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ashes 2013

Blog by: Sharadha

Australia v England - Fourth Test: Day 1

Melbourne Cricket Ground has been the traditional venue hosting the Boxing Day test match since 1950. It’s a heritage that MCG and Australian cricket are very proud of. Even more so, when they are riding on the back of an emphatic Ashes victory, like in the present, ongoing series.

For England, coming into the Boxing Day test in the aftermath of Graeme Swann’s abrupt retirement following the team’s loss to Australia at Perth and a controversial tweet that made headlines all over, this match is a test of reckoning. The volte-face in their performances, mere months following their successful defending of the urn has manifested itself into a deeper chaotic mess that continues to fester despite all English efforts to sort it out.

The contrasts in both sides are far more glaring – perhaps conversely so – than they were before the start of the series. Each member of the Australian squad has flourished, some more than the rest, while the English team finds itself reduced to nitpicking for salvages in the debris of its innings so far. The loss of two of its most experienced players has hit the team hard which the Australians will be keen to exploit.

As it is, Australia has hinted at ‘targeting’ Monty Panesar, the man on whom responsibility abounds in the absence of Swann to restore England’s pride. Though most of the English team has under-performed, expectations will nonetheless be placed on the shoulders of the remaining senior members to deliver with a few important changes marking the final squad line-up.

The biggest name dropped from the squad could be that of Matt Prior over Johny Bairstow on account of his nondescript play-making in the three matches previously. Stuart Broad’s injury sustained in the previous match makes him a doubtful starter for the Boxing Day test though the man in question seems to be leaving no stone unturned in order to ensure his fitness before the start of the match. More than any other player, losing Broad would probably hit England harder considering that he’s been the pick of the English bowling attack, over James Anderson and the recently retired Swann, both in terms of economy and in terms of wickets bagged. The last remaining place in the English bowling attack should be then completed by Bresnan.

Australia’s bowling coach Craig McDermott referred to the present Australian cricketing contingent as the best in the world. The statement was made not just in relation to the ongoing Ashes series, but also with an eye on their upcoming tour to South Africa in the month of February. Though that series remains a couple of months away, McDermott’s words hold immense credibility for the way the Australian team had managed to morph itself once again into a driving force.

There are no doubts then going by the way Australians have outshone their opponents, Michael Clarke will want to go with an unchanged side in order to keep the winning intensity and steam going.

Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Lyon will be the bowlers to watch out for. The latter is poised to become the first Australian off-spinner in three decades to grab 100 wickets, a unique feat of its own. David Warner, Shane Watson, Chris Rogers, Brad Haddin and Michael Clarke will look forward to taking it from where they left off in the third test especially Watson and Rogers who have been the unlikeliest of the Australian squad strength.

Under the hot Melbourne weather on a track that promises to dry out and harden up as the days pan out, the contest of wills between Australia and England promises to be a heated one, despite the outcome that swung Australia’s way at Perth.

Match Prediction: A tight match win to Australia to go on 4-0 in the series.

 

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Blog by: Shraddha

Australia v England - Third Test: Day 5

The big screen at WACA proudly reflected the momentousness of the Australian victory over the Englishmen as it proclaimed, ‘The Urn Returns.’ Considering that this was the same Australian team that looked completely out-of-sorts just a few months ago at England, this turnabout brings many memories of the fabled Australian cricketing teams of the past, alongside placing this squad right with those legends who never failed to bring – retain, in most cases – the Ashes home.

On a track where cracks abounded and where groundsmen had to be called on more than one occasion to cover it up, the Australians showed the Englishmen why they were so confident about playing at WACA, exploiting the conditions without giving anything in return. If Steven Smith scored a century in the first innings, rescuing a seemingly hapless Australian side which tottered at five for 143, Shane Watson and David Warner completed the ‘from-insult-to-injury’ phase for England with their dual tons.

And where the English bowlers were plundered, the Australian bowling attack provided sure-fire sustenance by breaking apart English batsmen’s morale along with dismantling their wickets. Mitchell Johnson was once again the rock against whom the English batsmen crashed to their peril with Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon picking up the rest of the English wickets alongside maintaining absolute stinginess with respect to the run count.

