Australia humiliated England in the third Test to win by an innings and 14 runs to retain The Ashes.
Joe Root’s side capitulated on the third morning in Melbourne to be bowled out for just 68 – their lowest total on Australian soil since 1904.
Debutant seamer Scott Boland tore through their line-up to finish with remarkable figures of six for seven and took a much deserved man-of-the-match prize.
The result capped a dreadful run of results for the Test team under Root, who have become the first England side to lose nine games in year.
Having kicked off 2021 with three successive wins in Sri Lanka and India, they have now triumphed just once in their next 12 Tests.
They have also embarrassingly equalled their own world record of 54 ducks in a calendar year, which was set in 1998.
Root was England’s top scorer once again, albeit with a meagre 28, and became just the third player in history to break 1,700 Test runs in a calendar year.
But his future as captain of the Test side is now in question with England staring down the barrel of a 5-0 whitewash.
“I can’t be selfish and start thinking about myself,” he said when quizzed about his future.
“I’m in the middle of a very important series. My energy has to be all about trying to win the next game. The series isn’t over yet.
“We’ve got two very big games and, more than anything, it would be wrong to look past that. That’s all we have to focus on and that applies to me as well, as captain of this team.
“We need to put some pride back into the badge, to give people back home something to to celebrate from this tour.
“It’s bitterly disappointing to be a 3-0 down but with two Test matches to go we have to come away from this tour with a couple of wins.”
England legend Steve Harmison believes there will be no quick fix for England’s problems.
He told talkSPORT: “People will see that and think heads have got to roll, Silverwood has got to go and Root has got to go. They’d be so short sighted.
“We are miles and miles behind where the white ball team is and there’s no quick fix. The solution… it’s going to take not only a brave man, but an educated man to work out how to fit it all in.”