Its not so much the scoreline in Australia that has upset
people most, but the manner of the surrender of The Ashes. With
very few exceptions we have not played to the standards we are
capable of and had expected. When you are facing the best side
in the world, below par performances are going to result in just
I dont think England went into the series with as much hope
as we usually do and if there is just the smallest amount of doubt
in the back of a players
mind, the Australians are going to magnify it, exploit it and
use it to their advantage.
Before the series started, Perth, with its fast and bouncy wicket,
always going to be the one place where defeat looked likely, but
the way we went down in Brisbane and Adelaide could not have been
predicted. And even if the Perth result was expected, its
how we lost the game that people will call into question.
Typical of the strength of the Australian team that having already
hammered us 2-0, they decided to make a change
and in came
Brett Lee to produce as fast a spell of bowling as I have ever
seen. Plenty of his deliveries were unplayable and it can have
been no fun facing such a hostile performance. But I could not
believe some of the shots being played by our most experienced
batsman while the run outs were nothing more than schoolboy stuff.
I have always believed in looking for positives no matter the
situation and Michael Vaughan has announced himself as one of
the worlds best openers while stand-in Richard Dawsons
gumption was impressive. He showed hes got the bottle and
that will stand him in good stead.
Steve Harmison also has a bit of fight in him and I am sure he
can be moulded into a Test bowler while Robert Key has shown that
he is a player of great potential, but elsewhere there have been
very few plusses.
But whatever criticism we level at England has to be tempered
by the knowledge that this is one of the greatest Australian sides
of all time. Their bowling is as good as its ever been and
among the batsmen are three or four at the very height of form.
If there are any weaknesses then the middle order isnt quite
as strong as it has been. Steve Waugh has been a magnificent captain
although the majority of his Test runs are behind him while Darren
Lehmann is not the force now that some his colleagues are. These
are minor points. This Australian team compares to any before
Its a team that is demolishing everybody because South Africa
went there last winter for a series that was billed as the one
that would determine the world champions of cricket. The result:
Australia 5, South Africa O.
Our cricketers will have to dig deep now to prevent a similar