Victory for England!
The series is leveled 2-2.
The Ashes has not witnessed a drawn series since 1972 when Ian Chappell’s Australia discovered themselves in a familiar position in the fifth Test at the Oval.
They were down 2-1, but Dennis Lille, Ian and Greg Chappell and Keith Stackpole helped Australia to level the series. They lost the Ashes, but gained the confidence to regain it, which England experienced in a rather ruthless fashion two years later Downunder.
Will it be Joe Root’s turn next time when England tour Australia?
A great series has come to an end. It gave us so many moments to relish and most importantly we could witness greatness at it’s very best – Steve Smith has elevated himself to a level, which a Virat Kohli, Joe Root and Kane Williamson can only dream off. 774 runs at an average of 110.57 against such a competent bowling attack and under testing circumstances, is nothing but a Superman-like-achievement.
He was out for 23 today. England put a short fine-leg-leg-slip and entice Smith with a middle and leg line from a short of a length. It worked. Joe Root’s reactions said it all of how big a wicket that one was.
Smith left, but nevertheless, he was greeted with a loud cheer from the Oval crowd. You can’t hate a great, can you? We the Brazilian fans still can’t hate Diego Maradona for his derogatory remarks on Pele and Brazil. As a true sports-lover always salutes and respects a genius.
Australia were nowhere near achieving the target. Stuart Broad set jitters in the Australian batting line-up. David Warner’s horrendous series came to an end. Certainly, outside Australia, Warner is a soft target. Then the rest followed cheaply. Except for Matthew Wade, who kept on fighting only to prolong England’s wait.
It was a hundred, which had a lot of character and skill. The battle between a fiery Jofra Archer and Wade would be etched in my memory forever. Jofra sent down 90 mph cannonballs and gave looks at which Wade did not give a damn – mate, why did not we have a sixth Test here? You just want more and more of such cracking battles between red-hot fast bowler and a stubborn batsman.
Wade departed and Australia’s innings folded quickly.
It had been only the second Ashes series in which five different bowlers have taken more than 20 wickets (Archer, Broad; Cummins, Hazlewood and Lyon).
Previously, in the six-Test series in 1978-79 (Hogg, Hurst, Botham, Willis and Miller) such happened.
As usual, give the bowlers the opportunity, Test cricket would be fascinating