Australia faced a scathing critique from former England opener Mark Butcher after a lackluster performance on Day 2 of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford, Manchester. As England took control with their dominant batting display, Butcher compared the visitors to a struggling school team.
At stumps on Day 2, England had amassed an impressive 384/4 in response to Australia’s 317. The Australian bowling unit, led by Pat Cummins, came under severe scrutiny as they struggled to contain England’s batsmen.
Zak Crawley played a pivotal role in England’s success, scoring a remarkable 189 and forming a commanding 121-run partnership for the second wicket with Moeen Ali, who contributed 54 runs. Crawley then forged a formidable 206-run stand for the third wicket alongside former England captain Joe Root, who added 84 runs to the tally. The trio mercilessly punished every Australian bowler they faced, leaving the visitors in disarray.
Speaking on Sky Sports, Butcher did not mince his words, saying, “Australia resembled a school team. Following the ball around, not able to stick to one plan or another, not being able to bowl two deliveries in the same spot. England just dominated and gave them the run-around.”
It was a day of utter frustration for the Australians, as they found themselves unable to mount an effective bowling strategy against England’s formidable batting lineup. Their inability to adapt and execute their plans left them exposed and vulnerable to England’s offensive onslaught.