Darren Gough believes James Anderson should not have been allowed to start the first Ashes Test against Australia and his injury cost England the match.
Anderson managed just four overs on the first day of the match until he re-injured his calf.
The 37-year-old had been out for several weeks leading up to the Ashes but was deemed fit enough to play.
As he was not able to bowl, this left England a man short and cost them as they went on to lose by 251 runs.
The hosts particularly struggled to bowl Australia out in the second innings and they were able to set England a mammoth target of 398.
Former England fast bowler Gough told talkSPORT: “You tend to go with the senior player in Anderson. If Anderson says he is fit then he plays.
“I put the blame at Anderson’s door. He wasn’t fit.
“He wanted to play against Ireland because he is chasing 600 wickets. That pull is there and he’s not far away.
“He’s been an absolute great bowler and still is but he is getting older and is coming back from a calf strain.
“He was rushed back to try and play against Ireland and obviously wasn’t fit so they gave him another week.
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“No fitness test in between has him playing. He goes from bowling a few balls in the net to an Ashes Test.
“The intensity with an Ashes Test means you lift your normal game by five or 10 per cent and it’s gone.
“That’s one of, if not the biggest reason we have lost this game.”
With the absence of Anderson, a greater workload was put on England’s three other seamers, Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes and Ben Stokes, and also spinner Moeen Ali.
Gough added: “You can’t be a bowler down on a pitch like that and we ended up bowling Denly for 14 overs in the second innings because our spinner can’t bowl it tight, there’s no consistency in his action and that’s down to confidence.
“He’s a fantastic player Moeen Ali. I back him up big time on that because I think he’s got so much talent but he is a player who relies on confidence but at the moment he hasn’t got any.”