Ashes Review : Broad,Watson, Root, Umpiring and The Ashes
As Jarrod Kimber rightly said,”The quality of cricket writing during Ashes is better than the cricket so far!”
Before writing the Ashes review I woud like to pour some views upon what happened before the start of the Ashes and the circumstances in which Ashes started.
Even before the commencement of Ashes, experts were nowhere behind in writing Australia off following a controversial phase in the Australian cricket which included the suspension of 4 prominent players during the series against India and then sacking of the much debated coach Mikey Arthur and also including the 4-0 defeat against India. It also included the rift between players and a shocking suspension of David Warner following his infamous punch on ‘young’ Joe Root’s face during the Champions trophy. Once invincible Australians were shattered down on the floor and the future seemed to be dismal with the absence of once redundant experience in the side and then with the appointment of Darren Lehmann as the new coach, Australia hoped for a better future ahead.
And soon after his appointment Darren played his first master stroke by confirming that Watson will open for Australia in Ashes. But Lehmann had a much tougher task to accomplish and that was to create stability in the middle order. Once impenetrable middle order of Australia was falling like dry leaves. Well with all these loopholes in their fortress Australia reached England and hence the much awaited Ashes kicked off. Here I present you the Ashes review for the first 2 tests.
Ashes Review : Agar, Haddin, Controversies and First Test
The first test match turned out to be one of the most nerve-wrenching match in the history of Ashes with the last wicket of Australia playing an important part in both the innings played by them. The surprising, record breaking 98 by number 11 Ashton Agar in the first innings gave Australia a fighting total. And then a courageous inning by Brad Haddin in the last inning almost took them home but lastly Haddin succumbed to the pressure. But Australians again showed that fight spirit which they were known for. And hence proved those experts wrong who thought of Australians to succumb easily against the mighty English attack. The controversies were bound to arrive into the scenario and the same happened when Stuart broad refused to walk off when he nicked a ball to the wicket-keeper and even the umpire couldn’t judge that correctly. Though he was professionally right but morally he was wrong and hence was booed by the true and honest cricket supporters and he eventually turned out to be a cheater in their eyes. Nevertheless, the match was won by England but that one wrong decision costed Australians the match. The umpiring level was at it’s worst and such a level of umpiring shouldn’t be acceptable in a prestigious series like Ashes.
Watson’s poor run with the bat continued and his dopy use of DRS created a huge pressure upon the Australian batting as they were left with just 1 review most of the times. He always failed to convert a start into a bigger score. Eventually he turned out to be a burden on crumbling Australian batting.
Ashes Review : Second Test and Australia Shattered
After a narrow defeat in the first tests, Australians were supposed to pose a serious threat in the second tests but whatever happened next is history. The match was played at the mecca of cricket “Lord’s” . And the Royal flavour was introduced with the arrival of Queen at the ground. After posing a decent total in the first innings English bowlers bowled their heart out to restrict Australia on 128 and then ‘young’ Joe Root played the best inning in his career yet and made a splendid century at Lord’s which has been an unfulfilled dream for many including the master Sachin Tendulkar himself. And a whopping 347 defeat saw Australia down on the floor once again.
Ashes Review : How to Revive Australian Cricket?
The Australian cricket is in such a miserable state from where it’s almost impossible for them to rise once again in the near future. Their batsmen need to learn how to play test cricket. Captain Clarke no longer seems to be in form of his life and the middle order is playing like tail-enders. The Australian cricket seem to have lost faith in themselves and are heading towards a fate that struck West-Indies cricket after the retirement of their giants. If certain steps are not taken,we may no longer be able to see that fighting spirit of Australians for which they were once known for. On the other side English Cricket is enjoying one of the best phase in it’s history when they are 2-0 up in Ashes just for the second time in the history.
As Michael Holding rightly said when asked by Nasser Hussain :
“Nasser–What will it take for Australia to turn this around?
Holding–A few years!”
Australia badly need some time to concentrate over it’s batting woes. An average of 73.75 for the last wicket in this Ashes is good for Australian cricket but the problem lies in the fact that average partnership for 10th wicket has been best among all the wickets in this Ashes so far for Australia and that needs an introspection. This Ashes has been very disappointing so far, be it from the perspective of competitive cricket, fair play, umpiring, even tv umpiring and even the use of DRS by Australia. Cricket surely doesn’t need it at the moment. The revival of Australian cricket is a necessity for the world cricket and that has to be done in order to preserve the world cricket’s legacy including the prestigious Ashes, world’s oldest cricket tournament.
Ashes Review : Will History Repeat Itself?
Now even history is with Australia. Last time a British won the Wimbledon way back in 1936, England were 2-0 up in the Ashes but eventually lost it by 3-2. Situation is same even this year. Andy Murray a British has won the Wimbledon and England are 2-0 up in the Ashes. Can Australia turn it around and repeat the history ? Only time will say. They just need some motivation. Let’s hope for a better game of cricket from the 3rd test.