England Finish Ashes Series With A Bitter-Sweet Taste In Their Mouths
England put on a great performance in the 5th and final Ashes test and pulled off a great victory on the fourth day. Although the cricket series ended in a draw (2-2), Australia will go back with the Ashes since they were in possession of the Ashes due to winning the last series. The victory would have put a bitter-sweet taste in the mouth of the English cricket team who came so close regaining the Ashes.
England Batsmen Finally Click
England struggled throughout the series with most of their batsmen struggled to make runs. The batsmen who failed in the last four tests put their hands up in the final test and it made a big difference to England.
J Butler made a crucial 70 batting with the lower order and he made it in good time. Butler hit 6 sixes and 7 fours to get England to a respectable 294 in the first innings forming a 68 run partnership with Jack Leach.
In the second innings, it was J Denly who made a fighting 94 which kept England in the game and then helped England get into a commanding position. Denly’s place in the test side was under the hammer and these crucial innings will give him more time to find his feet as England’s test opener. Butler also fired in the second innings to hit 47 at a strike rate of 74 and set Australia a massive target of 499 to chase down.
Australian Pace Attack Runs Out Of Gas
The Aussie pace attack has been outstanding during the last four tests led by P Cummins and J Hazelwood. The duo bowled their hearts out but looked like they were exhausted and low on gas. Hazelwood could only take 2 wickets in the first wickets and could not pick up any in the second innings. Cummins continued to bowl well and picked up 3 in the first innings and 2 in the second.
However, those wickets did not come when Australia needed them and that allowed the English batsmen to take the game away from Australia. Cummins finished the series with 29 wickets and established himself as Australia’s number one fast bowler.
Aussie Openers Let Team Down Again
The reason Australia struggled in this match was due to the failure of their opening batsmen yet again. This has been a series David Warner will want to forget and he will be hurting for letting his team down. Warner’s return to the test arena has been the opposite of Steven Smith who finished the series with 774 runs.
Warner is likely to retain his place in the test side based on his reputation and seniority. He’ll likely get another chance. Australia tried out C Bancroft and M Harris during the series and both of them failed.
If it wasn’t for S Smith’s contributions and the emergence of M Labuschange, Australia could have very well lost the Ashes. S Smith shared the man of the series award along with Ben Stokes while J Archer took the man of the match award for picking up 6 wickets in the first innings and blowing Australia away.
T Paine and J Root Want To Captain
Whenever an Ashes series is a lot, it usually results in the losing captain stepping down. Since this series was tied, it is highly unlikely that any captaincy change will be made for both sides. England captain J Root has made it clear that he wants to continue to captain the test squad and have the chance of regaining the Ashes when England tour Australia next while T Paine says he still has unfinished business as a captain and would like to continue.