When a team makes 160 on a powder-puff wicket (Malcolm Conn may not agree, but he is way wrong) they don’t deserve to win the Ashes. There are Australian fans who will say we lost because England doctored the pitch, they are also wrong.
Not one wicket in this Test had anything to do with this pitch. And if the pitch was so bad, how come the two biggest totals were scored in the last two innings. Hey? Answer that. Exactly.
Australia made mistakes in this Test. They should have picked a spinner (England should have picked two), they should have let Ricky Ponting call (at least when running quick singles with Mr Cricket), and they should have not lost eight wickets in one session of cricket.
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That is where they lost it.
Stuart “no one thinks I can play but I can” Broad went from project player to Sir Stuart Broad in just over an hour on day two. Then England’s fourth South African-born top-six batsman, Jonathan Trott, made a hundred and the game was well out of reach.
Everyone expected Andrew Flintoff to be the main man is this Test, however he was pretty useless: 29 runs, one wicket, one catch and one (all important) run out was all Freddie could muster in the best win England have had this decade (that wasn’t in 2005). He still goes out in style, as an Ashes winner.
Australia bowled England out once in this series, and won that Test. Two times they failed to make 250 in the first innings and lost both of those. Individually Australia dominated, but they can take their seven hundreds back home to Australia without the Ashes urn they wanted so badly.
It was a tragi-comic end to Ricky Ponting’s last English Ashes Test.
Just when Australia was making the English fans nice and nervous (even more than usual) Hussey — who played a possibly career-saving knock — called through Ponting who was hesitating and ball watching and Australia’s Ashes ended as the gimpish Flintoff picked up and hit the stumps. Michael Clarke was run out soon after when he hit the ball off the spinner, took off only for Andrew Strauss to run him out from a freakish effort at leg slip. Some days life is against you.
It seems fair enough. Neither team really dominated enough to win this series through a convincing win. So two run outs makes complete sense.
England had the best of three Tests, and Australia, two. So their win makes some sort of sense.
The Ashes never leave England, even when Australia wins, but in 16 months Australia get a chance to bring the metaphorical urn home.
For the next 16 months we have to endure open-top buses, MBEs for scratchy batsman and all the jokes about how rubbish we are.
*Listen to Crikey’s Leigh Josey and Jarrod Kimber’s “I can’t believe England won the Ashes” podcast