AS the Ashes almost certainly went up in smoke at Adelaide yesterday, English cricket lovers were united in their criticism of coach Duncan Fletcher and his stubborn selection and tactics.
"Where is Monty Panesar?" was the cry from the public gallery, but equally the cry could have been, "where on earth was our so-called chief strike bowler Steve Harmison and the former Burnley seamer James Anderson?"
Neither has contributed much to this now seemingly-doomed tour, except perhaps for raising a few eyebrows at their lack of accuracy and penetration.
One leading local official was prompted to state: "They wouldn't take wickets in the Drakes League bowling that tripe."
And it would be difficult to argue.
Ashley Giles has come in for a lot of stick too, for being chosen ahead of Monty Panesar - not to mention spilling THAT catch in Australia's first innings which gave Ricky Ponting the life he needed to go on to make a big century, which certainly helped alter the momentum of the second Test.
I can understand Fletcher's reluctance to play Panesar instead of Giles, leaving a tail which starts at No7 - thanks again to the Zimbabwean guru's insistence on recalling wicketkeeper Geraint Jones instead of the infinitely superior keeper Chris Read, who incidentally is not a bad batsman either.
Historically, however, Adelaide has taken spin towards the end of previous Tests held at the Oval (Shane Warne certainly proved that), so why did Fletcher not hedge his bets and take the chance to play both spinners and leave Anderson to carry the drinks?
Undoubtedly, England are missing the injured Simon Jones and the influence of Michael Vaughan, with too many hopes being pinned on Andrew Flintoff, who is almost visibly sinking under the weight of expectancy.
So come on coach Fletcher, grab the bull by the horns now and play Panesar and either Sajid Mahmood or Jon Lewis in Perth in eight days time.
I wouldn't be against a real gamble, either, in including Stuart Broad to pep up the attack. He showed real promise with Leicestershire last summer and also in his brief one-day international involvement.
And while you're at it Duncan, with the exception of Paul Collingwood and Matthew Hoggard, try and instill some sense of pride into the rest of the side who so dismally let down their two grafting teammates and the feisty Kevin Pietersen, who always seems up for a battle.