Former captain Michael Vaughan has called on England to stop being so "nice" to their Aussie rivals after footage emerged of pace veteran James Anderson sharing a chat with Nathan Lyon before play on Boxing Day.
Anderson could be seen sharing a polite conversation with Lyon before the toss on Sunday for the third Ashes Test.
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Both players were wearing their team tracksuits as they mingled and looked very chummy while inspecting the pitch before play at the MCG.
While the sight of opposition players mingling before and after matches is commonplace in cricket nowadays, Vaughan believes it shows a lack of aggression and fire from England.
“There’s been too many mornings where I’ve turned on the television screen and I saw them all shaking hands and having conversations with Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon," Vaughan said on Fox Cricket.
"Do that in the dressing rooms afterwards, not before the start of play. They’ve been too nice, let’s see if a nastier England side can produce some better results.
“I think Joe (Root) would’ve said over the last few days a few honest truths: ‘Players, looks yourselves in the mirror and motivate yourself. I shouldn’t have to motivate you, you’re representing England, you’re at the MCG, you’re 2-0 in an Ashes series. Get tough, be a bit nasty'.
“England have had two times in the series where they’ve been completely against the wall – Brisbane in the second innings in that partnership with Malan and Root, you could see there was a really competitive nature about that pair, and on the last day in Adelaide, they were losing the game but at least they showed a little bit of spirit and fight.
“I think Joe will be saying to this side: ‘The England supporters and we as a group, we expect a lot more from ourselves. Let’s get a bit nasty.’"
Michael Vaughan bemoans England's friendly approach
Speaking on Fox Cricket’s 'Follow-On' podcast last week, Vaughan said he “never had a conversation with Steve Waugh” before a match and “wouldn’t have dared go and speak to Glenn McGrath on the morning of the game or Shane Warne”.
The former England captain called on Joe Root and his men to change their "friendly" approach towards the Australians.
“I just want them to get a little bit nasty. They don’t have four or five quick bowlers that can bowl around 90 miles per hour … I just want them to get nasty and get into Australian space," he added.
“If it means chirping, having a pop at David Warner, just try something because the first two Test matches, they’ve been too nice in the field, they’ve had no body language, there’s no energy.
"I just want to see a bit more energy in the field and I want to see a team that’s willing to have a little bit of a pop at Australia.”
Needing a win in the third Test to stay in the series, England require a miracle to fight their way back into the match and series that has spiralled out of control in the past two-and-a-half weeks.
On return from a Covid-enforced rest in Adelaide, Aussie captain Pat Cummins claimed three wickets in the opening session on Sunday before the tourists were all out for 185.
Australia then exploded out of the blocks, with an assertive 38 from David Warner helping them to stumps at 1-61 and with the game firmly in their control.
The poor showing came after Anderson used a newspaper column to counter Root's claims the England bowlers had been too short in the second Test in Adelaide, pointing out Australia's bats had thrived against similar length balls.
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