Cricket: Michael Vaughan makes Ashes claim as New Zealand beat England

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Michael Vaughan fears for ‘fragile’ England ahead of the Ashes (Picture: Getty)

England have ‘no chance’ of winning the Ashes in Australia if their ‘fragile’ batting line-up continues to struggle, says former captain Michael Vaughan.

Joe Root’s side were bowled out for 122 in the second innings of the second Test at Edgbaston – with fast bowler Mark Wood top-scoring with just 29 – as New Zealand clinched an eight-wicket victory to win the series.

It is the Black Caps’ first series win in England since 1999 and means Kane Williamson’s team go into the World Test Championship final against India in fine fettle.

England were largely outplayed in the first Test and may have lost had it not been for heavy rain at Lord’s and Vaughan fears for the team ahead of a home series against India later this summer and the Ashes trip to Australia this winter.

‘They now have just five chances to sort the batting out before the Ashes,’ Vaughan told BBC Test Match Special.

‘They can’t arrive in Australia with a batting line-up this fragile – they’d have no chance. England have tinkered too much.

‘Everything has gone downhill for England since they went up 1-0 in India. Don’t muck about with Test cricket. England aren’t a good enough team to muck about.

‘This batting line-up is fragile and we have to now start looking at players and wondering if they are good enough, because they keep getting out cheaply.’

England record run-scorer Sir Alastair Cook added: ‘You always watch England thinking that if they lose one wicket then they could easily lose two, three or four.

‘When the pressure comes on, whether it’s inexperience or the players just aren’t good enough, they can’t withstand the opposition’s bowling.’

More to follow…

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