Fifth Test Review

Updated: August 24, 2015

The 2015 Investec Ashes Test Series has been one to remember for different reasons; some good, some bad and some woeful.


England have won the series, but weren’t as convincing as they potentially should have been.

Going into this series, there was only going to be one winner- Australia, simply based on a comparison of form both teams were in coming into the First Test in Cardiff. It was always going to be about England trying to prove the doubters wrong, especially after the goings on upstairs on the board. It’s a transition process, and one that I was certainly looking forward to.


The First Test was important for both sides, and it was England who came out victorious by 169 runs, taking a 1-0 lead in the series. It was a major confidence booster for the team which was vital, because it gave us the impedance to continue the good form.


The Second Test came around fast, only a week later, at the home of cricket- Lords. Again, England needed to start well and needed to put Australia under pressure from the get go. However it wasn’t to be, and the Tourists produced a performance that was something out the blue, and thrashed us by 405 runs.


Now, with the series in balance at 1-1 going to Edgbaston, England needed to respond and quickly and respond they did. Bringing in Steven Finn, who bearing in mind hadn’t played a single test match for two years, was genius. He took 6-79 and managed to tame and frustrate a confident Australian batting line up. Indeed we won, but what was more pleasing was the standard of cricket. Simply put, we excelled in all areas and never looked in any danger during the test.


Here we go, this was it; England’s chance to win this Ashes Series was upon them. In front of a buoyant Trent Bridge crowd, the tension was high and the anticipation could be felt around the ground. It wasn’t long before the English crowd were on their feet applauding what was one of the best individual and team performances in history. A special mention must go to Stuart Broad, who took 8-15 in Australia’s first innings in 9.3 overs, and produced the fourth best figures in cricket history, not to mention taking over 300 wickets for his country. We were outstanding, winning by an innings and 78 runs, and took an resounding 3-1 lead in the 5 test series. The Ashes had been successful won and the UK was bouncing, especially myself and the rest of the Let’s Talk Sport team!


Now, considering we all knew that England had won the Ashes, this test almost didn’t matter. But to the Australians, it was arguably the most important test of the series. The pride of the team and the country was at stake, and now knowing that this was to be Michael Clarke’s last ever international test, it made Australia’s perilous situation even harder. Now, The Kia Oval is one of the toughest grounds to play on, simply because of the pitch being hard to read and one that favours the bowlers. The Australians were put into bat by England after Alistair Cook won the toss at the start of play. However, England plan didn’t go quite so well…


Australia’s opening partnership between Rodgers and Warner was invaluable to a team low of confidence, getting to 110 without loss, until Mark Wood came into the attack and removed Rodgers for 43. Cue Australia’s new captain-to-be Steven Smith. He came in and simply took the game away from England on the first day. He made 143 off 252 balls hitting 17 fours and two sixes. By the time he was clean bowled by Steven Finn, Australia were on 467-8 and ended up being skittled out for a very large total of 481.


England first innings simply didn’t get going. Checking my phone was a nightmare, and I thought “here we go again”. Our batting had been consistently up and down all series, and just when we needed it to click, it didn’t. Our top scorer was Moeen Ali with 30 and we were bowled out for a pitiful 149. Mitchell Johnson had figures of 3-21 and Mitchell Marsh took 3-30 as well.


Michael Clarke in my opinion made the correct call, enforcing England into following-on. Yet again, England’s batting display left little to be desired and were struggling on 140-5, with Alistair Cook’s 85 being the only real positive batting performance on show. When Cook finally departed on 199-6, England were in trouble and needed a spark from somewhere. This spark never arrived, and they were bowled out for 286, with Moeen Ali being the last man out for 35 with Peter Siddle taking his wicket. Australia had won by an innings and 46 runs and fully deserved it too.


What a series, and in the words of BT Sport presenter Jake Humphrey on Twitter- “England can now return physically to the bar they’ve been in mentally for the past few days…and who can blame them. #ashes”.


Well done England, Ashes 2015 winners.


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