Aussie media hails team

British papers urge their squad not to panic

“Pommelling, Australia humiliate old enemy,” The Daily Telegraph crowed, headlining Australia’s victory inside three days to level the series at 1-1 and take it to a decider at The Oval on August 20.

“Ponting has foot on throat, a hand on urn,” The Sydney Morning Herald declared of the Australian skipper, who has led his team’s fightback after their heavy defeat in the second Lord’s Test.

“Three days of Headingley horror has turned the Ashes series so conclusively Australia’s way that England could be forced to take drastic measures in their bid to win the decider in London,” The Herald’s Jamie Pandaram said.

“But it’s difficult to see how they can pick themselves up. Perhaps Andrew Flintoff will regain fitness in time to rally the staggering troops, but this series now has a distinct tone of battle lost for England.

“Australia’s bowlers have tasted blood and will be hungry for more in London.”

The Sydney Morning Herald’s columnist Peter Roebuck warned that Australia had not yet won the Ashes.

“Of course, the deed has not been done. England are bound to reconstruct their woebegone batting order and presumably their bowlers will keep a more disciplined length as well,” Roebuck said.

“But it’s hard to imagine the series undergoing a third seismic change.”

Meanwhile, the British media urged England’s cricket team not to panic or sulk after their demoralising defeat to Australia in the fourth Ashes Test, and instead dig deep for the battle ahead.

The media rounded on the England team, slamming their performance as humiliating, incompetent, dreadful, desperate, spineless and staggeringly inept -- and dished up some advice for the players.

Most newspapers demanded the return of all-rounder and injury-plagued Andrew Flintoff, who had been crucial to England winning the second Test and going one-up in the series.

“England will need to work harder than ever. And they need Flintoff back for a last hurrah,” former England player Mike Selvey wrote in the Guardian.

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