England have been savaged by their own press after a crushing loss to Australia at the World Cup on Tuesday.
Jason Behrendorff and Mitchell Starc ripped through England to claim a 64-run victory at Lord's.
After captain Aaron Finch hit an even 100 to lead Australia to 7-285, Behrendorff and Starc took nine of England's 10 wickets to roll them for 221 in reply.
Tuesday's result guaranteed Australia a semi-finals spot and left England's hopes in doubt, sitting fourth with two big games to play after entering the tournament as favourites.
The reaction from the UK press has been brutal.
“It’s hanging by a thread now,” wrote Paul Newman of the Daily Mail.
“The best and probably last chance England will ever have of finally breaking their 50-over World Cup duck is rushing agonisingly away from them.
“This was a seismic blow to the tournament favourites and No. 1 ranked one-day side in the world.
“Not quite the day their dream died but one that has left them needing to win every remaining game to be near certain of averting one of the most crushing blows in even their cock-up laden history.
“Clearly the weight of expectations England vowed they would cope with ahead of a tournament they have spent four years planning for has got to them.
“How else to explain this 64-run defeat by an Australian team who really do know how to win the big games?”
Barney Ronay of The Guardian echoed the sentiment.
“For all the fear of dead rubbers, we are instead being treated to the equally gripping spectacle of an uncrowned champion team losing their nerve, cracking and flaking a little as the end game approaches,” he wrote.
“England will be called brainless, feckless, flat-track and all the rest.
“But the key note of the last two defeats has been detachment, an inability to read the day, the game, the forces acting on them.”
And Nick Hoult of The Telegraph added: “So far in this World Cup they have not been able to handle the extra level of tension.
“Eoin Morgan needs to galvanise a team that has frozen with the bat (against Sri Lanka), in the field (against Pakistan) and with the ball (against Australia).”
A number of former players were also stressing.
“You wonder what damage this will do to the confidence of the England side. They froze, they didn’t play the right way. This is a hammering … on the big stage,” Michael Vaughan said in commentary.
“Unless they can read the situation better and think, ‘Wait a minute, we’ve just lost two wickets, we need to go back to Plan B and maybe C. Just see off Mitchell Starc, just see off Pat Cummins for a few overs.
“From what I’ve seen already, this is turning out — we’ve had some bad World Cups, and I’ve been involved in a couple of atrocious World Cups — this could, if they’re not careful, turn out to be top of the tree.”
The England captain stepping to square leg when Starc bowled his first delivery to him made me think England could have a little problem over the next week or so.— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) June 25, 2019
I hope not, but I’ve not seen a captain show such a weakness for a while...