Outfought Outthought Outclassed
Australia retain Ashes with Test to spare Root vows to stay on as England captain
who lasted only 17 balls, was starting to look physically shot. The Superman robes hang heavy, even on him. But if survival exercises can be considered “entertaining”, England were giving the people what they want. They were inflicting on their supporters a kind of stress that needs defining: as enjoyable hell, perhaps.
Over the full span, we have seen England demolish Australia in a World Cup semi-final, win the title with a last-ball opera, and triumph miraculously at Headingley with a last-day run chase. Then came the siege of Manchester.
If the aim was to force cricket back into “the national conversation”, nobody could accuse England of failing in that.
Questions abound of course. Who will replace Trevor Bayliss as coach? Should Root stay on as captain? Has the white-ball policy shift weakened the foundations of Test batting? But these are not the dominant themes. The abiding sense from the summer has been that there is scope for the country
Craig Overton is brought to his knees after his wicket secured victory for Australia
Closing in: Marnus Labuschagne is overjoyed at dismissing Jack Leach