Poms turn on each other as Ashes hopes crumble

A number of former England Test players have been involved in a social media slanging match after England slipped to a 2-0 deficit with a loss in the second Test.

The Ashes is turning into a tale of two tweakers, with Australia's Nathan Lyon - Test cricket's most successful bowler this year - tormenting the tourists.

The other, England's Mooen Ali, has not only become Lyon's bunny when batting, but is battling to buy a wicket.

Lyon has 11 wickets at an average of 22.72 in Australia's two Ashes Test triumphs, while Ali has two wickets at 98.

Things aren't looking great for England. Image: Getty

And it's those very stats that had one former England player fuming on Twitter on Thursday.

Former Test and one-day player Owais Shah took to social media in bewilderment about Lyon's form and Ali's lack thereof.

"I don't get it..... A FINGER spinner with out a Doosra keeps getting wickets against us!!! Can we not play conventional off-spin!!!!! Makes you wonder where our finger spinners are going wrong!?!??", he tweeted.

Fellow former Test players Ravi Bopara, Alex Tudor and Chris Tremlett all hit back at Shah, sparking a public back-and-forth between the ex-teammates.

Lyon has taken 57 wickets in nine Tests this year; Ali has 32 victims from the same amount of games.

And while the Englishman is highly valued as an allrounder, his tour of Australia has been troublesome.

Tremlett, Tudor, Shah and Bopara. Image: Getty

Ali didn't play in the tourists' initial two tour games because of a side strain. Then, he suffered a cut finger on his bowling hand during the first Test.

But his captain Joe Root is still backing the 30-year-old.

"Mooen over the last couple of years has become a vital part of our team and he is an outstanding cricketer," Root said.

"There are periods where you have a couple of bad games.

"But we know as a side how valuable he is to us and what he can produce.

"He has got to make sure that he continues doing the hard work he does in practice because you're only ever one ball away from things turning in your favour.

"I thoroughly believe that is the case with Mo."

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Root said England would continue to work on countering Lyon, who has been downright miserly. A quarter of his overs this series have been maidens.

"He has performed very well," Root said of Lyon.

"I think more than anything it's about making sure you're really clear about how you're going about playing him individually."

Meanwhile, former captains Bob Willis and Michael Vaughan believe England are heading towards a 5-0 defeat.

Willis said the tourists' lack of competitiveness for most of the first two matches has proved Australia are the superior side.

"England are fighting as hard as they can, but the bald fact is they are up against a better side in these conditions," Willis told the UK's Sky Sports.

"The glaring differences are that Australia have express pace in the seam department and a world-class spinner. We have neither.

"At this rate, you wouldn't be surprised if it was 5-0, as Adelaide probably represented England's best chance to chalking up a victory."

Vaughan, the lead run-scorer in the losing 2002-03 tour of Australia, suggested England had neither the skill nor resilience to win a match.

He said England competed strongly only when their backs were to the wall.

"This was the week we all fancied England to take something from," Vaughan told the BBC.

"In Perth, the ball won't swing like this.

"We are now looking at - like we did in 2013, like we did in 2006-07 - you look at this England side, and realistically, can you see them winning a Test match?

"How do you win Test matches with those kinds of scores? You haven't got 20 wickets yet. I think it's going to be very difficult to win a Test match on this tour."

England captain Joe Root has insisted this series did not resemble the lopsided 5-0 thumping that unfolded in Australia four years ago.

"We showed throughout the two games for periods that we can outperform Australia," he said.

"I don't think that we're as unevenly matched."

with AAP