Monday, September 26, 2005

The Ashes 2005: Weird science

Statistics from the series

For the first time since the 1978-79 Ashes - a series blighted by Packer defections - Australia failed to muster 400 in any of their innings

At Trent Bridge Australia were made to follow on for the first time in 191 Tests.

Adam Gilchrist, World’s Most Dangerous Batsman™, with a career average of 52.64, finished with a series average of just 22.62.

Damien Martyn, with a career average of 47.96, finished with a series average of just 19.77 – worse than Warne, Lee and McGrath

Simon Jones, considered very much the fifth man in England’s five man bowling attack, discovered an unplayable reverse swing and finished top of the England bowling averages, with 18 wickets at 21.

Andrew Flintoff finished top England wicket-taker with 24, but crucially 18 of these were batsmen in Australia’s top seven.

Shane Warne finished with a superhuman 40 wickets, yet still lost the series. He took the first wicket in an England innings six times, showing both his personal greatness and the paucity of the Australia pace attack.


Ben said...

A fantastic summary of a fantastic series! Watched Channel 4's Ashes highlights the other day, and all the gut-wrenching tenseness and glorious happiness was back in a flash.
I agree that Ponting should have been replaced as Convict captain by Warne. Warney was easily the most competitve, "up-for-it" Aussie on the field but thankfully he wasn't captain, so Ponting was available to make one poor decision after another.

But as bad as Ponting was, Vaughn was brilliant - an exempilary captain.
Simon Jones was a revelation. The whole country seemed to be intrigued by reverse swing yet still not able to fully understand it.
The hero of the series , of course, as everyone knows is Flintoff. Everyone knew he could hit practically any ball for 6 but it was his relentless bowling attack that impressed me the most. His strength to bowl good ball after good ball, over after over was outstanding.

I hope England can continue the momentum. Of course they've been doing very well under Michael Vaughn for sometime now, but now all the country's noticed that England have a more than decent cricket team I hope their form continues in the sub-continent and the support continues too.
Alas, there'll be no more free cricket on the telly, but that's another story.

Brit said...

Thanks Ben.

It will be hard to topple that series: for sheer excitement and drama, for sporting excellence and sportamanship, and for the joy of beating Australia against all expectations and after so many years of misery and humiliation.

Were we to thrash them 5-0 two years from now, it wouldn't be as good as beating them for the first time in 18 years.

The great thing about a contest of five matches each lasting five days, is that the element of fluke is removed in a way that it isn't in other sports. If we got a hard-fought 2-1 win, it's because we deserved a hard-fought 2-1 win, and that makes it deeply satisfying.

I try not to dwell on the rather depressing notion that it's all downhill from here as far as sporting spectacle goes. Let's just be glad it happened, and look forward to a period of England ruling the world - an idea that would have been laughable a few short years ago.