England players warned their careers could be over after Ashes embarrassment

Steve Harmison believes some of England 's batters might see their international careers under threat after their worst display yet in this Ashes series saw their hopes of pulling off a miraculous comeback die with a whimper.

The tourists were bowled out for just 68 in their second innings at Melbourne Cricket Ground, meaning Australia did not even have to bat for a second time to have victory confirmed in the third Test.

England's bowling attack had done a fine job of limiting the hosts' lead to just 82 runs, but were let down by yet another woeful display with the bat.

This was the worst of the lot, though, as the total of 68 not only condemned England to a series defeat, but it was their worst total Down Under in 117 years.

Harmison, who has been working as a pundit for BT Sport, suggested after England's shocking defeat that some of those batters might see their Test careers under threat.

"The only teams that have gone over there and done anything meaningful are teams that have got first-innings run," he said.

"Last night, [Australia] bowled brilliantly, but that's embarrassing, I'm sorry. No fight, there was nothing there.

"You can say Australia have bowled well, which they have done. But to lose by an innings when a team only scores 267 runs, that tells you everything.

"They have had the rub of the green, England have dropped catches, two umpiring decisions… but Australia have earned the right to get those decisions going in their favour.

"There is going to be a big inquest. There's gonna be a lot of things blamed, people's careers on the line, but first you marvel at Australia.

"They have been magnificent, as painful as it is for an Englishman to say, they have been right in preparation, in selection, they have bowled the right areas.

"They have put enough runs on the board, and they took catches. That is why they have won the Ashes before the series is even halfway through."

Captain Joe Root, whose lineup decisions have been questioned at times, will be one of those who will be under the most pressure despite being England's best batter by far during this series.

Harmison believes he shoulders too much of the responsibility and called for fresh faces to be brought in to try to improve England's poor record in recent years.

"This batting lineup in the last three to four years has not been good enough to win enough cricket matches for this England cricket team," he added.


"The only time we have won is when our captain has scored a hundred or a double hundred to give us the best chance to stay in the game.

"Our bowling unit over the last few years have been able to win games of international cricket. Our batting unit has been abysmal.

"There is no other way of sugar-coating it, something has to happen, something has to change, whether it is looking through the system, whether it is personnel…

"If Joe Root doesn't score runs, England lose heavily. What has just happened? The catching has been poor, but the batting has been worse.

"We are being carried in the bowling department by a 39-year-old who looks as good as ever, and we are being carried in the batting by one of the best of the modern generation.

"We have got bowlers who can stay with Jimmy Anderson, but we haven't got batters staying anywhere near Joe Root, and that's our problem."

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