Nasser Hussain delivers stinging verdict on England batting after Australia loss

England 's batting frailties were behind their Ashes first Test defeat to Australia, Nasser Hussain said, as the former captain was blunt in his assessment of the team's performance at the Gabba.

Defeat in Brisbane leaves England with a mountain to climb in this series – especially considering how easy it was for the hosts overall.

After a dismal day one with the bat and a promising second day of bowling that did not yield the results it should have, England really began to hit their stride as they built up to 220/2 by the end of day three.

With Dawid Malan and skipper Joe Root plugging away, there was hope their resilience would continue the following morning to give the tourists an unlikely chance of success.

But they crumbled to 297 all-out, and all the Australians had to do was knock a paltry 20 runs to get off to the ideal start in this winter's series.

While England's bowling showed promise – only bad luck stopped them from ripping through Australia's top order early on day two – Hussain has bemoaned their toothless performances with the bat in hand.

"England fans, however much our bowling carries us over the years, will know over the last two or three years that the batting has disappointed and these collapses have happened," he told Sky Sports.

"It does seem to me that England’s batting line-up struggles to start the next day.

"(Australia's) is a wonderful bowling attack, make no mistake. They have five genuine bowlers. It is not easy against this attack. This game was not lost today, this game was lost with the dropped catches and the fielding and most importantly 147 all out on day one.

"England have had batting collapses for a long, long time now. Root has been their star player for a number of years now. I think this year he is the only one to average over 40.

"I think Root and Malan are the only ones averaging over 30, I think Root and [Rory] Burns are the only ones with Test hundreds. That is not good enough, that is not going to win you that many Test matches."

Despite his analysis of England's poor batting form, he still harbours hope it can improve in this series.

And he has picked out talisman Ben Stokes as one of those who can help turn the tide and get England back into Ashes contention.

"Stokes always takes time when he has had a long spell out of the side – and he has. He is someone who needs rhythm to batting," Hussain added.

"You are always better players when you are out of the side. I noticed the England Lions were bowled out for a hundred the other day.

"So the reserve batting line-up aren’t exactly kicking on with massive runs. There is a problem with red-ball batting in general in England at the moment. Australia is not a bad place to bat even with their bowling attack."

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