On the other side, it didn’t help matters for England that two of its most experienced bowlers, Graeme Swann and Jimmy Anderson, were left gasping as Shane Watson and George Bailey took them to task with the latter equalling Brian Lara’s record of most runs scored in an over (28). Rewinding back to the English Ashes, for the Australians, it seemed like due retribution for the damage that Jimmy Anderson had wrought in the test series then and as such was met with firm approval from the vociferous Australian crowd.

Though Alastair Cook, in his post-match speech made special notations about the crowd support that the visitors had received, looking quite upbeat for a captain whose team had just lost the most coveted cricketing trophy, there are several areas that haven’t been dealt with by the English captain.

The partnership between Ian Bell and Ben Stokes that gave England a last chance of drawing the match didn’t shape up when it needed to. The way, in which Bell was dismissed off Siddle, trying to move his bat away from the ball, showed certain casualness which ended up proving to be quite disastrous for England. Despite Cook’s continued emphasis that the team needed its senior players to perform, when it came to dire situations, most of the senior players failed to convert their score-lines.

Kevin Pietersen had a good partnership going with Ian Bell in the second innings but his haste in trying to emulate one of his earlier shots landed the ball to Ryan Harris at long on, off Nathan Lyon. As with Alastair Cook who, in the first innings lost his wicket trying to be heroic when he was caught by Warner at point, again off Lyon.

And with each English miss, the boisterousness and swagger of the Australians only increased which further widened the disparity between the two sides. The ability of the Australians to get into the psyche of their opponents, which was missing a few months ago, has returned even more emphatically even though the comparatively new-gen team is still evolving for most parts.

The Darren Lehmann factor has definitely worked for the Australians as the team’s resilience and togetherness being obvious even to the most sceptic eye. In contrast, the unflappability and silence of the English coach – Andy Flower – hasn’t exactly been well-received. Though Alastair Cook and Andy Flower will want to go back to the proverbial drawing board with a view to salvage what’s left of the series, the resonation of this 3-0 Ashes regaining performance is sure to leave a deeper impact than the 3-0 whitewash of England over Australia.

A reality-check for both sides, the 2013-14 Ashes series has been. For England, which perhaps remained too long shrouded in the covers of complacency, the series has been an eye-opener about its method of approaching important games. While for Australia, it’s been an eye-opener to the fact that the team always had it in them to bounce back despite all on-field adversities.

Blog by: Rohinee

Australia v England - Second Test: Day 5

A few months ago, the Australian cricket team found itself sinking in the wormhole created by the English bowling attack. The team was in chaos, answers were sought – home-works were given – before they finally surrendered to the English side.

In the few months that have separated that series and this, the transformation of the Australian side has been nothing short of phenomenal which has made the English team – still superior on paper – quake before the very rivals whom they had brushed aside quite easily.

Two losses in the opening two tests have put England completely on the back-foot, raising questions that they probably hadn’t even seen coming at them before the start of the series. The mammoth nature of the loss – 381 runs at Gabba and 218 runs at Adelaide – not only represented the sheer implacability of the Australians when it came to exploiting the playing conditions, but also brought out the inability of the English team to make it count.

At WACA, by all accounts, it seems as though the trend is bound to continue. Regarded to be the bane of almost every international cricket team, the natural bounce at WACA holds particularly grim memories for the English team with only a lone match win out of the totality of 12 tests played here. The last time that the English team had won at the venue was nearly 35-years ago in 1978, against an Australian squad that was playing without most of its team strength on account of their prioritising the splendour of the then newly launched Kerry Packer series.

The prospect then gets even more looming for the English squad. Their inability to construct and sustain partnerships has been the biggest letdown for them. Though Alastair Cook has spoken about the senior players coming through for the team, the seniority’s inability to effectively read and tackle Mitchell Johnson’s deliveries has been starker as compared to the newer members of the team.

If the batsmen aren’t able to develop and build on, on partnerships, the English bowlers have been inept when it has come to breaking their counterparts’ partnerships on-field. Graeme Swann especially has been a costly addition to the team so far and it would only be prudent for the visitors to replace him with someone who can at least stem the run-flow, if not take wickets.

The change in the way Australians have come to understand and gauge Swann’s bowling tactics is also indicative of the progress that the Australian team has made in these few months following the English Ashes summer. Mitchell Johnson is just the tip of the ice-berg with his confidence and impressive bowling spells leading the Australians’ Ashes reclaiming journey.

