London, July 18 (ANI): The English media has gone to town over the Australian team's collapse in the second Ashes Test at Lords.
In reply to England's 425, Australia were tottering at 156 for he loss of eight wickets on the second day of the Test. They were 204 for nine when reports last came in.
"One of the most ill-disciplined batting performances seen from an Australian side in the 125-year history of The Ashes," said Stephen Howard of The Sun.
Gideon Haigh of The Times Online said: "The English prefer their Aussie fast bowlers hairy and/or hearty, rather than fit to audition for a boy band, and the shy, polite Johnson smiles a little too often and too genuinely to radiate the approved hostility."
"Johnson's lack of penetration on this tour has been only part of the problem. Worse has been his sheer lack of control, the waste of the first new ball here after the waste of the second at Cardiff, where it contributed to Australia's failure to secure a 1-0 lead - something that was merely aggravating at the time, but that now looms as vital in the context of this series," he adds.
Howard blamed Ricky Ponting for Australia's lamentable showing, saying that his display of disbelief at being given out, caught to a ball he did not nick, set the tone for his team to follow.
"By the time this Test is over, Ponting's dismissal may well be seen as the key to England's first win over the Aussies at Lord's for 75 years," he said.
According to Michael Henderson in The Telegraph, Ponting and Johnson were mere distractions from the main show: a reborn James Anderson.
"The young man who first played for England at 20 has become a bowler all batsmen must respect," Henderson wrote.
"He's a good deal more assertive, too. After Mitchell Johnson sent him on his way in the morning with a less-than-cheerful earful, it was Anderson's turn to get mouthy after tea. His first ball to the Australian was a bouncer, which prompted a fraternal greeting, the brotherhood in question being the Fast Bowlers' Union."
If there's one thing Ponting's players revel in, it's a challenge; and they are facing the mother of those in the coming three days at Lord's. Failure will mean they are heaped in scorn on foreign soil. (ANI)