Steven Finn insisted England’s Ashes winners were short on skill, not desire on a chastening second day at the Kia Oval.
With the urn already regained, some of the intensity does appear to have dissipated from Alastair Cook’s side.
Having blown away Australia at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge to take a 3-1 series lead, they have been dealt some of their own medicine here.
Having inserted the tourists they watched as Steve Smith’s 143 set them up for a first-innings 481, then collapsed to 107-8 at stumps.
With rain predicted for tomorrow, a rare follow-on seems a near certainty on day three and Finn says the dressing room will not spare itself criticism.
“We’re disappointed about the way we played. It was a very, very poor day. There’s no hiding away from that,” said Finn, who took his 100th Test wicket when he removed Mitch Marsh. “Every time we put on an England shirt, we want to do ourselves and our country justice – and the people who’ve paid money to come here and watch.
“We have to be able to look at each other in the eye at the end of these five days and say ‘I gave everything, and fought as hard as I possibly could’. We don’t want to finish this series on a bum note; we want to finish it with our heads held high.”
Ashes report: Page 8