Total embarrassment: Hussain and Willis slam England following Auckland humiliation
Nasser Hussain and Bob Willis have demanded action from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) following the humiliating performance that saw Joe Root's side dismissed for 58 on day one of the first Test against New Zealand in Auckland.
England were spectacularly bowled out prior to lunch at Eden Park on Thursday, Trent Boult and Tim Southee reducing the tourists to 27-9 before Craig Overton (33 not out) ensured they at least surpassed their lowest Test score of 45.
New Zealand duly reached 175-3 in reply, skipper Kane Williamson contributing 91 not out, and former England captains Hussain and Willis blasted their country's display when they appeared on Sky Sports.
"If this was a one-off we could sit here and say 'it was a bad start, England could come back into it', ... but their record away from home is abysmal," said Hussain.
"They've got to realise that they've got a problem and they need to start doing something about it rapidly."
Willis, who described England's batting display as a "total embarrassment", added: "You can't go into a Test series, albeit only two Test matches long, with the preparation England had. What did they have? Two warm-up matches, 14-a-side, you bat one day, we'll bat the next day - no competitive edge to it at all, just go out and enjoy yourself in the middle.
"When Andrew Strauss' side won in Australia [in 2010-11], they had really competitive matches before that Test series.
"It's not that easy to persuade people that change is necessary, but these results will persuade people."
Following up on Willis' reference to England's last successful Ashes tour, Hussain said: "Look at that side, the way they prepared for one of the great victories away from home in 2010-11. Every game was absolutely vital and look at that result. That has to be mirrored on future tours.
"This wasn't good enough, this preparation."
Hussain also had words of condemnation for Root and his team, adding: "We're letting the players off lightly here. The players will be sitting back here going, 'oh great, they're blaming the administrators here, it's all down to scheduling'. The way they batted today was not down to scheduling.
Remarkable. Trent Boult has 6-32, his best Test innings figures. England are all out in their first innings for 58. 20.4 overs bowled. Live scoring | https://t.co/MiIfpeaU9o#NZvENGpic.twitter.com/3NYhpS2mc8-- BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) March 22, 2018
"These things do happen, but it's part of a much bigger malaise that's going on. Even in the [English] summer when they were winning games, this is a very fragile batting line-up and it looks like their only option ever, to get out of trouble, is to play the big shot, play the attacking option.
"What happened to the days where you see off the new ball, where you defend, you make the bowler get you out. Have those days gone?"