The thriving of Chris Rogers and David Warner at the opening has been obvious as has been the tentative yet unmistakable sureness in Shane Watson’s game. The team’s composition feels just right which may give Michael Clarke some pause for thought with regard to choosing the best possible squad from the ample resources available at his disposal. Nathan Lyon is expected to be a part of the Australian squad, to shore up their bowling department keeping in mind the pitch conditions at WACA. And though James Faulkner has been ruled out with an injured thumb, Australia isn’t exactly lacking for options lower down the order at this point.

In contrast, the English team has a huge task ahead of its in terms of team selection. Though the likes of Anderson and Broad have been doing decently well, the English bowling department still feels incomplete especially with Swann not being able to justify his inclusion in the team. Considering that Andy Flower has indicated of some definite team changes, one can expect Tim Bresnan to be included in the squad in order to provide the team with much needed bowling support.

But where the English team does have some replacement options for its bowling, its batting choices remain largely curtailed and as such the onus still remains piled on Cook, Pietersen, Bell and Prior to ensure that the team’s batting order doesn’t fall short under pressure.

Call it a home field advantage or call it the Englishmen’s slight detour from their otherwise calm composure, the 2013-14 Australian Ashes series has been entirely about the Australians so far. Though the English cricket team isn’t showing any signs of giving up, the English players do have to understand that there are a lot of areas where the chinks in their armour have been exposed and where they haven’t been able to stand up to the Australians. Playing with self-assurance – and potentially trying for a win – at Perth is their only chance at salvaging this series. A series that has so far, not only marked the return of momentum towards Australia, but has also brought an unmistakable re-emergence of the Australian cockiness and swagger, distinctively missing in their demeanour till now.

Blog by: Rishabh

England v Australia: 5th Investec Ashes Test - Day Five

Victorious England with the Ashes urn

So, the Ashes are over, huh?

Nope. There’s already a sequel in the works, to be released in winter this year. Much like the Saw franchise, the last good sequel came in 2005 and every further installment has just been really gory.

No more excellent analogies for now, I’ll just skip right ahead to the player ratings. Oh, and congratulations to Ian Bell England, I guess.

England

9.5 – Ian Bell (562 runs at 62.44, 100 x 3, 50 x 2)

With an added layer of steel, Ian Bell is less Sherminator and more Sledgehammer of Eternal Justice. In other words, glorious to watch for a longer period of time than usual.

In this series though, he was the ginger Atlas of England’s batting order. Any time Australia threatened to get ahead, Bell was there to thwart them, yell “not today!” and slap them in the face.

“It’s the Bell-signal. I’ve gotta go, they need me.”

8.0 – Stuart Broad (22 wickets at 27.45, 2 x 5w, 179 runs at 25.57, 50 x 1)

The walking controversy (Walkgate? Nickgate? Broadwalk Umpire?) aside, it was a very fine series for Stuart Broad.

Despite a good showing, he didn’t take many wickets in the first Test but made up for it in the next few. He was a constant threat and was perhaps solely responsible for not allowing Michael Clarke to get going.

7.5 – Kevin Pietersen (388 runs at 38.8, 100 x 1, 50 x 2)

He wasn’t at his most consistent, but scored vital runs when England needed him most, particularly in Manchester where only the rain played a bigger part in denying Australia a victory.

He capped the series with two hugely different fifties (the second had a 75% higher strike rate than the first) at the Oval to (a) ensure that England remained unbeaten and (b) almost snatch a win.

7.5 – James Anderson (22 wickets at 29.59, 2 x 5w)

Jimmy took almost half of his series tally in the first Test, which is the best way to describe his performance.

He had a couple of indifferent Tests and was quite good otherwise without a big haul. He was outstanding at Trent Bridge, only slightly upstaged by a teenaged Australian debutant.

7.5 – Graeme Swann (26 wickets at 29.03, 2 x 5w, 126 runs at 25.20)

A half-decent spinner was always going to make Australia sweat, so it’s no surprise that Swann comfortably ended up as the highest wicket-taker on either side without looking his best.

His biggest haul of the series (9 wickets) did result in England’s biggest win of the series, though.

7.0 – Tim Bresnan (10 wickets at 29.60, 103 runs at 25.75)

Bresnan fulfilled the role of a fourth bowler to perfection. He didn’t release any of the pressure created by England’s strike bowlers, and his accuracy coupled with reverse swing brought about a few wickets of his own.

