Friday, 7 January 2011

The Sydney Morning Herald verdict - Australia's Worst XI

The Sydney Morning Herald today hasn't pulled its punches.

In its opinion, the current Baggy Greens are the Australian Worst XI in Ashes history. That's a pretty big statement but clearly it shows how deeply distressed the local media are at the plight of what not that long ago, were the unstoppable Number 1 team in the World.

Australian Misery
Australian Worst XI in the Sydney Morning Herald's Opinion
The facts in raw terms would add up to their claim. For this is the first Australian team in history to have lost 3 tests by an innings in the same series (apparently it's only the third time in the history of world test cricket that this has occurred).

To add to the misery, this has happened in their own Australian backyard.

As the Herald states:

"Australia's top-order batsmen - set 364 simply to make England bat again - were yet again dismissed to an array of poor shots and brilliant bowling. It has been a repetitive tale this summer, and exposes Australia in every department".

English Mastery
It's understandable for the Aussie media to look at how bad their own country's performances have been but at the same time, England have been equally as impressive as their opponents have been impotent.

Alistair Cook has clearly been the man of the series with a batting average of over 100 per innings. Jonathan Trott has been deeply impressive and the bowling attack of Finn, Tremlett, Anderson, Broad, Bresnan and Swann has been purposeful and has had a strength in depth that the Australians could only have dreamt of matching.

In all, whilst Ricky Ponting's batting form has let him down whilst his record-breaking time as Captain of the Baggy Greens is coming to an ominous close, his counterpart, Andrew Strauss has shown a growing maturity in the role and his solid performances with the bat has added to his rock solid reputation as the man in charge.

It has been historic. Not only the first English Ashes series win in Australia in a generation but it has been an absolute mauling. The records have crumbled and possibly most impressively was the final test England score of 644 - the highest England innings score ever in Australia.

This isn't just a win in Oz, but a win on a magnitude that I will not witness again in my lifetime. Because, let's face it, the Aussies aren't going to sit around and allow the rot to increase.

It's time for Australia to rebuild but for now, England can quite rightly rejoice, rejoice, rejoice!

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