Cricket World Cup: England media and former stars quick to ridicule Australia
The increasingly cocky English have been quick to ridicule Australia after eliminating the defending champions from the Cricket World Cup.
England thrashed Australia by eight wickets in their semifinal on Friday (NZT) to set up a meeting with New Zealand at Lord's on Sunday for the title.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan didn't even wait until the end of the match to start sledging Australia.
"The Aussies should try bowling barefoot," Vaughan, part of the BBC's commentary team, joked after Australian coach Justin Langer had his players do just that as a team bonding measure at a training session ahead of the semifinal.
Energetic cricket fan and England follower Piers Morgan couldn't resist taking a pop: "England annihilated Australia. Out-bowled them. Out-batted them. Out-fielded them. Only thing the Aussies did better than us was win the toss."
The English media got in on the act too.
In The Guardian, former England spinner Vic Marks wrote: "England's passage to the World Cup final was faintly ridiculous. Semifinals are supposed to be gritty affairs with runs dourly chiselled out in a desperate quest to get to Lord's.
"Yet Eoin Morgan's England took the alternative route to a final. They smashed Australia. They were minded not just to defeat the Australians but to humiliate them."
Veteran cricket correspondent Scyld Berry raved in The Telegraph: "England did not reach the World Cup final against New Zealand on Sunday. No, sir. They romped into it by playing some of the most exhilarating one-day cricket this world has seen.
"Instead of freezing in their first World Cup semifinal since 1992 - so feeble have they been for a generation at the 50-over format - England played a virtually perfect game to eliminate the holders.
"Perhaps it was the sheer pizzazz of England's performance that will live with the players through their rest and travel day, and their light practice at Lord's on the eve of the final: such a combination of flair and efficiency that England have seldom exhibited in the knockout stages of any sport."
The Daily Mail felt the result could have wider ramifications for what lies ahead in a massive summer of cricket in England.
"This was not just victory over Australia. This was a total shellacking of the old enemy that not only gloriously took England to their first World Cup final in 27 years but also laid down several serious markers for the Ashes," they declared.
"It was all over when Joe Root and Morgan enjoyed themselves in an unbroken stand of 79 and Edgbaston resounded to the sounds of 'Warner, Warner what's the score?' and 'Smith, Smith what's the score?' from the Hollies Stand.
"They know the score alright. It was the heaviest of thrashings by England over Australia and only New Zealand now stand in the way of England and the World Cup. These sides will be back here soon for the start of the Ashes with the psychological edge overwhelmingly with England."
The tabloids joined the celebration with The Sun's John Etheridge also declaring it a humiliating day for Australia.
"(Jason) Roy's monster hitting encapsulated England's dominance and near-disdain for their opponents," Etheridge wrote.
"Australia were not just beaten - they were hammered and humiliated by eight wickets with 17.5 overs to spare.
"England's four-year, 50-over master plan, devised in the wake of their embarrassment at the 2015 World Cup, is just one win away from the ultimate glory."