England’s “draining” World Cup campaign could be affecting their Ashes campaign against , fears former captain Michael Vaughan.

England trail the five-match series 1-0 after being thrashed by 251 runs in the opening Test at Edgbaston.

The Test came 18 days after England won their first men’s World Cup.

“Emotionally, I have a concern about two or three of the England players trying to play in an Ashes so soon after the World Cup,” Vaughan said.

Six of England’s World Cup winners played in the Test at Edgbaston.

“High level sport sometimes drains the life out of you,” Vaughan told Test Match Special. “When you’ve achieved that level and been on that podium lifting the World Cup, I just worry.

“Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler look shot.”

Off-spinner Moeen struggled for control with the ball, taking 3-172 in the match, while Bairstow and Butler scored a combined 20 runs in England’s two innings.

Captain Root, who played in all of England’s World Cup matches, said the players were “absolutely ready to go” at Edgbaston.

“Seeing emotionally how things changed throughout the World Cup – that’s probably a good example to the group,” Root said.

“The guys that were in those World Cup scenarios dealt with the pressure of that and [can] take it into this series.”

England are now likely to be without leading Test wicket-taker James Anderson for the second Test after he aggravated a calf injury on the first day at Edgbaston.

The loss of Anderson meant that Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes bowled the majority of England’s overs at Edgbaston.

“If the ball doesn’t move laterally, this series has got mess written all over it for this England side,” Vaughan added.

“I think this series could be one where completely wipe the floor with England.”

‘Smith one of the best we have seen’

scored a hundred in each innings of the match on his return to the side following his 12-month ban for his part in the ball-tampering scandal.

captain said the 30-year-old is “probably the best Test batsman we have ever seen”.

has been unbelievable, not just this week but in the last five or six weeks too,” Paine said.

“He makes guys better. He’s one of the best Test batsmen we’ve seen and he seems to be getting even better.

“It speaks a lot to his character as well.”

Smith was booed by the Edgbaston crowd throughout the Test, as he was during the World Cup, but received a standing ovation after his second-innings century.

“He’s been through a tough time and copped it all day, every day in England for the past three to four months,” Paine said.

“It shows incredible mental strength and concentration to get through that and together with the skill he has, he’s an amazing package.”

Root defends Edgbaston umpiring

Joel Wilson

The umpiring was heavily criticised during the match with 10 on-field decisions overturned using the review system, the most in a Test outside Asia.

Joel Wilson had eight decisions changed by the technology, equalling the record for the most decisions overturned in a Test.

Wilson is scheduled to be the TV umpire during the second Test at Lord’s and is an on-field umpire in the third.

England captain Root, who became the first batsman to overturn an ‘out’ decision four times, said the umpires’ mistakes were “part and parcel of ”.

“Players make bad decisions from time to time, lose their wicket or get smacked out of the attack,” Root said. “Umpires are going to make mistakes as well.

“It’s very easy to over-criticise and point the finger. Sometimes there has to be respect and [we must] understand they’re under as much pressure as some of the players.

“They might have got a fair few decisions wrong in this game but that’s all part and parcel of and that’s why DRS is there to overturn the wrong ones. Thankfully it was there this game.”


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