Crikey has asked me to do a summary of the series. Obviously this is a stupid concept aimed at those who want ratings of the players and pictures of Ricky Ponting looking confused.

Instead I will give you an in-depth review of all the Tests in the series:

  1. Cardiff was a tease.
  2. Lord’s was set up by Andrew Strauss and finished by Freddie Flintoff.
  3. Edgbaston was wet.
  4. Headingley showed that Mitchell Johnson was in England.
  5. And Stuart Broad, someone even English fans had given up on, won England the Test at the Oval.

Series over. Australia loses. England decides against open-top anythings. Fans of both teams drink.

Oh, you want stats too? Australia bowled England out once in five Tests, it won that one at Headingley. England bowled Australia out twice, it won those two. Australia didn’t make 270 in the first innings of three Tests, lost two of those, and may have lost the third one if it wasn’t for rain.

Had Australia not collapsed, or got its bowling unit in-form earlier on, it would have won this series. It didn’t. Instead Australia limped around the UK waiting for England to collapse in horrible fashion, which it only did it once.

When I was on ABC 702 Sydney on Monday night Jim Maxwell said that had this series been played 10 times, Australia would have won nine of them. Apparently in all these other series Australia made consistently great first innings totals and Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson were firing from the start.

The truth is that these were two pretty ordinary sides that were fighting like sissy kids in the schoolyard. One of them won, but it was far from convincing, and the other one thinks it slapped better but still lost.

This was not a classic Ashes battle. It was Ashes musical chairs and England found the seat when it counted.

It was good for me though. It would be safe to say that England winning the Ashes is the single greatest career push I have ever had. The day after England won at The Oval, my site, Cricket with Balls, was featured in The Times, I spoke to ABC Sydney and then was a pundit for CNN before representing Australians (with my cousin) on the BBC.

If England could win the Ashes every six months or so I could make a living off this.

*Listen to Leigh Josey and Jarrod Kimber’s final Ashes podcast where they discuss England winning the Ashes, the future of Australian cricket, Jarrod’s new found fame and a very cricket wedding.

Peter Fray

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