The Ashes came and went quicker than expected and it was certainly a tournament to forget where England fans are concerned. Battered, beaten and embarrassed, the Aussies ran out 4-0 series winners as they picked up a clean sweep Down Under. It’s a small measure of revenge for the Aussies after the draw with England in 2019, and by the time they host the Ashes again, it will have been over a decade since Chris Silverwood’s side saw victory in the prestigious tournament.
While the cricket betting hardly had England down as the favourites, fans would have predicted them to put up more of a fight considering the rivalry between the two nations. Read on, as we look at what went wrong for England in the final test at the Ashes.
All too predictable
It was one calamity after another in the final test as Silverwood’s men narrowly avoided a white wash, but were still miles off competing throughout a miserable trip Down Under. Having been bowled out for 124, the England players looked at each other in disbelief, shifting the blame as a combination of fatigue and incompetence swept over one of the low points in English cricket. You get the feeling this defeat could well be a watershed moment for this team — they lack identity and expression, something that will desperately need to change before heading to the West Indies, because at the moment the performances feel like déjà vu with endless mediocrity.
Joe Root to the rescue
A lot more blushes were spared thanks to the performance of Joe Root throughout the competition. The 31-year-old may have been beaten heavily by the Aussies, but it is testament to his captain material that he remained consistent, and while the bragging rights remain Down Under, Root did pick up an individual honour for his contribution to the team — as he become just the second England player to win the International Cricket Council Men’s Test Cricketer of the Year. after Sir Alastair Cook in 2011.
“I am incredibly proud to receive this award,” he said: “I am very humbled to be in the same breath as a number of wonderful players around the world and it means a huge amount to have got this award.”
Aussies looked unplayable
If there is one consolation to such a crushing defeat, it’s that Australia certainly proved to be worthy victors. While they were hardly pushed to their limits by this England side, Justin Langer’s men were as deadly as they were consistent over the competition. Needing to defend a target of 271 in the fifth test they were exceptional once again, surging the final dagger in the heart of England mercilessly.
Cameron Green and Steve Smith stood out as the tole of excessive red ball cricket was apparent on the England players, who appeared leggy and listless at the end of an excruciating series whereas the Aussies were already popping open the champagne — a rude awakening for the county game and a sign that the current model is outdated and needs gutting in order to compete internationally, something Silverwood has also tried to explain to no avail.