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The Ashes Surrendered to the Aussies
nasser Hussain ponders defeat
Nassers Gloom

It’s 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 one thing.

I don’t 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 player’s

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, was
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, it’s 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 world’s best openers while stand-in Richard Dawson’s gumption was impressive. He showed he’s 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 it’s 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 isn’t 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 it.

It’s 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 scoreline.

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