Ashes 2017/18 - I expected 3-0 once Stokes wasn't coming - Graeme Swann
Former off-spinner Graeme Swann came down heavily at the performance of the senior players following England's Ashes series defeat against Australia in the ongoing contest.
The tour started for the visitors with a 10-wicket defeat in Brisbane and then were trounced by Australia in the day-night Test in Adelaide by 120 runs.
Heading into the third game in Perth, England were expected to show stern resistance but things turned from bad to worse as they suffered an innings defeat in what was their eighth successive defeat at the WACA and as a result, they lost their hold on the Urn.
While the likes of Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow and to some extent Mark Stoneman and James Vince did a fair job, the senior players apart from James Anderson has been a big let down according to Swann.
“The senior guys who you expect to stand up and outshine the rookies have done the exact opposite. Joe Root and Alastair Cook have done next to nothing," Swann told BBC.
"The shining lights have been Rocky (Mark) Stoneman and Dawid Malan.
“I‘m proud of the way some of the guys have played. Dawid Malan was sensational, James Vince was only dismissed by the best ball I’ve ever seen in a game. There are positives, I expected to be 3-0 down after three games once Stokes wasn’t coming.”
Cook averages under 14 in the series after scoring just 83 runs from six innings while Root was also weighed down by the pressure as he averages under 30 and Moeen Ali's average goes under 20.
Michael Vaughan also questioned the longevity of certain members of the England squad.
“England have three legends of the game in Alastair Cook, Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson,” Vaughan added.
“It depends how they manage their retirements. It’s coming sooner rather than later. I do think they can all play a part in the series of 2019 but you don’t see many fairytales in sport.
“England have to manage the senior core of the side and make sure that if they are all to go together in 2019 they are playing well enough to be in the team.”
Meanwhile, Swann also pointed out that he was certainly expecting a 3-0 result once Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes was withdrawn from the squad following disciplinary reasons.
“England do have a settled side if Ben Stokes is around but when he’s not, this team came over very weak,” he added.
© Cricket World 2017