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By Stephan Shemilt
BBC Sport at Old Trafford
For the first time in 18 years, Australia will go back down under with all the Ashes in their luggage.
They went 2-1 up with a single match to play to ensure a drawn string, which will be the holders by winning at Old Trafford.
On the 1 hand, England might count themselves unlucky. If it had not been for some time lost to rain in the next Test at Lord’s, they would have won.
However, they had been soundly beaten at the second and first Tests and desired one of the amazing innings to provide them success in a third Test.
Here are some reasons why England will not be performing a World and why Australia maintain ownership of cricket prize check.
Let’s start with the biggest gap between the two sides: Steven Peter Devereux Smith’s bat.
He’s not a batsman, however a constant, insatiable, fidgeting run-scoring device.
To have tortured England in their tour down below in 2017-18, is 1 thing. To do it , following 18 months from Test cricket because of his part in the ball-tampering scandal, lifts him into the sort of Ashes greatness that is surpassed perhaps only by Sir Donald Bradman.
Not since Neighbours arrived on TV displays has something Australian placed together a body of work.
Smith runs is nearly two times as many as anybody else – and he overlooked one Test using concussion. His lowest score is 82.
England should be considering how to stop Smith from doing so Though the upcoming Ashes series is over two years away. He will be their biggest hurdle for regaining the urn in 2021-22.
Taking nothing away from Smith’s accomplishment, it is reasonable to take into account the series may have been had England’s James Anderson.
Whether it was right or wrong for Anderson to get began the first Test, four weeks after having a calf when searching for Lancashire, is debatable, but the simple fact remains he bowled only four overs in the string and not one delivery to Smith.
To be without your all time leading wicket-taker, one of the swing bowlers to have ever played the sport, when trying to dislodge the best batsman of the planet is like a golfer hoping to play with Augusta with just half of his golf clubs.
Jofra Archer and stuart Broad performed in Anderson’s absence, but it left the England attack incomplete.
England’s attack couldn’t offer the threat whereas Australia needed three pace bowlers to call , never giving a moment to breathe to the home batsmen.
For seven decades the top order of England has ever contained a minumum of one hole.
For the bowlers to get them out of trouble they have scrapped enough runs together in the home, although they have been hurt by it away series.
It shouldn’t happen to be a issue here – Australia’s batting, pub Smith, has been shaky.
England, though, could not exploit that since their own collapses were not far away. Four wickets for 18 runs in the first innings of the first Test, 6-27 in the next innings; 138-6 at first innings of the drawn second Test, 161-5 at the second; and 67 all out at the first innings of the third Test (fair enoughthey won).
On consecutive evenings, England still shipped three wickets for 30 runs, although there was fight in the next Test.
England’s batting has not had greater success than Bambi stepping to a lake, If it comes to staying vertical. It is the section of the group which requires the most attention.
It may be argued that England are outplayed in three Tests (Edgbaston, Headingley and Old Trafford) and have been the better side in another (Lord’s).
They managed to succeed at Headingley, were denied from the Lord’s weather and had chances in others, only to let the moment slip.
England found themselves 267-4 at the end of the day, with the opportunity to bat the tourists from the game after bowling out Australia for 284 from the first innings of the first Test. They managed a lead of only 90.
Even after that, Australia were 75-3 in their second innings, still 15 behind. Smith and Matthew Wade created centuries around the day, moving the visitors from sight with the support of some England tactics which comprised a curious lack of Chris Woakes’ bowling.
In Old Trafford, Australia were 224-5 to a placid pitch when ruler Tim Paine joined Smith. In Paine was dropped two and Smith, who went on to make 211, was captured a Jack Leach no-ball on 118 away from.
On such moments and show, hinge.
England have a proud record at home series. They have not dropped this one – however – but Australia keeping the pliers feels like a defeat.
However, just recently, those house wins all have come with caveats. In which England were thrashed at Lord’s, the 4-1 triumph over India past summer was considerably closer than the scoreline suggested and was countered with a 1-1 draw with Pakistan.
From West Indies at 2017 and the wins over South Africa, England endured a Evaluation defeat by both groups. They almost came unstuck against Ireland before this summer after being pumped out to 85 winning.
Put England have been able to come through despite their flaws, when an Australia team comprising pace attack and the world’s best batsman came to town, but those frailties were ripe for vulnerability.
England will deny that the focus on winning the World Cup has come in the forefront of the Test side, but tons of evidence suggests otherwise.
Some improvements are made. Archer has brought the pace lacking for so long, Leach seems like he could be a spinner and the batsmen have latterly demonstrated greater application.
But, for the moment, Australia are a much better team.
From batting collapses to Steve Smith’s brilliance, the reasons behind the Ashes failure of England – and would we have called it?
Watch the moment Josh Hazlewood traps Craig Overton lbw to wrap up.
England have not missed an Ashes series in the home since 2001 – but can you remember who played in that series defeat?
Joe Root states despite failing to recover the Ashes from 20, he is still the right man.
Analysis and opinion by the cricket correspondent of the BBC.
Read more here: http://talismaninfo.com/?p=1513