Picture Credit- Reuters/ David Gray

England’s abject display against South Africa in the second test shows they are a side struggling for consistency and Australia should be able to exploit their lack of cohesion in the upcoming Ashes series, former paceman Mitchell Johnson has said.

South Africa thrashed England by 340 runs in Nottingham on Monday, levelling the four-match series and consigning Joe Root’s men to a seventh loss in 10 tests.

With the first Ashes test set to begin on Nov. 23 in Brisbane, Johnson said England’s preparations had suffered a setback with the defeat.

Johnson wrote his name into Australian sporting folklore by plundering England for 37 wickets at an average of 13.97 to be named man-of-the-series in the 2013/14 Ashes.

Although having retired from international cricket in 2015, the left-armer said he would relish the chance to bowl at England’s Gary Ballance, who has failed to surpass 34 runs in his past 11 innings.

A protracted pay dispute between Australia’s players’ union and the national cricket board has yet to be resolved four months out from the first test in Brisbane but captain Steve Smith has played down fears of an Ashes boycott.

Johnson said even if a deal were done, the relationship between players and board had soured and would take time to heal.

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