The Ashes – 5th Test: Aussies Dominate and Destroy England

Australia 7 dec 649 (Khawaja 171, S.Marsh 156, M.Marsh 101, Warner 56) def.
England 346 (Root 83, Malan 56, Cummins 4-80) & 180 (Root 58 rh, Bairstow 38
Cummins 4-39,Lyon 3-54) by an innings and 123 runs

(pretty happy with the special winning margin Pagey!)


Australia has comprehensively won The Ashes 4 nil, destroying England in the final Test at the SCG.

Some points from the Test and the series:


1. Australia has WON the key moments, from Starc dismissing Root and Hazelwood removing Bairstow in the last 10 minutes of the 1st day of this Test,right back to Nathan Lyon running out James Vince for 83 in Brisbane. Who knows, if Vince had kicked on to 150 plus the focus could have been on the Tim Paine dropped catch instead a huge punt by the Aussie selectors re Paine, turns out in the end to be a monumental winner.


2. Steve Smith, when you’re creating a huge surprise when you’re dismissed and mentioned in the same breath as Bradman you’re going ok! Occupying the crease for 34 hrs and making close on 700 runs at a ridiculous average, it is mind boggling what he has done in the series. Steve is addicted and loves batting, the only person I would compare him to in that regard is Geoff Boycott and unlike Boycott, Steve is always attempting to score.


3. The Aussies foursome bowling attack, they hunted together and bowled brilliantly, it is a close knit foursome, all taking over 20 wickets in the series, performing their roles equally and brilliantly (1st 5 Test series where only 4 bowlers have taken all the wickets). Geez we hope they can all stay on the park. Yes, while it was a terrible pitch in Melbourne, Starc missing that game may well have been the difference from securing a 5 nil whitewash.


4. While we all have to congratulate the Australian selectors on the success of the Marsh brothers, you have to wonder if Glenn Maxwell would have obliterated the England bowling attack also, but it was a special moment in Australian cricket history, Shaun and Mitch batting together, bringing up hundreds together, their genuine love for each other and enjoying their brothers success as much as there own was special.


5. Usman Khawaja was excellent and booked his ticket to South Africa but PLEASE bat with that intent and purpose in all innings (the difference between effort in this Test match and Melbourne by Ussie was like chalk and cheese.


6. David Warner had a good consistent series with more maturity and gears showing through in his batting, he coped well with England plugging up his boundary shots and apart from Melbourne not getting away to blisteringly quick starts, along with Steve Smith they are still our key batsmen.


7. Nathan Lyon with the pre series wah wah saying they were out to destroy careers wouldn’t have imagined that he would destroy the opposition offie Moeen Ali, putting his career in severe doubt, dismissing him a incredible and new record 7 times in the series, the goats own bowling was sublime, particularly against England’s left handlers while Ali was completely ineffective and in reality made up the numbers
(Congrats Moeen Ali, you win the Troy Chaplin award, there you are regular readers!!).


8. England in Brisbane and Perth were in more than competitive positions but a Steve Smith batting masterclass at the Gabba and then England collapsing from 4-368 to 403 all out in Perth were significant, yep key moments greater self belief playing a large part.


9. If any one was attempting to pick a combined side from the series only Joe Root,Jonny Bairstow and Alistair Cook from England would be considered.


10. An incredible 1st in an Ashes series in that England won the toss in the four Test matches that they lost, an amazing achievement by Australia as winning the toss is a huge advantage in Australia even if Joe Root unbelievably handed the Aussies a Charlie and the Chocolate factory winning golden ticket in Adelaide by inserting the Aussies
(Bob Willis has a bed for you Joe).


11. Joe Root had a consistent series with a number of starts with the difference being unlike Steve Smith he didn’t convert them in to tons, he started of the series carrying a monkey on his back re converting 50s in to hundreds he ends with the bloody zoo, no wonder he was crook.


12. A sign of Aussie dominance is 10 out of the 11 picked are now automatic selections for South Africa with Cam Bancroft the only player in doubt not to be on the plane.
Realistically England showed up several flaws in Bancroft’s technique, against SA on their decks isn’t a place to rectify it, it’s Joe Burns time in my opinion.


13. Dawid Malan was England’s shining light and showed the temperament required to be a successful Test cricketer, his fight and application was a breath of fresh air.


