‘Fragile’ England will have ‘no chance’ in Ashes, says Michael Vaughan as Joe Root’s side slip to New Zealand defeat

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.

New Zealand dominated England in the second Test at Edgbaston (Picture: Getty)

‘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.’

Rory Burns and Dan Lawrence both scored 81 in the first innings at Edgbaston but England’s total of 303 looked under par, especially after New Zealand made 388 in reply.

Still, England could have set the tourists a tricky fourth-innings chase if they batted well, but they did not materialise as another batting collapse left New Zealand just 38 to win.

Stuart Broad and Olly Stone took two quick wickets but New Zealand’s victory was never in doubt and they clinched only their third Test series win in England since 1930 within the first hour of the fourth morning.

Player of the match Matt Henry, who took six wickets in the match, said: ‘The crowd has been unbelievable, it’s been very special. It was incredible and there was great energy and it really helped.

‘I had an understanding of how to bowl on these surfaces. Day one and two it was a sound wicket and we knew there would be a new ball wicket and tried to get them in clumps. Once you got in it was a good wicket to bat on.

‘It’s pretty easy to get motivated to play for your country. We’ve had a strong squad for a while and every time you get the opportunity you want to do your best.’

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