Former captain Kevin Pietersen on Thursday urged fans and critics to not blame the England players for their flop-show on the first-two days of the Brisbane Test which enabled Australia to take full control of the Ashes opener in Brisbane on Thursday.
Head, who brought up his century in just 85 balls to register the third-fastest Ashes ton, remained unbeaten on 112 along with Mitchell Starc as Australia consolidated on their strong performance on the rain-curtailed opening day.
Fast bowler Ollie Robinson returned the best figures for the England bowlers, taking 3 for 48 from 18 overs on an extended second day, and also having a chance put down. Left-arm spinner Jack Leach picked up the key wicket of Labuschagne, but was otherwise punished by the Australian batting lineup and and returned 1-95 from 11 overs.
Star all-rounder Stokes was restricted to just nine overs and conceded 50 runs, appearing to be struggling with his fitness when he bowled late with the old ball.
England’s frontline seamers, especially Robinson and Mark Wood, bowled with lot of heart but were still unable to stop the Australian juggernaut at the Gabba. Australia scored at over 4 runs per over and even when the English seamers created opportunities, their sloppy fielding let them down.
But Pietersen refused to blame the players’ for being in this situation and instead, urged England to improve their domestic cricket structure for the mess they are in.
“Don’t blame the players, fix the system!” Pietersen tweeted.
KP had also called out the “completely flawed” county system in English cricket after their batters failed to put up a fight against the likes of Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon on Day 1.
“147 all out. Please don’t blame the players for not being good enough. The county system is completely flawed & WILL NOT produce enough tough & high quality batters. I’ve said this for years now – TOO MANY COUNTIES!” Petersen tweeted on Wednesday.