14. Mark Stoneman and James Vince just didn’t kick on to big scores. Both getting themselves in on several occasions but 30 odd and it was see you later (James Vince more knicks than a Greek Wedding, gold by Kerry O’Keeffe!).


15. England’s bowling just lacking penetration while James Anderson was serviceable to a reasonable extent and Chris Woakes and Craig Overton having their moments,
Stuart Broad just didn’t do enough, England’s lack of sheer pace and a quality spinner were the huge question marks at the start of the series, these became glaring huge factors in the series result.


16. Now seriously with occupational and health providing a safe work environment and in this age of litigation is it time for a heat rule? Imagine the ramifications if Joe Root condition worsened and re trying to bat when so ill caused a huge part by extreme heat.


17. Now to my bewilderment and anger, until world cricket gets its head out of its own backside and stops to be so $$$ focused and programs decent quality and numbers of warm up games cricket will continue to have home sides dominate series. It is idiocy and incompetence that this can not be seen and fixed (bugger all these bloody Twenty20 comps).


18. Have to be honest, as poorly umpired series as I can remember with a huge number of DRS reversals. The whole system needs a overhaul with surely several changes to the panel. While we all understand the neutral umpires situation, is it ok with the number of obvious blunders? Richard Kettleborough for one is a quality umpire having to sit on the sidelines.


So the Urn Returns home (yes we know the actual Ashes stays in England) and the Aussies make it 33 ashes wins to 32, can the Aussies retain the ashes in England?


How will the Aussies go in South Africa? Your touring party?


Are England about to go in to a era of transformation and struggle with several possible notable changes?


  1. Luke Reynolds says:

    A cricket Chaplin, love it!
    Far from convinced about Ussie, good knock, don’t like how he regularly whinges to the media about how he is perceived though. Maybe he is the man to partner Warner at the top of the order, much like how Langer moved from 3 to opening?
    For 4 bowlers to take all wickets in a series is remarkable. But they are four outstanding bowlers. So great to see Cummins get the chance to show his talent.

    My squad for South Africa-

    Smith (c)
    M. Marsh

    Reckon 14 is enough. Anyone else is better off back in Australia actually playing cricket.

    My back ups would be-
    Batsman- Maxwell
    Keeper- Carey
    Spinner- Holland
    Pacemen- Bird/Stenlake

  2. Jill Tathra says:

    As you know I tolerate cricket but not really a fan so no pick of a team from me. And I really can`t comment on the umps and grounds as I hardly watched any of it this year.

    Lets just hope now that we once again seem to have a good team, and not many injuries, we can keep them all together and once again become #1 in the world of test cricket.

    I`m with you on the 20 20 matches wont watch them as I think the spectator is being cheated with only 40 overs for a match. The one day matches are OK though.

  3. Graham Nelson says:

    Good read. Agree with it all, especially the umpiring not up to standard at all.

  4. Great blog. Agree with the umpiring. Joel Wilson is clearly not up to test standard. Overall I think the reliance on technology is effecting sports officiating globally to the detriment of the contest.

  5. A number of good points. Looking at the combined side, Cook as an opener is the only Pom to get in …and that on the strength of one innings. Malan is stiff but only made one ton. Two tons each means Marsh brothers are in. Perhaps Root at three as consolation. His numbers weren’t that bad in the end

  6. Sayers Agar and burns to be added to the 11 this test for me.

    Difference was England’s batting from six down not firing a shot when they were in good positions.

    They should persist with Crane and Curran

  7. Charlie Brown says:

    Not sure the umpiring was terrible in this series. Technology would have made even the very best umpires in the pre DRS era appear human. That said i would prefer to see the best umpires appointed to the big series/matches rather than neutral umps.

    Love to see Sayers go to South Africa but the selectors seem to prefer Bird. Holland is the 2nd best spinner in the country but again I guess they will only take the one spinner GOAT.

    Undecided re Bancroft. If they treat him in the same way as they did Renshaw then he won’t make the squad. Burns an option in that case.

    I supect that they will pick Stoinis as a batting all-rounder rather than Maxwell whose cards appear to be marked.

