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Mitchell Johnson rips heart out of England

Pace bowler just misses out on two hat-tricks as he takes seven wickets to dismiss England for 172 in the second Ashes Test at Adelaide.

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England's shambolic showing in Adelaide has been slammed by former players, with Geoffrey Boycott declaring the Ashes ''gone'' and Michael Vaughan forecasting a 5-0 annihilation by Michael Clarke's team.

The Ashes holders are in tatters after only seven days of cricket in this series, their latest humiliation inspired by a lethal post-lunch display for the history books from Mitchell Johnson that tore the England batting order to shreds.

For the third time in three innings in this campaign, Alastair Cook's men were bundled out for less than 200 and, with defeat all but assured in Adelaide, they will got to Perth this week needing a monumental turnaround to resurrect hope of staging a comeback.

James Anderson is bowled by Mitchell Johnson. Click for more photos

Second Ashes Test, day three

James Anderson is bowled by Mitchell Johnson. Photo: Getty Images

The England cognoscenti ruthlessly assessed Cook's mentally shot side on Saturday.

''I just wanted to see fight - I felt that this was the day the heartbeat was going to get going,'' former captain Vaughan said. ''It's been as bad a display of batting I've seen from an England side for many a year.

''I don't see any other result than five-zip the way that England are playing. This is as bad as I've seen from an England side. I've no idea what is going on out there.''

England's last batting pair Ian Bell (R) and Monty Panesar.

England's last batting pair Ian Bell (R) and Monty Panesar. Photo: AFP

England's legendary all-rounder Ian Botham also turned on the tourists, tweeting: ''Did we bat on the same pitch as the Aussies ?? Embarrassing!!''

Australia have not won the Ashes for seven years, losing three consecutive series since the 5-0 defeat dished out by Ricky Ponting's side in the summer of 2006/07.

Another whitewash is a long way from being contemplated but it is difficult to see a way back for England, even if they only need to square the series to retain the silverware.

''The Ashes are gone … forget this match, they're gone, they've flown away,'' Boycott wailed on the BBC radio commentary. ''If I were you, I'd go to sleep if I were in England.''

Australia's utter dominance on Saturday could in large part be attributed to their own brilliance - from Johnson's insatiability to David Warner's incredible, one-handed catch to remove Michael Carberry - but England were again their own worst enemy.

It was hard to hold it against the middle and lower order terrorised by Johnson but earlier exits by Kevin Pietersen and Joe Root were inexcusable in their recklessness.

There had been an expectation that, in their time of need, this was the time for Pietersen to exhibit the greatness he believes he has and has previously illustrated.

But he failed to provide any resistance, flicking Peter Siddle carelessly to George Bailey at short midwicket on four after not even 20 minutes in the middle.

''Shocking shot … absolute shocker,'' cried Boycott, having only just recovered from his dismay at the departure of Root, whose obstinacy went out the window on 15 when he slog-swept Nathan Lyon on the first ball he faced from the spinner.

The new England No.3's head went down immediately, realising a top edge was soaring high towards Chris Rogers in the deep.