That might be too light a praise, actually – only Stuart Broad had a better strike rate for England.

6.0 – Joe Root (339 runs at 37.66, 100 x 1, 50 x 1)

Being in a settled, winning side has allowed Root to plant himself at the top of the order for a while.

He failed to get going more often than not, but the 180 at Lord’s was a glimpse of what could be, and the odd wickets he gets are more than useful.

Slightly above “useful” but not quite “maybe we shouldn’t pick Swanny”, another stint in the middle order should do it for him.

5.0 – Alastair Cook (277 runs at 27.70, 50 x 3)

The captain gets 5 points for, well, just for being the captain of the winning team. He did take the most catches (7) by a non-‘keeper in this series after all! (No, that’s not a record.)

Even after being sorted out by the Aussie bowling attack, he managed three fifties. He also had the lowest strike rate (36.39) by any batsman from either side. And speaking of low strike rates…

4.0 – Jonathan Trott (293 runs at 29.30, 50 x 2)

*yawn* Very modest series by his standards, won’t go this long without – *zzzzz*

3.5 – Jonny Bairstow (203 runs at 29.00, 50 x 1)

Managed a solitary (yet important) 67 at Lord’s in the company of Bell, was a bit of a walking wicket otherwise. Finally got dropped for the final Test as England decided that two mediocre debutants would be more useful than him.

3.0 – Matthew Prior (133 runs at 19.00)

Despite batting at #7, England did need him to score at several points during the series as their middle order did the bulk of the scoring.

He didn’t really look out of form but just didn’t score. Doesn’t have a fifty in his last 13 innings, but it’ll still be a while before he has to fight for his place.

1.5 – Steven Finn (2 wickets at 58.50)

Sprayed it aplenty and dropped down the pecking order pretty quickly as a result.

1.0 – Chris Woakes (1 wicket at 96.00)

Not a great debut – unable to keep a lid on the rampaging Watson in the first innings and didn’t even get to bowl in the second. Scored a handy 25 to keep Australia at bay though.

Unrated – Simon Kerrigan (8 filthy overs)

Actually, the way he was treated in his only Test was sort of R-rated.

Simon Kerrigan – That look hasn’t left his face since The Oval. Pray for him.

Part 2 to follow. In a creepy unmarked van.

Blog by: Roh
CRICKET-IND-ENG

The three members of the English cricket team whose indulgences caused a lot of grief to the English Cricket Board and the team management may have apologised and gotten a clean of sorts. But the incident and the resultant treatment meted out to Monty Panesar – who indulged in a similarly defaming manner, a few weeks ago – still remain as fresh as ever. That he was promptly removed from the Ashes squad while these three cricketers only received a slap on their wrists has even raised the aspect of prejudice and bias on part of the ECB.

While the latter aspect still remains shrouded in ambiguity – for all intents and purposes – there is however no denying that the action taken by the Board definitely needs to be delved into further. Simply for the reason that England overlooked his credentials – impeccable as they were – and allowed a momentary infraction to replace him from the squad. There again, while Panesar’s absence may not affected or hindered the team’s performance much as regards the outcome of the series went, the turncoat nature of the officials who quoted about lofty idealistic behaviour and conduct expected from English players is what rankles and thrusts the aspect about prejudices into even brighter prominence. Thus, though the officials may still maintain about Panesar’s place in the team not being irrevocably affected, the lack of clarity surrounding his inclusion back into the squad points towards a different truth.

The ball, in essentiality, may seem to be in Panesar’s court. But since the accountability of the necessary ‘changes’ is in the hands of the board and quite subjective – so to speak – there is no way to expect that the bowler would indeed get an opportunity to bag an English cap. And herein, emerges yet another seeming facet of prejudiced tread taken by the English cricketing management and team officials.

Had the English team really been concerned about the conduct of its players, the act carried out by Stuart Broad, James Anderson and Kevin Pietersen should have compelled the management to penalise these players in a more stringent manner for thoroughly abusing the game’s spirit and norms of professionalism. That the English coach Andy Flower spoke about how their conduct should be excused on account of the extenuating circumstances – read the retaining of the Ashes urn – also displays no little hypocrisy on his part. Also, in this context, it won’t be wrong to say that of the three, Stuart Broad’s participation in the over-indulged revelry should have been scrutinised even more deeply.

