The inevitable whitewash was clinched early Saturday morning English time when Boyd Rankin was caught by Australian skipper Michael Clarke off the bowling of Ryan Harris to spark jubilant celebrations.
It’s been a trend of the series for England down-under. They’ve been in the field watching their opponents pile on the runs on a good deck and then collapse abysmally when it comes to their turn to bat.
England fans and players will be glad it’s over. They have been utterly demolished by Australia and fully deserve their punishment. The Aussies have regained the Ashes and it is fully justified as they completed only the third ever Ashes whitewash.
There have been many star performers during the series for Australia with everyone contributing. Six Australian men passed 300 runs whereas none of the English batsmen managed to pass the same landmark. Only Ben Stokes managed a century and he is probably one of a minority that will be able to take something positive from the tour. Australia scored ten centuries during the series including two apiece for opener Chris Rogers and Steve Smith in the middle-order.
As we highlighted England’s poor batting performances, it’s only fair to bring the Australian bowlers into the limelight and notably the man of the series. Left-armer Mitchell Johnson has struggled for consistent form for the Aussies however these six weeks have made him the man to be feared. He led the turbocharged attack taking 37 wickets at an average of 13.9 including some ferocious spells of bowling which completely changed the course of the games, leaving England shell-shocked.
Each of the Australian attack took time as the leader of the pack during the series. Harris took 5-25 during England’s 166 all out which came in just 31.4 overs to win the Fifth Test. Spinner Nathan Lyon’s spell during the second innings of the Fourth Test saw the game turnaround with the 26-year-old ripping through England’s middle-order taking 5-50 setting up Australia to win by 8 wickets.
Another outstanding effort over the series was of Australian wicket-keeper Brad Haddin. He has been a very stable competitor for his nation down the years but this series he rose above all expectations. When England had momentum, the right-handed 36-year-old was there to tear if to shreds as he scored 493 runs at an average of 61 becoming the highest scoring run-scorer batting at seven or lower which beat the record set by former-keeper Adam Gilchrist.
England Captain Alistair Cook and Coach Andy Flower will have to front the blame but it’s not all down to them. The players selected who have down so well for England over the years have let the Barmy Army down. The capabilities to reach the highest level and grind out victories have been non-existent.
It could well be time for change. Spinner Graeme Swann retired midway through the Test Series and could well be time for the old-guard to follow. Decisions are likely to be made shortly but it’s not up to them England players to rise from the humiliation and regain their class.
Attentions will now switch to the shorter forms of the game with five One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20’s matches still to play on tour with England needing to show pride and grit to salvage something from this sorry tour.
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