The Ashes 2019 has been a memorable one for many reasons. There have been countless occasions where we have been amazed by brilliant cricket. Both England and Australia have ended their summers on a high.
English Dominate Fifth Test
If we want to talk about the last time an Ashes series ended in a draw, we have to go back to 1972. The Oval played host to the fifth and final test of the Ashes; which resulted in England humiliating Australia with a 135-run win in the fifth and final Ashes test on Sunday which saw the series drawn 2-2. England may have been bitterly disappointed with not winning the coveted urn; especially since it’s been a while since they last won the Ashes.
Australia was always on the backfoot especially chasing 399 in under two days. Luck was never on the Aussies side since they needed the highest run chase since 1948. Unfortunately for the Aussies, they could not hold out for the draw as they were dismissed for a mediocre 263. They also failed to win a series in England since 2001. But it appears that none of that matters now that they have retained the urn which they won in the 2017-18 season.
Steve SmithFinishes On A Whimper
The conditions were perfect for batting and England might have feared that the man in red hot form Steve Smith would go on and get another big score. Luckily for the hosts, Steve Smith could not cap off a prolific summer; as he was dismissed for 23 by Stuart Broad which made this his lowest score of the series. Australia’s resistance came in the form of Matthew Wade who battled his way to a century. But when he was stumped by Joe Root the writing was on the wall.
Where To From Here
England might have levelled the series 2-2 by winning the fifth and final test but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Australia will now keep the urn for another two years. Despite this England have won the World Cup this summer but it might not be enough to keep the team and fans content. England do deserve credit, they might have lost the Ashes before coming into the fifth test. But they showed tremendous fight to draw the series. But with the season coming to a close the question that’s lingering is where England will go to from here to improve.
Actions To Be Taken
The first act would most likely be for the ECB to appoint a new head coach. Trevor Bayliss made it clear that he would be leaving after the Ashes concludes. Hiring or rather finding the correct replacement for Bayliss is key especially since he led England to World Cup glory; which means the talent is certainly there. England director Ashley Giles has made it clear that South Africans Mickey Arthur and Gary Kirsten and former England coach Ottis Gibson are all possible candidates for the vacancy. Another important issue to address is sorting out the problems surrounding captaincy. Joe Root has led the side for two Ashes series without a win; whether he will get to lead them in a third is highly doubtful. There are many other well-respected players that could fill the position in Ben Stokes and Johnny Bairstow.
Great Year For Cricket
What a brilliant summer of cricket we’ve witnessed, both Australia and England should be content with the seasons they’ve had both making massive achievements. It is going to be hard for both sides to top off such a memorable year.