The 2015 Ashes series is all over with a test to play following England’s crushing victory in the Fourth Test at Trent Bridge.
Depending on your point of view it was either the perfect performance by the English or a complete capitulation by the Aussies.
While England played well, this result to me says more about the Australian team than it does about the English. This English team is not a great team and to unravel like this against them is a sign that the planning for this tour was all wrong.
Once again, Australia crashed on the first morning, this time after being invited to bat after losing the toss. This time it was even worse, only amassing the paltry score of 60.
The test and series was over at this point.
England made 9/391 dec. in their innings largely due to Joe Root’s masterful knock of 130. This modest inning was enough to win by an innings and 78 runs.
1. The retirement of Michael Clarke – in my 3rd test review, I pondered the future of Australian captain Clarke. Any speculation was put to rest following the finish of this test with Clarke announcing his retirement following the end of the series. Say what you will about Clarke, there is no doubt he has been a great batsman, fielder and captain. It was the right time for him to go though and the team will move forward quickly under Steve Smith.
2. The Australian team going forward – the team is in a state of flux now, with as many as four batting places up for grabs and possibly a bowling spot or two. Clarke, Chris Rogers, Adam Voges and Shaun Marsh may all never play another test after this series.
Can they afford to play both Mitchell’s (Starc & Johnson) especially given Josh Hazelwood’s inability to bowl a containing line in this series.
For mine, only four players place in the side is not in doubt, Smith, David Warner, Peter Nevill and one of Johnson or Starc.
3. Root takes world number one batsman ranking – Joe Root has proved himself the most brilliant, consistent, technical young batsman in the world in this series and deserves his place as the #1 ranked batsman. Like Smith, he will be leading his country before too long.
Smith needs to assess his technique and if he really wants to bat at No.3 tighten up his footwork and shot selection.
What will Australia do now – changes must be made to the team. Pat Cummins must come in for one of the pacemen and a change is needed in the batting line up, which may need to come from outside the squad with an eye to the future. Joe Burns could be flown in from India and Glenn Maxwell is in fine form in county cricket.
Alternatively, this match is to be treated as a changing of the guard moment. With Clarke getting a farewell test, maybe the same could be granted to Brad Haddin, Peter Siddle and Shane Watson.
What England do now – celebrate, just turn up at the Oval. That’s all they need to do to win probably. Word is they may start preparing for their tour of the U.A.E to play Pakistan by moving Mooen Ali up to open in place of Adam Lyth and play a second spinner, leg-spinner Adil Rashid.