The title of this post says it all doesn’t it: Australia have won this Ashes series 5-0 and the breadth of the margin gives the best indication of the chasm between the form of the combatants. Right from Day 1 of this series at the Gabba, England seemed to be unable to put away Australia when they were in front and so that trend continued in each test match of the summer.
Much has been made of our close the teams have been: and I agree that they are closer than the 5-0 result suggest, it is just that Australia has won every decisive moment of this series. Every time Australia was in trouble with the bat there was a partnership that wrested the advantage from the English. Conversely, every time England was in trouble they lost wickets in clusters and could not recover.
That fact alone shows you the difference in the line ups in this series: one was ruthless whilst the other was bereft. Just as Australia was excellently coached and captained, it would appear that England lost their way both in the dressing room and on the field.
There were some fantastic individual performances in this series but to go through them would be to denigrate what was one of the best team performances I have seen from an Australian sporting team let alone a cricket team. They were all united by Coach Lehmann and Captain Clarke with one purpose: the destruction of the English and, as a team, they succeeded in that purpose.
For England, there is only one shining light to come out of this tour and that is in the personage of Christchurch born Ben Stokes. We will be seeing much more of him in years to come one suspects.
I have watched a lot of cricket and I have seen a lot of cricket live and I will say what I said after the first test of this series at the Gabba: I have never experienced crowd involvement in a game of cricket like that which I experienced at the Gabba and that involvement of the crowds has continued through each test right up until the end of the series today. Australia has brought the passion of its fans, me included, back to the ground and the game, so much so that the anguish in the early hours of winter mornings in July and August is long forgotten.
Now, we have a tour to South African to look forward to which will present a new and different challenge for the Australian team. With bated breath, I can not wait to see how that series unfolds between two of the heavyweight teams of the game.