  8. Might be a little Un Australian of me to give my opinion on the session of the series so I state beforehand my biggest disappointment was not winning 5-0. The Monday evening session at the Adelaide Oval was the most entertaining of all the sessions in the series. Watching James Anderson swing the ball as violently as he did was edge of your seat stuff. The Aussie bats looked like they could be dismissed nearly every ball and the adrenaline was flowing. Showed how much work we need to do before we can win the Ashes back on English soil. We have a brilliant attack but we need the genuine swing bowler to bring the Urn back home next series. I reckon we have the right one if he gets a bit of love from the skipper

  9. Kevin Lewis says:

    Good read Malcolm,agree with your comments about Umpiring.
    For South Africa would add Burns,Richardson and Holland.
    Until touring teams play 3 four day games before the first test there will be one-sided series. Who decides on early games,ECB or ACB?
    Watching great test match from Capetown.Spicy decks there.AB a great player.

  10. 1. Umpiring woeful. How can you refer a lbw as the bowling team only to be done over by a no-ball? Surely, if the umpire misses it, bad luck – just go straight to ball tracking. .

    I’d take away the referral system and just have an umpire in the stands over rule the shit decisions. He/She would be kept very busy.

    Watched the 20/20 last night. 3 decisions in favour of the Strikers that were plumber than Ken Hall. Umpiring seems to be getting worse in all forms.

    2. England were gone before a ball was bowled. Best player missing for nearly killing a bloke in a pub fight and the cards were already dealt. Their bowling was putrid. Their field placements were pus. Bairstow head butting an opposition player in a pub. Cook couldn’t raise a whimper and only a big innings in a dead rubber, in which he was dropped twice, saved his blushes. Moeen Ali is on a one way trip to Siberia. I thought the new guys were the better performed.

    3. Malcolm, this has been the shitest test series ever, hence the lack of commentary from me but well done on another summer of your insights.

    4. Cal Ferguson is not a short form cricketer. Sorry, mate.

  11. Love point 17 and pleased to see Troy Chaplin can be applied in any situation.

  12. Good summary Malcolm. Agree about the warm up games. But given Australia’s dominance I think we still would have won the ashes but maybe not 4-0. I would be surprised if they give Sayers a test.

  13. I predicted a 5-0 result to a bunch of pommy mates before Brisbane who after Don Smith’s dominant knock in Brisbane stopped chirping pretty quickly. “Can’t win tests if we can’t get him out,” was one blokes response. Apart from the night sessions in Adelaide and watching S.S hit water melons the series was a bit lack lustre. I reckon most of their team was marking off the calendar days until their flight home.

  14. John Butler says:

    Onya Rulebook.

    Kudos to the Aussie’s Four Horsemen of the Bowling Apocalypse. Forcing 4 wins on those decks was a great feat.

    England just not good enough, but they didn’t throw the towel in, unlike 2013/14.

    Kettleborough not sidelined – currently umpiring in SA.

    Saffas will probably be a very different story.


  15. I had predicted at the start of the series that Joe Root wouldn’t score a century because I noticed that his head wasn’t over the ball at times- causing him grief with deliveries just outside off stump.

    England’s batting stocks aren’t up to standard yet, but they might have a formidable batting lineup when the Ashes series resumes in 2019. On the bowling side, England needs to cut Anderson, Broad and Ali from its lineup and introduce new emerging talent.

    After the English finish their tour of New Zealand, they play at home to both Pakistan and India and this would be the best time to blood new bowlers like Crane, Overton and Woakes on a permanent basis.

    Whilst the Ashes contest was disappointing after the second test, I think both sides will make the next Ashes series in 2019 compelling viewing.

    As for the Aussies, I would like to see Travis Head, Joe Burns, Chadd Sayers and Jye Richardson added to the test squad for its tour of South Africa. This should give the Aussies some depth against a formidable opponent at home where the pitches will be fast, offering swing and bounce.

  16. Richard Kettelborough is English and cannot do the Ashes. He is also in South Africa

    Chaplin reference serouisly give it a rest, not that funny. He is great bloke, good footballer and a great football brain. Yes I know him from his Maryborough days.

    Warner patience maybe, lets see how he travels, he is no good with a passport on him. reminds me of Josh Jenkins, does stuff well when not important.

    Sayers needs to play in South Africa, look at India paceman like Kumar who did well. Sayers is tons better

  17. Peter Warrington says:

    Eric Warner started this patient style in Bangladesh. what we would give for Watto clouting a quick 60 every time at the other end.

