December 18, 2013

The Ashes 2013-14

Australia revel in the present

The current Australian team has lived in the shadows of the generation before, and this Ashes win will remain a high-point in careers of most of the players who are not very far from the end of their careers, writes Malcolm Knox in the Sydney Morning Herald.

All of the players, in some way, embody this strange ripening. Harris, the thoroughbred who took a career to rid himself of injuries. Haddin, who had to take the locker left by Adam Gilchrist and Ian Healy, and who has had a year that would do honour to either of them. Rogers, the mature-age student whose catch of Tim Bresnan at mid-on on Tuesday had the spring of a curly haired child. Peter Siddle, the David who keeps on bringing down his personal Goliath in Kevin Pietersen. Clarke, whose batting and leadership carried this team until, as with Allan Border in 1989, his team carried themselves.

In the same paper, Greg Baum writes that the win was a miracle, but Australia's partly rebuilt team with an average age of 31, had a plan: England stood on its record; Australia stood on England's toes.

Writing on the Guardian blog network, Aaron Timms says that the Ashes victory is about more than just the revival of a cricket team

In the space of just three months, David Warner has transformed himself from the very parody of a grabby, bovine upper order bogan, foot always in mouth and eyes rarely on ball, into an opener of Haydenesque power and will. Mitchell Johnson is a matador where once he seemed more like some pissed bloke bringing up the rear of the bull run at Pamplona. And Brad Haddin is like someone we don't know at all, someone whose name should surely not be "Brad Haddin"

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.