Australia v England, 5th Test, Sydney, 4th day January 6, 2011

England on the brink of series glory

74

Australia 280 and 7 for 213 (Smith 24*, Siddle 17*) trail England 644 (Cook 189, Prior 118, Bell 115, Johnson 4-168) by 151 runs
Scorecard

England were three wickets away from an emphatic 3-1 series victory after more superlative all-round cricket left Australia in tatters on 7 for 213, still 151 runs short of making the visitors bat again. James Anderson produced an outstanding display of reverse swing, and Chris Tremlett battered the batsmen with hostile pace, to follow up Matt Prior's first Ashes hundred which led England to their highest total down under.

England claimed the extra half an hour to try and complete victory after Tremlett removed Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson in consecutive balls amid a heady atmosphere as the travelling fans, who outnumbered the locals, savoured every moment. However, Steve Smith and Peter Siddle managed to see out the eight further overs to keep England waiting overnight to celebrate.

Prior added 102 for the eighth wicket with Tim Bresnan (35) to extend the advantage to mammoth proportions before the innings finally ended for 644 shortly after lunch. Any hope of Australia levelling the Ashes had long since disappeared underneath the deluge of runs and it was down to the batsmen to see how deep they could dig. Shane Watson started brightly before a horrendous run out, then England's skills with the old ball - Swann's probing spin and Anderson's masterful control of swing - meant the pressure was never released.

Anderson dispatched Usman Khawaja and Michael Clarke in a high-class six-over spell, while Bresnan was also a significant threat with the older ball. Australia's remote chance of salvaging pride disappeared when Mike Hussey carved Bresnan to point six overs before the close. Tremlett's double blast momentarily brought the prospect of a swift finish when he bounced out Haddin and clattered Johnson's off stump.

Watson played his shots at the start of innings, collecting seven boundaries with a combination of thumping pulls and drives, but for the third time in the series he was involved in a horrid mix-up and this time he was the one to depart. Phil Hughes turned the ball into midwicket where two runs were there for the taking, but he ambled the first so when Watson turned and sprinted back for the second Hughes hadn't moved. Watson soon ended up at the same end while Kevin Pietersen's throw reached Prior.

Hughes, rattled by the incident, didn't last much longer when he edged a good ball from Bresnan that seamed away a touch. Bresnan was again superb in tying down the batsmen and alongside Swann dried up the scoring after the early flurry of boundaries.

Khawaja produced another composed display until, the ball after pulling Anderson for four, he followed one that reversed away from him and edged to the wicketkeeper. By then Anderson was making the ball do exactly what he wanted and gave Clarke a thorough examination to match that of Simon Jones at Old Trafford during the 2005 Ashes.

It took all of Clarke's skill to survive as long as he did but eventually he pushed at one that moved away and even before Prior took the catch he was cursing himself. For a moment Anderson thought he had a third when Hussey drove at a full delivery, however the noise was bat clipping ground and Andrew Strauss correctly opted not to review.

Swann also played his part in maintaining the pressure and was denied a wicket he deserved when Ian Bell dropped a low chance at short cover offered by Haddin. It's a sign of how well England have operated as a unit that Swann, who was expected to be a major wicket-taker here, has just one to his name yet the team are so dominant.

As has been the case for the majority of the series, England's day couldn't have gone much more to plan. Prior resumed on 54 and reached his hundred, the fourth of his career, with an expansive cover drive off Michael Beer and coming off 109 balls it was England's fastest Ashes ton since Ian Botham at Headingley in 1981.

He has always been one of the finest off-side drivers in the England team and despite defensive fields had few problems picking the gaps. He also showed a deftness of touch to milk the spinners, then when the third new ball was taken made the most of the extra pace. As the runs piled up, England passed 500 for the fourth time in series, another new record against Australia.

Bresnan played the ideal support role and having taken 61 balls to reach double figures began to unleash some powerful strokes of his own. This situation was far from the most challenging he'll face but he showed a good range of strokes and a solid defence before edging Johnson to second slip. Swann played with the freedom the situation afforded him and Prior eventually fell as he slashed at Ben Hilfenhaus, although the TV umpire checked for a no-ball and it was only fractionally in the bowler's favour.