    The Chaplin stuff is amusing to us that don’t know him and support Richmond. He’s a big boy.

    They won’t pick Maxwell. Any attempt to call Stoinis a batting allrounder will be amusing.

    Smith has selected Bancroft on the basis of his jokes. Oh, and he wants to get better. Unlike everyone else in cricket.

    With the SA quicks on fire I just think we should get everyone except Smith to chuck the bat, and back the Fab 4 and the “ever improving” Mitch Marsh to roll them for 10 less than whatever we get.

    it’s worked for us over there before

    With all of this, my team for SA tests would be:

    S MArsh
    M Marsh

    With extras:

    Handscomb, Agar, Bird, Wildermuth.

  18. Great work RB.

    Concur with point 17.

    And concur about the umpires. They don’t umpire anymore. They are simply a presence on the field. How many no-balls did they call? Probably a handful for the whole series. The less they umpire the worse they will be. In other words, the more we rely on dodgy ball tracking technology etc, the less the umpires have to think about the game. In my view it should not be up to the players to ask for a referral, it should be up to the third umpire to instigate the review.

    Having said that, I’ve never liked the DRS anyway.

  19. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Luke I thought it was about time to give,Chaplin a mention,I am not against,Ussie opening and totally concur hate his whinging ( bizarre all the cracks at Maxwell and yet his sooking is ok ) far from convinced re Jhye Richardson quick but that’s it would love to see,Stanlake have a unbroken run re injury his height and pace is frightening.Thanks Jill and Graham.MH totally concur.PL picking a combined side shows the Aussies domination.Raj concur re the poms tail I am far from sold re Agars bowling yet.Charlie agree re the technology highlights blunders but it’s the lack of cricket nous the classic in Adelaide give S Marsh out and it shows its going over the top and then one over later give,Paine out when it’s even higher just not good enough surely not re Stoinis his 1st class record demands he is not considered but who knows for mine the similarities between,Philander and Sayers re bowling are ridiculous the pace,swing and seam and both aren’t that tall,Sayers must go but won’t.Moikal could not agree more.Kevin I think it’s a combination of a number of organizations re warm up games it is my biggest bug bear in cricket.ABD fantastic player.MarcD totally and thoroughly concur points,1,2and 3 I admit I am biased re Ferg I am each way re him as a 20 20 player weakness not being able to go from ball one but can smash it if faces enough balls.TC thank you and Chaplin fits re incompetence any time thanks folks

  20. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Peter if visiting teams didn’t start so far behind so effectively they weren’t chasing there tails it may be a different story alas that and Stokes selfishness and stupidity we will never no unfortunately re Chadd I fear that as well.Raf yep I concur and the test match at the g even had cricket nuts saying no thanks.
    JB yep Kettleborough can’t umpire the ashes best umpire in the world space second.SA a totally different story I fear our batting overall won’t be good enough.Paul Root was shown up technically in Brisbane hitting across his front pad to his credit he was better after that just really poor shot selection at times where as Smith knows his game inside out.England will be a vastly different team when we next play them agree they have some promising youth,Travis gradually getting there but a way to go yet re consistency and Jhye Richardson still a pup at 1st class level wish Stanlake had played more,1st class cricket.Eric I admit you are on a losing battle re Chaplin and plenty of people with in Port say a mile worse things than me,Warner a mile in front of Josh Jenkins and for mine,Sayers must goPeter love the humour in your comment and a fair bit of truth as well.Dips yes stupidity that it is in the hands of the players and appalling we will just ignore the no ball rule complete and utter incompetence and yep 3rd umpire for just out and out howlers not as sides use it today thank you

  21. Jeff Milton says:

    If Bancroft is not picked for South Africa he needs to change his surname to Marsh. That way he should get multiple chances over the coming years to capitalise on his clear potential.
    In this modern age of 3 forms of the game all needing to be fitted in to a tour it is hard to find time for warm up games but for Test matches every touring team should be given the chance to play at least 2 serious first class games against full strength state/county sides before the first Test. May see a few more series wins by away sides.

  22. Martin Rumsby says:

    Not much left to say, Malcolm. Your analysis of the series is sound. I’m never as focussed on umpires as you are (no surprise there) and I suspect that there were fewer bad decisions (after DRS intervention) in this series than in many previous series that did not have the benefit of DRS. South Africa will be a real test.

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