His indulgence coming in the wake of his apparent unsportsmanlike attitude in the first test at Trent Bridge presents a completely unexpected face of English cricket. Rarely has it ever so happened in the English cricketing history that a player has behaved in a manner contravening the sport’s underlying values and principles. England then should really thought about making a better example for its cricketers by ensuring that such conduct gets nipped in the bud, however justified the cricketers themselves might feel about their actions.

The Ashes victory too becomes a bitter pill to swallow when positioned vis-à-vis these deviations from expected professionalism. When considered that the Australians were more often than not found to indulge in such reckless – perhaps not to such extents – comportment, it’s even harder to believe that as big the significance of this Ashes’ win, English players could stoop to such lows amidst such highs.

The changes in the sport may be obvious what with the introduction of newer formats. It may be even more obvious that these new-gen formats have started to encroach upon the vintage classicality of cricketing paradigms, taking away much of its shine in the eyes of the younger generation cricketing fans. But that these obvious changes are also slowly obscuring the sport’s well established and deep-rooted ethics and morality aspects is a sad reality indeed. And sadder perhaps, considering that the game’s originators are deluding themselves by giving mere excuses to cover their inadequacies pertaining to the game’s fast-disappearing and depleting ethicalities.

Blog by: Omkar

As the dust settles on the Ashes, it seems an apt time to reflect upon the current status of those that don the Baggy Green.

As predicted by many, the series turned out to be another unsuccessful attempt by the Aussies to reclaim the fabled urn. With only about three months to go before the battle resumes, there is little time to analyse the culture surrounding Australian cricket, which consists nothing but a group of maligned individuals.

For a team that not so long ago asserted their dominance with an air of arrogant panache, the 3-0 defeat only reflects the mistiming that has afflicted Australian cricket in the recent past.

In the present scenario, a question has arisen on what the future holds for Australian cricket.

A hint of what the immediate future holds has been shown in the announcement of the ODI squad. Seasoned campaigners have been brought in rather than relying on just young talent. Experienced  players such as George Bailey, Adam Voges and Shaun Marsh have been called upon to provide stability in the batting order.

Such has been the state of affairs this summer, it is not entirely implausible to picture all three of these batsmen facing up in the first Test against England at The Gabba – provided they have a strong performance here first.

It’s not that Australia has been swept aside by the English completely. Australians had their moments in the series, and the five Tests were hardly one sided affairs. However, the only reason England managed to triumph over Australia was through a handful of experienced and combat toughened bowlers stepping up when they needed to.

One of Australia’s problems in this series has been their lack of ability to be defensive. Batsmen have failed to build an innings and tough it out when the bowlers have been on top. Leaving that aside, the bowling and the fielding department have been up to the task. The performances by the likes of Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris have been a big positive

Still, it is an atrocious crush, and it will come under censure from the fans down under. But the Australians must begin to look beyond their present England summer and think about how they can win the thing back when it returns to their coast – far sooner than tradition should allow – in just under 4 months’ time.

They are somewhat privileged, of course, in that they have the best perceivable set-up from a losing perspective. The shortest time possible to dwell on their disappointments and an instant chance to make reparation and claim back the coveted urn. They won’t have to go through the burden of two years of hearing critics bashing and the English gloating, but just a matter of a few months before the chance for an immediate reprieve, with the wounds still fresh to fuel their energies and focus.

Tough decisions await between now and November. But they need to take place. Conditions will be a lot more preferable back in Australia for the hosts, but that won’t count for very much against this well drilled and experienced England team.

Blog by: Sagar

The Ashes 2013 in the backyard of the Englishmen has proved to be, more or less, a one-sided affair. England has retained the Ashes at home by a colossal 3-0 series victory. Cook and Co. portrayed a scintillating display of all-round cricket, which never let the Barmy Army down. Let us have a look at how Alastair Cook and his boys turn up on a point-wise analysis out of 10.

Alastair Cook

The England skipper was not in the best of forms in this Ashes season. His statistics for the Ashes 2013 reveal just 277 runs in the 10 innings he has played, at a paltry average of 27.70, with a best of 62 runs. Also, his captaincy became a subject of scrutiny by the critics due to his inability to inculcate something new at crucial moments. Thus, on the whole, Captain Cook deserves 6 points for his contribution to the team.

