Cricket

Boycott was scathing in his analysis of one England player .

Geoffrey Boycott names the 'weak' link in England's Ashes side

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It's the hope that kills you, isn't it?

Australia ruthlessly extinguished any optimism England had that they could turn the second Test around on day five, taking six wickets for just 57 runs to go 2-0 up in the Ashes.

Joe Root and Chris Woakes' partnership didn't get off the ground and once the pair were dismissed, the wickets, ever so predictably, started tumbling.

As always, this was as much about England's shortcomings as it was the brilliance of Mitchell Starc, who took 5-88.

The Baggy Green's 120-run victory once again leaves Trevor Bayliss with more questions than answers to contend with.

Why did Root choose to bowl first having won the toss? Should the skipper be batting at three? Should another seamer, namely Mark Wood, be called up for the remaining three Tests?

All these debates and more are going to be had in the dressing room. Bitterly, bitterly disappointing for the tourists, just when it looked like they might get themselves back in the series.

If they are to avoid any more batting collapses - and let's be realistic, it wouldn't be an England tour without a few along the way - they badly need their middle order to offer a bit more.

Boycott has identified their 'weak link'

And Geoffrey Boycott was particularly scathing about Moeen Ali, who contributed just two runs in the second innings. The spinner also failed to take a single wicket.

"Moeen Ali's the weak link," Boycott told BT Sport.

"He's having no effect at all. If you talk about the bowling, no effect.

"But the batting - you have to bat first on a good pitch and make 400."

When asked if Moeen is justifying his place in the side on his batting alone, Graeme Swann added:

Australia v England - Second Test: Day 5

"He doesn't deserve a place as the bowler. It'd be a big call to bring in Mason Crane, but if he's not bowling well, he has to score with the bat, he has to contribute. He's not done either in this game. That's a huge worry."

Just one weak link, really?

Moeen's poor form is just one of many problems Bayliss will have to address ahead of the third Test at the WACA, which starts on December 14.

Should Moeen Ali be dropped for the third Test? Have your say in the comments. 

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Topics:
Australia cricket
The Ashes
Cricket
Graeme Swann
England cricket
Joe Root

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