Aussies Wrap up 4-0 Ashes Series Win
08 Jan 2018
Jimmy Anderson insists he intends to still be around to help England regain the Ashes in 2019 after Australia completed a 4-0 win with victory by an innings and 123 runs in the fifth Test Sydney.
A series in which little went right for England closed with another heavy defeat as the roasting which England have endured on the field was accompanied by a literal one from above, with Sydney scorched by its highest temperatures since 1939. That searing heat left Joe Root, who battled manfully against severe dehydration to take his second innings score to 58 on the final morning before having to retire hurt, unable to carry out the captain's post-match media duties.
"That feeling you get should make you want to win the Ashes back in 2019. I’m going to do everything I can to be available for that series."
So, fittingly, it was left to Anderson, one of the few England players to emerge from the series with credit, to step in. He admitted that the 4-0 defeat has hurt the team badly - but even though he will turn 37 in 2019 he intends to be hitting back at Australia that summer when England will aim to extend their sequence of home Ashes triumphs and regain the urn.
“All the guys in the dressing room are hurting as much as I am,” said Anderson. “That feeling you get should make you want to win the Ashes back in 2019. I’m going to do everything I can to be available for that series.
“It doesn’t feel like a series where there should be a big upheaval. We’ve not been blown away in every game, and it doesn’t feel like a completely disastrous series. We’re hurting and we know that we’ve got to improve in many areas.
"We’ve not dealt with those pressure situations well with bat or ball. That’s been the difference in this series. I don’t think the planning could have been better. It’s just the way we’ve performed on the field.”
While England clearly have questions to answer, congratulations must go to Australia on a deserved triumph earned by cricket which was efficient, hard-nosed and relentless - three factors which Test cricket is all about. While Steve Smith dominated the series with the bat, his bowlers, none of them previously renowned world-beaters on their own, performed superbly as a unit as shown by their series wicket-hauls: Pat Cummins 23, Mitchell Starc 22, Josh Hazlewood 21, Nathan Lyon 21.
For England there are those questions to answer and some wounds to lick, both for experienced players with uncertain futures and younger guys who have suffered as bruising an experience as they are likely to encounter if they play Test cricket for many years.
You could only feel for 20-year-old Mason Crane who finished with one for 193 from 48 overs - the most expensive analysis ever by an England bowler on Test debut.
Making your Test debut at any time is a difficult, high-pressure experience. To be pitched in for the last Test of an away Ashes series which is already decided with the Aussies rampant and England reeling is about as difficult as cricket gets. Ask the Bears own Boyd Rankin, whose solitary Test came in exactly those circumstances (and with an injury thrown in!).
Test cricket can be a truly unforgiving arena - as well as an exhilarating one. That's why it's the greatest game of all.
Test Cricket at Edgbaston in 2018
England face India at 'Fortress Edgbaston' in 2018 determined to build on their three consecutive victories here in Birmingham over the last three seasons.
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