Australia gain momentum to get the urn back
Winning the fourth test of the current 5 tests ashes series team Australia has taken 2-1 lead. Whatever happens in the 5th tests ashes would stay with Australia.
Against all speculations and experts prediction Australia went ahead in the series winning the first test played at Edgbaston by 251 runs. After the eventful second test at Lords being rained out England won the third test at Headingly by 1 wicket in a dramatic fashion through a super human performance of Ben Stokes leveling the series 1-1.
Australia sealed the ashes winning the fourth test at Old Trafford by 185 runs. For a team which had to absorb such a huge reverse in 2018 for the ball tampering scandal causing suspension of Warner, Smith and Bancroft it is a pleasing return to world reckoning.
With possibly one of the weakest Australia team in the recent time it speaks very high of Australia’s very organized team management achieving such success against a very strong English team on their own backyard.
England won the CWC 2019 just before the commencement of the Ashes series and with a very strong batting line up and more lethal bowling attack England was hot favorite for recovering the ashes. This write up will try to assess and analyze what made Australians turning the table on England.
One must not loose sight that England in recent times played wonderful brand of aggressive cricket. With Roy, Burns, Root, Stokes, Bairstow, Buttler, Woakes, Moeen Ali England possibly posses the second best batting line up after India.
In Broad, Anderson, Archer, Woakes, Stokes they have horses for courses in English condition. On the other hand Australia had all sorts of problems after the ball tampering scandal in setting up winning combination. Losing both Warner and Bancroft and also top of the world batsman Steve Smith for almost a year they struggled.
Somehow they could recoup a strong enough ODI team. The return of Warner and Smith just before world cup reassured the batting a bit. But they still had to find their feet in big time cricket. Australia did well enough to reach semi final of the world cup. On the other hand England won the CWC 2019.
Tide turned as soon as ICC test Championship started with the Ashes. Australian batting looked suspect. But big time super star Steve Smith recovered his superlative form. He alone shouldered the team against very potent English attack.
He had to stop only through express pace of English import from Jamaica Jofra Archer striking him on his neck. Was it the same way Harrold Larwood worked against Bradman few asked. But Smith after resting in the third test returned with his unquenched thirst for runs in the fourth test.
In between his worthy replacement Labuschagne struck gold. The poor form of Warner was so craftily covered. Australia has been ably led by Tim Paine. How wonderfully he handled his bowling resources. Hazlewood, Cummins and Starc have formed lethal combination. Australia retained the ashes and is looking good to finish the series 3-1.
Langer and Ponting are getting great tips from Steve Waugh. Here is a lesson other teams of the world should replicate. It is quality cricketers of the past always stand beside team management in crisis instead of unnecessarily criticizing. Cricket Australia also value them.
Tim Paine (c), Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade and David Warner.
Joe Root (c), Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler ,Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Craig Overton, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes .