Cow Corner

So how did England win the Ashes?

Cow Corner

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So exactly how did England regain the Ashes?

Who scored most runs?

Australia

Which team had six of the seven leading run makers?

Australia

Who took most wickets?

Australia

Which team had the three leading wicket-takers?

Australia

Who won the series?

England

The bottom line is Test matches are set up in the first innings and England batted like clowns in the first knock just once. Australia did it twice and that proved to be the difference between the sides.

Sure England got away with one in Cardiff and the destiny of the urn could well have been academic before we
reached Kennington but in a bold attempt to smash national stereotypes, the hosts showed
some stoic resistance from a couple of unlikely sources while the Aussies failed to deliver when it mattered
in Wales and then the Baggy Green crumbled on a crumbled pitch in South London.

The whinging Aussie press are claiming the toss of the coin at The Oval decided the Ashes with groundsman Bill Gordon under orders to produce a Bunsen although their batsmen rather diluted their own conspiracy theory by scoring 348 batting last.

Four years on from the 2005 success and there is no clamour for an open top bus
parade or Messers Cook, Swann, Broad, Anderson, Prior, Trott, Bopara, Panesar and Onions to join the rest of
their team-mates as members of the British Empire.

This series was never going to be as exciting as the 2005 series. The narrowest win in Ashes history was followed
by a match that England were only one wicket away from snatching before a three wicket home victory. Of course it all culminated in an ultra tense final day at The Oval.

That was an anomaly of acute excitement which probably won't be
ever repeated.

Of course all these incredible finales were played to a backdrop of England having not beaten the old enemy in an
Ashes series for 18 years.

But probably the most exciting part about that series was that England were going head-to-head and eventually
beating unquestionably the best team in the world and some would argue one of the top three teams in
the history of the game.

The 2009 series did have some echoes of 2005 with the pendulum of momentum going back and forth.

But when England embarked on their 2005 boozeathon it was no doubt fuelled in the fact that they had just
beaten the team of Hayden-Langer-Ponting-Gilchrist-McGrath and Warne - legends of the game.

Of course Andrew Strauss and his men can only beat the team put in front of them but Australia have won just
six of their past 16 Tests and have now dropped to fourth in the Test rankings.

As Strauss said before Leeds, the Australians have lost their aura and it reflected in the mood of the
nation.

Unlike four yeas ago, there was not a hint of cricket
on the front pages on the morning of the Oval Test, let alone the back pages dominated by Manchester United's defeat to Burnley.

Of course this Ashes series was not on terrestrial television. What effect that had on the series failing to grip the nation in the same way - well you decide.

So even though most of England's batsmen averaged less than 30 and most of England's bowlers averaged more than 40, it was the hosts who played the better cricket when it mattered so hats off to them for avenging the 2006/7 whitewash in Australia.

Their next test will be in South Africa this winter and if England can beat the number one team in the world in their own backyard then we will really have justification to dust down that Red Bus.

ALL THE ASHES FALL-OUT

- Monday's tabloid headlines

- Quiet Ashes celebration for Flintoff

- Flintoff to go under knife

- Strauss hails Flintoff's key moment

- Strauss eyes top of Test ladder

- Miller: We were right not to gamble

- Aussie media fuming

- Ponting ready for Ashes fallout

- Aussie cricket selectors erred 'but not to blame'

- Australia drop to fourth in rankings

- Key moments in the 2009 Ashes series

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