Embarrassment: A review of England’s Ashes Tour

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Updated: February 6, 2014

After an emphatic Ashes series win earlier in the year, during which England completely outplayed their Australian rivals, nobody would be prepared for what was to follow. A player going home with a stress related illness, the once-greatest spinner in the world retiring, controversy over trash talk caught on stump mic’s and the head coach leaving after vowing that he wouldn’t are just the beginning of what went wrong for England, not forgetting the complete and utter whitewash and the fact that England only won one match in the whole tour.

Just three months after England beat Australia on home-soil, this was seen as a chance by many to make history and become the first English side to win four ashes series in a row since 1880. Ian Botham predicted a 5-0 scoreline, Australia had lost seven of their last nine tests and Mitchell Johnson, the bowler who had been left out of the summer squad and had been a figure of fun the last time he’d played against England, was back in the side. Surely nothing could go wrong!

England, believe it or not, started well, limiting Australia to 295 in their first innings. However, Alistair Cook’s side were completely demolished by Australia’s bowling (most notably by Johnson) and were bowled out for 136 and 179, just 2 of the 6 times that they would fail to make 200 in the series. A lot of criticism was given to Jonathan Trott who hadn’t performed well all year, and after this morale crushing defeat, he went back home due to a stress related illness, very similarly to Marcus Trescothick a few years ago who retired because of stress and stage fright.

Australia tore England apart during the test series, with extra praise for Johnson, who took 37 wickets at an average of 13.97, and wicket-keeper Brad Haddin who rescued Australia’s batting in every test, scoring 493 runs at an average of 61.62. Graeme Swann’s shock retirement after England had officially lost the Ashes was also a massive blow for Cook and his side, depriving them of one of the best spinners of a generation. Some of the other key points that led to Australia’s whitewash included Michael Carberry’s awful dropped catch that allowed Australia to go on to the biggest score of the series, James Anderson’s over during which George Bailey scored 28 runs equalling Brian Lara’s record and Ian Bell’s golden duck which confirmed that the Aussies had even got into the mind of the man who’s 3 centuries had provided the cornerstone for England’s summer win.

Statistically this Ashes loss was even worse than the other 2 whitewash’s that England had experienced before in 1920-21 and 2006-07, but it wouldn’t stop there. England would then go on to lose the ODI series 4-1 and the T20 series 3-0. England’s coach Andy Flower more recently quit his job, saying that he no longer felt he was the right man to lead a post-Ashes recovery, despite him claiming on many circumstances that he would most certainly be staying in his role. This series has been nothing short of a total and utter disaster, possibly seeing an end to one of the

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finest periods of English cricket in it’s history.

Where on earth do we go from here?!

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