England left coach Trevor Bayliss incredulous, embarrassed and hurt as they hit rock-bottom with their collapse to 58 all-out against New Zealand.
Bayliss could scarcely believe what he was watching as a succession of England’s most talented batsmen got their feet stuck in the crease and failed to negate the swinging pink ball against Trent Boult (6-32) and Tim Southee (4-25).
At one point England were heading not just for the worst total in their own 141-year Test history but the lowest of all time by anyone as they capitulated to 23-8.
Asked to explain England’s woeful batting Bayliss said: “I can’t, it was a very poor effort – it wasn’t good enough.
“I thought New Zealand bowled extremely well and we batted equally as badly.”
The Australian admitted, too, that he was embarrassed.
“Certainly, and I probably wasn’t the only one in the England changing room either,” he said. “Certainly it hurts.
“I thought we made a lot of mistakes with our footwork. The ball was swinging a little bit – but when the ball’s full it’s as simple as it gets, you’ve got to play forward.
“A lot of our guys were out from behind the crease to fairly full balls.”
He added: “That allows the ball to swing – and then we were nowhere, like we were rabbits in the headlights.”
It is not so long ago that Bayliss saw England skittle Australia for 60 to clinch the 2015 Ashes.
“We’ve been on the other side of scores like that and it’s euphoria,” he said. “This is the opposite. Someone sneezes and the rest of the guys catch a cold, don’t they?”
Left-armer Boult admitted: “Not in our wildest dreams did we think we’d win the toss and get them out in the first session.
“It’s right up there, just a great day... very, very good fun.
“To not let the foot off the throat and not let the pressure off them... I saw the scoreboard of 23-8 at one point, which was pretty surreal.”