Michael Vaughan branded Australia’s batting performance on day two of the fifth Ashes Test as ‘disgraceful’ and says England ‘missed a trick’ by not picking Sam Curran at the start of the Ashes.
Australia were skittled out for 225 at The Oval on Friday with Jofra Archer taking six wickets and Curran chipping in with three to give England a first-innings lead of 69.
Steve Smith scored his tenth consecutive Ashes fifty and in-form Marnus Labuschange made 48 but Australia lost seven wickets for 107 runs to surrender the advantage in the final Ashes clash.
‘Apart from Smith and Labuschagne that was a disgraceful batting performance by Australia,’ former England captain Vaughan said.
‘It’s not of the highest quality but this is great to watch. Though the batsmen have had to face high-quality bowling. The ball did enough, there was enough nibble there and England bowled really well.’
On Curran, who took two wickets in two balls and finished with figures of 3-46, Vaughan added: ‘Sam Curran has four chances to impact a Test – two with the bat, two with the ball.
‘He’s already done it with the ball today and might do it with the bat in this innings. If the ball is not swinging, you can take him off.
‘He’s a dasher with the bat and will sometimes fall cheaply like in the first innings, but then other times will score vital, quick runs.
‘England have missed a trick not playing him more in this Ashes.’
Joe Root’s side, who reached the close on 9-0, with a lead of 78, now appear well placed to force a victory in the final Test match of the summer and level the Ashes series at 2-2.
Curran, making his Ashes debut on his home ground, said: ‘It is was really nice [to be playing]. It has been a different summer to last year for me but it is really nice to be involved in an Ashes series.
‘I would have liked to have been playing but to be involved in every Test has been a nice learning curve.
‘When the crowd is going you get that bit of Adrenalin and you don’t feel stiff. Jof is a great example. To bowl 24 overs was unbelievable.
‘It was a really enjoyable battle bowling against the best batsman in the world. The wicket is pretty flat. It is a placid pitch.
‘To bowl them out for what we did was a great effort. Tomorrow hopefully the sun is shining again and we can get nice runs on the board.’
Australia retained the Ashes after taking a 2-1 lead in the fourth Test but are hoping to become the first touring side to win the Ashes outright in England since 2001.
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