From Highs To Ashes
When Rankin edged Harris, it was fitting to see captain Michael Clarke taking the catch. Even though the coveted Urn was back in the third match of the series, the reaction and emotions from Aussies showed it all. Humiliated in India, controversies on and off the field and a new management, Australia had all the reasons to be disappointed but the way they fought back and thrashed England was a treat to watch for a cricket fan.
Now coming to the focal point England, who were on a high after thrashing India in their own backyard and then went on to win the series in India as well for the first time after 1984. It was only August when they beat the Kangaroos 3-0 to win the Ashes. They were the No.1 side in the world but by the end of the year English side has been decimated to Ashes. Jonathan Trot returned after his stress related illness, Graeme Swann retired abruptly in the middle of the series. Their vice captain Matt Prior, the player of the year for England, was dropped and to top it all world class players like Cook, Bell and Pietersen just did not play to their potential. England’s batting was miserable to say the least, just 4 scores of 250+ and only 1 century that too by a new kid on the blocks. In the bowling department Anderson, Broad did a reasonable job, but without any support.
The Barmy Army was left with no choice but to be disappointed. Cricket is a game of wins and losses, but the way England lost the series must be a worrying factor. England did not put up a fight in even a single match. Had they put up a good show in any of the test matches then they could surely have motivated themselves!
England has always given priority to Ashes more than anything – even more than the World Cup! But England had no plan B; they just went in with the same plan which shows they were overconfident. Same was the case during the finals of Champions Trophy. Andy Flower’s position will now be scrutinized which had to happen at some point of time. The year which started so well for England has ended in the worst possible way. England have hit rock bottom and taught every team a lesson not to be arrogant ever again. Although, this is the same team which was talking about leaving a Legacy in World Cricket at start of the year, sadly, they now will be a part of a history which would say ‘England thrashed and humiliated 5-0 by Australia’.