Joe Root

Presently one of the best rising sensations in world cricket, Joe Root has displayed a good blend of class and skill in the 2013 Ashes series. He was chosen to open the innings with Cook over the former opener Nick Compton. But he looked under pressure most of the time, except for his sensational innings of 180 at Lords. Other than this, he could accumulate only 159 runs in the rest of the 9 innings he batted in. He gets 7 points here. However, he is considered to be one of the best prospective batsmen for England.

Jonathan Trott

The orthodox right handed batsman was not at his very best this time. He could get 293 runs from 10 innings, at 29.30. He, along with Cook, can be considered as the two biggest surprises as neither of them could score a century this season. The sublime timer of the cricket ball, Jonathan Trott, will just get 6 points on this table.

Kevin Pietersen

It is often said that KP is one man who can prove to be a match-winner for his team at any point of time. Once he gets his eye in, he becomes unstoppable. This was exactly what was witnessed in the Ashes 2013 when he thrashed the Aussie bowling attack all over the park. He was the third highest run-getter of the series, placed with 388 runs in 10 innings with a best of 113. Except for the 2nd Test at Lords, Pietersen chipped in with very valuable runs for his side, and at a good pace as well. He will get 8.5 points for his aggression and consistency.

Ian Bell

Whenever the topic of Ashes 2013 will be discussed, this man will be talked about every time. With 562 runs in 10 innings at a sensational average of 62.44, Bell rightly deserved the Man of the Series award. The man with the wristy flicks, leaning cover drives and aggressive pulls was at his very best as he scored 3 tons and 2 fifties in this Ashes season. There is no reason why he should get anything less than 9.5 points here.

Jonny Bairstow

Where Joe Root has accumulated enough runs at the top of the order to cement his position in the side, another youngster, Jonny Bairstow, could not perform well at the highest level. Batting in the lower middle order, his job was to play the role of a sheet anchor when the side was collapsing, or go for big shots when the scorecard was strong. He failed to do both as he could barely get 203 runs in 7 innings at 29.00 runs per innings. He gets 6 points on the list.

Matt Prior

Everyone was expecting him to play a role which Adam Gilchrist used to play for the Kangaroos in Tests. But this certainly did not happen as he could get only 133 runs in the 9 innings he played. He always looked perplexed by the pace, turn and bounce in the pitches. However, he was exceptionally good behind the stumps, from taking some blinders to using the Third Umpire Reviews well enough. Thus, he gets 6 points here.

Tim Bresnan

The all-rounder was brought in after Steven Finn was kept out of the side from the 2nd Test at Lords. However, he could not make full use of the opportunity, as he could only get 103 runs from 5 innings. But he did chip in with 10 wickets with the ball in 6 innings. Therefore, he gets 6.5 points for his mixed performance this season.

Graeme Swann

This man has proved all those people wrong who thought that the English pitches are all about pace and bounce. This right-arm off break bowler was the highest wicket taker this Ashes, at 26 wickets from 10 innings, with an average of 29.03 and an economy of 3.03. He also proved to be effective with the bat down the order, where he got 126 runs from 7 innings, collecting runs which proved to be gold-dust for England. He deserves 9 points on this table.

Stuart Broad

Although Jimmy Anderson was expected to be the “go-to” bowler for Cook, Broad showed exceptional skills in swinging the ball both ways and getting the Aussies into a lot of trouble. His 6 wicket spell came at just the right time for England at Chester-le-Street. He finished with 22 wickets as the third highest wicket taker and with an average better than Anderson. He also contributed brilliantly with the bat, proving why he deserves the No. 5 spot on the ICC all-rounder rankings. He gets 9 points. However, he was also criticized for not walking off the pitch after he had edged the ball to the slip.

James Anderson

The Australians were always wary of the pace spearhead of England, Jimmy Anderson. They ended up giving 22 wickets to him at an average of 29.59. He especially troubled the Aussie skipper Clarke and the blistering opener Shane Watson, who were expected to be the match-winners for the Kangaroos. However, except for the first Test match, the Aussies negotiated him well in the other matches. He gets 7.5 points for his overall performance.

It can be very easily made out that England have flown high in the Ashes 2013, thanks to some superb contributions from Bell, KP, Swann, Broad and Anderson. The Aussies, on the contrary, were down and out as they were beaten in all parts of the game by the hosts.