Sydney, Aug 23 (ANI): The British media has reportedly shifted their stance from shock to praise and now to concern after an Australian batsman claimed a century for the second day running in the final Ashes Test at The Oval.
According to News.com.au, Steve Smith's unbeaten 138 was praised in the UK headlines, with the Daily Mail heading the story with 'Centurion Smith lightens Australia's mood to put tourists on course for confidence-boosting win over abject England'.
Echoing the Daily Mail, The Times also carried its ounce of praise for the young Smith, with former England captain Mike Atherton writing in the paper that Smith is now beginning to 'blossom from the perceived joke he once was' into Test batsman maturity.
However, the praise soon turned into concerns over the resurgence of a once-mocked Australia side, with another Times columnist writing that England has wasted an opportunity to crush the spirits of their opponents by letting the final Ashes Test act as more of a training session for the tourists.
According to the columnist, although the Ashes series began as the most one-sided in Ashes history with the Australian squad supposedly the worst to leave the nation's shores, however, the same squad will move into the return series with a suggestion of a bounce in their stride.
Former England captain Nasser Hussain wrote in the Daily Mail that he felt that captain Alastair Cook missed a golden opportunity to get the most out of debutant bowler Simon Kerrigan, although he said that the unfortunate conditions and a poor reading of the pitch was responsible for England's performance at The Oval.
Agreeing with Hussain, the Mirror claimed that Cook did Kerrigan more harm than good by hiding him away, adding that this added to the impression that the series which started so brightly is meandering to a rather unsatisfactory close for England. (ANI)