The ashes are over.
After five games between the two biggest rivals in World Cricket the series has ended in a draw. 2-2.
For a non cricket fan this would seem impossibly boring. How could you play 5 games and still end up in a draw? Especially when each game goes for 5 days, and each team has the chance to bat twice in each game!!!
It’s not difficult to explain, it’s impossible. Words can not do justice to the game itself, and while you need to invest a signifiant amount of time in watching a Test Match it is time very well spent for a series like this.
From Steve Smith (now the #1 ranked Test batsmen in the world) averaging 110 each time he went out to bat and scoring more than twice the number of runs as his nearest competitor while batting 3 times less; to Ben Stokes turning the game at Lords to pull off an unlikely Draw (and almost a win) and single-handedly winning the game at Headingley when all seemed lost.
We saw the emergence of Jofra Archer who I’m sure will have fun on the hard fast pictures back in Australia when England go there in 18 months time, and Pat Cummins showed why he is the number #1 ranked Test Match bowler in the world.
My Overall Verdict
It was an amazing series. Australia did what they haven’t done since 2001 which was to hold onto the Ashes, but unfortunately they were not able to win the series. They had their chances, Harris dropped a catch at fine leg that would have done it, and Lyon dropped the ball for a runout not long after.
In the final Test Australia played well below par, and England finally found their groove and played competitive cricket. It might be said that Tim Paine made a mistake to bowl first, but when Australia then go on to drop 5-6 catches in the field you’re never going to win a test match.
It felt like more of a 3-1 series to Australia, but credit where it is due to England to avoid certain defeat twice and turn one of those into a win.
Give then outstanding individual performances of Archer, Stokes, and Smith I think this series will certainly go down as one of the greatest and most entertaining series in Ashes history — and it was a pleasure to follow along on my own personal rollercoaster of emotion