Nasser Hussain and Michael Vaughan slam England with Ashes hopes in disarray

Former England captain Nasser Hussain said it was more like "Groundhog Day than Boxing Day" after the tourists endured another dismal day with the bat during the Ashes.

Hussain was scathing at the lack of application after the tourists were shot out for just 185 at the MCG, before Australia reached 61-1 at the close.

Joe Root's side went into the Boxing Day Test knowing no less than a win would do to keep their hopes of reclaiming the urn alive, but after being put into bat, suffered familiar top order woes as openers Haseeb Hameed and Zak Crawley both fell to leave them 19-2.

Captain Root made 50 and the recalled Jonny Bairstow 35, but that couldn't prevent another harrowing collapse before James Anderson provided a glimmer of hope before stumps by dismissing David Warner.

That late wicket was of no solace to Hussain though, who said the seam-friendly conditions were no excuse as England notched a score of fewer than 200 for the 12th time in 2021.

"If it were a one-off you could blame the sub-par total of 185 on the pitch or the toss but it is happening all too often," wrote Hussain, in his column for the Daily Mail .

"The biggest concern was the mixture of poor technique – Hameed was rooted to his crease and played with low hands and Crawley’s bat came across the line – and poor shots, especially from the senior players.

"Notably Ben Stokes trying to ramp Cameron Green over the slip cordon and Jos Buttler coming down to Nathan Lyon in the over before tea."

He did however, have sympathy for England's bowlers, who like in Brisbane have been left with a seismic job to try and haul the away side back into it.

"Yet again England were left on the first day with the bowlers needing to bail them out of trouble," he continued.

"They are constantly bowling without runs on the board and when that happens there can be a tendency for bowlers to become a bit defensive and not want to go for boundaries. Or then suddenly go searching for wickets because they are chasing the game."

Hussain wasn't the only former skipper to speak out, with Michael Vaughan telling Fox Cricket: "So far the only thing they've done right on the trip is turn up on time.

"They've got pretty much everything wrong – selection, tactics have not quite been right."

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