I have never been a great fan of the Aussie brand of cricket but seeing them lose was so pathetic that you almost felt sympathetic. But this Ashes gave us all an eternal lesson. “NEVER WRITE OFF AN AUSSIE SIDE”. Who would have thought that the urn would change hands so quickly. Not only did the Aussies win the Ashes they won it in some style 5-0. It once again proved that playing method cricket is no substitute for natural flair and aggression.
It has been a tale of two men – the unlikeliest of heroes – BRAD HADDIN and MITCHELL JOHNSON. Johnson was never a first choice. We never knew which Johnson would turn up. But injuries to Jason Bird meant Johnson had to start. Neither England nor the audience were prepared for what was to come. Johnson steaming in like a tiger. England all over the place searching for an answer. It wasn’t a mere win it was annihilation.
And then there was Haddin – the eternal saviour – my personal Man of the Series for without Haddin’s runs all of Johnson’s effort would have had little effect on the eventual outcome. He was like the shield. Aussies in trouble – just one answer – call Haddin. He batted with purpose and grit often being the bridge between the top order and tail enders.
England – Poor England – Oh what can I say. They arrived like KINGS with the whole English media churning out different margins of an English victory. How things change ? They leave the Australian shores beaten fair and square. But there were signs. For years England have got away with playing automated -robot like cricket. The joy of seeing a sporting nation in action was missing. Even while winning the Ashes in England they were always on the verge of losing it. What a difference a series makes. Cook looks away in despair, Swann retires midway. Trott leaves. Hopefully things get better from here as England look for the right answers.
For the Aussies – it’s a tough road ahead with SA waiting to pounce. A side which had lost only 3 tests in 4 years. South Africa will be ruthless much like the Aussies were in their reign at the top. All set for an even contest I guess. But for now let’s celebrate this win – The aussies and cricket needed this to restore balance in the cricketing world.