shorn of Nathan Lyon – the off-spinner now unlikely to return for the rest of the series – England endured the morning that critics of its infamous ‘Bazball’ approach to batting have long feared would come.
After Ben Stokes was dismissed in more conventional fashion off the day’s second ball, edging Mitchell Starc to Cameron Green in the slips cordon, the rest of the hosts’ line-up proceeded to throw their wickets away in with a procession of dismissals to horrify the cricket traditionalists that occupy many corners of the most hallowed ground of all.
Once again confronted with a short-ball barrage from Australia’s seamers, England proved as unable to handle it, and unwilling to outlast it,