As someone who has seen a good part of the great Australian dominance in world cricket, I found it a little anti-climatic when England drubbed Aussies in the fifth test at Oval to regain the Ashes trophy. England bowling has been good and occasionally brilliant, but I would rather put my weights on the lack of batsmanship from Australia for this defeat. Australia has been a touch unlucky in the first test as well, but will be a mean thing to hold as an excuse for not not giving credits to the English victory. For Australia, the absence of Langer, Hayden and Gilchrist made a mountainous difference. Ponting is not the old score machine anymore. Hussey is not the reincarnation of Bradman as he used to be in the initial few tests in terms of scoring, Clark has been brilliant, but his failure in few crucial innings didn’t help. And, England got the luxury of facing an Aussie attack without Warne and Mcgrath. If only Shane Warne had played this series (even at this age, post retirement) the Ashes owner would have been different. Looking at the way, the Oval pitch turned, I hasten to think that Warne would have ran over the 11 chaps in the England team. It is not realistic, I agree, but such is the nostalgia associated with the domianant Australia in the 1990s with Warne,Mcgrath,Waughs, Hayden, Ponting,Gilchirst, Langer etc.
To be fair, England under the low profile Andy Flower simply capitalized the Aussie weakness in bowling and to some extend on their batting. The over hyped Peterson didn’t make any significant contribution and considering that, it is an incredible achievement to the team coached by Flower. The English press must be over the moon with encomium showered on the cricketers and system around it.
The other big event came down with the Ashes 2009 curtain was the retirement of Andrew Flintoff from test cricket. A fascinating cricketer, an enthralling breed at times will be missed in tests. His gesture as a gentleman when his team is in the loosing side has been something worth recalling. I would like to think that he under achieved, but his commitment as a cricketer (in the playing arena) is largely unquestionable. He is not the best all rounder, as many calls, especially in the English press, but in my book he was a fine cricketing all rounder that England had over the last 10 years or so.