The Ashes - what could've been...
Australia have just completed the much publicised white-wash of the Ashes series. 5 nil! Incredible! Early on, we kept saying how well England were doing, how they performed well and weren't far away. In each Test, save perhaps Brisbane, there were points where things could've been so much different - they were in winning, if not match saving positions each time...1st Test - Brisbane - asides from just prior to that infamous first ball being bowled (when scores were equal) England were pretty much behind the 8 ball all the way, though at tea on Day 4, England were 3 for 150, then 5 for 293 at the end of the day - with just one day to go a draw was still an outside chance. (Australia won by 277 runs before lunch on Day 5!)
2nd Test - Adelaide - What do you say about this one? Australia were 3 for 65 in their first innings chasing 551 (5 declared). The series was about to be level. Brisbane was being put down as an abberation. (Australia won by 6 wickets late on the last day.)
3rd Test - Perth - England bowled Australia out for 244 in their first innings and still managed to lose by 206 runs! (There went the Ashes)
4th Test - Melbourne - Australia 5 for 89 (admittedly only chasing 159), went on to score 419 and win by 99 runs.
5th Test - Sydney - Australia 5 for 190 chasing 291. Australia win by 10 wickets.
It is staggering to think that England didn't manage at least a draw from one of these scenarios. Not just that, but there wasn't even a close result amongst them. Capitulation!
Some other interesting points:
- In all except the Perth match, England were dismissed for less than 160 in at least one innings. (In Perth they got to 215)
- Australia scored more than 400 in at least one innings in all tests except Sydney where they got 393.
- For batsmen at position 7 through 11, England averaged 8.7 runs, Australia 27.86.
- Australian batsmen scored 9 centuries (with all batsmen from 1 to 7 getting at least one) while England managed just 3 from their entire 20 innings.
So did England throw it away or did Australia snatch it from them? Was it a combination? Did England simply lack the ability to beat Australia or does Australia just not know how to lose?
Is there any one definitive factor in Australia's domination - if so what do you think it is? Is it Mental / Physical? Were England playing above themselves in 2005 - were Australia playing below themselves? Let me know what you put this incredible 18 month form reversal down to?...
Labels: ashes, ashes 2006, australia, england