Swann proceeded to take 17 off five balls against Johnson and his last four-over spell cost 48 runs. It's a long time since Australia have been dominated so extensively in a five-match series on home soil and on Friday the final nails will be hammered in.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on January 7, 2011, 1:10 GMT

    lovely... loved the way aussies got humiliated.. well done england..cheers

  • Silloh on January 7, 2011, 0:03 GMT

    Congratulations England ..very well done ! Hopefully the rain will cease and the last rites would be performed and you can celebrate . I never thought the Aussies will give in that easily but have been proven wrong. England's all round performance has just been too, superb and clinical.The Aussies will rebound in due course but it's certainly obvious that the team has rapidly gone down hill since the departure of some of the great ones- Warne, Mcgrath, Haden and Gilly. For the sake of Test cricket, I wish I could have said that my Caribbean team will rebound shortly too.

  • on January 6, 2011, 23:44 GMT

    Great to see England give it to Aussie,just a pity it is such a dismal Aussie side that they are beating. Would have been great to see Finn,Anderson and co giving it to Langer,Ponting and co in there good days.

  • LeftHandedBeast on January 6, 2011, 22:55 GMT

    Congratulations must go to the England as they have dominated Australia in all aspects of the game. Batting, bowling and fielding have been superb, its disheartening to see how far backwards Australia has gone in all of those aspects. I think the Australian team and the selection process requires a complete overhaul, for a long time now players who are in form in state cricket have not been able to get an opportunity in the Australian side and by all appearences the team appears to be a "boys" club..."i like you, your in the team, i dont like you your out" kind of mentality. As a nation we need to bring it back to basics and rebuild with youthful players showing consistant form at state level. Batsmen that can score runs, bowlers that can take wickets in any conditions, and fielders that can maintain the pressure by restricting runs and taking catches. Players can not be allowed to grow old and remain out of form for extended periods. Forget personal pride and make it about the team!!!

  • on January 6, 2011, 22:51 GMT

    Amazing performance. Everyone contributing hard by England. Making centuries one after another. Absolutely fantastic. They made the Ausies tired like a hell. Their batting got effected by tiring bowling and long fielding in the ground for more then 2 days constantly. This is what Australia have done to other teams over the decade. Now after Colling wood, England would be more dangerous, as Morgan will come and Bell will move up to the order at no 3 or 4.

  • landl47 on January 6, 2011, 22:50 GMT

    Comments on comments: @ vikram_roy: yes, I watched the last day of the deciding test between India and SA hoping to enjoy a great day's cricket. India 166-3 in 82 overs. Fascinating. @Marcio: good for you for at least showing up. I'm glad you are still supporting your team; I'm a bit fed up with those who are leaping off the band wagon. @dh74: I'd rather have Watson at #6 instead of Hussey at #5. Watson's 6 years younger and a useful 4th seamer. Hussey had a last burst of brilliance, but his scores in the last 2 tests were more like his form of the last year than those in the first 3. I'd take Bell over him as #5 right now. @England fans generally: enjoy it now, but remember a team is never as good or as bad as it seems. In 1970/71, Australia didn't have much, 2-0 England. By 1974/5, Lillee and Thomson had appeared, 5-1 Australia. @Australian fans: same thing.

  • on January 6, 2011, 22:47 GMT

    In my point of view, the most worst problem that AUS are facing right is the right use of the new ball. They gave Johnson new balls, he just ruined all the expectations and could not keep the pressure on as the Mcgrath and and rest used to do in the past. Thats why England were able to make higher scores. Because their opening batsmen are survived every time whenever they make 500 plus. This leads coming batsmen like Trott and pieterson to play freely without any pressure whatsoever. Cook was the major difference between two teams. Cook has played most of the new ball massive overs single handedly. Hats off to England. I can go on and on on their praising.

  • Clive_Dunn on January 6, 2011, 22:31 GMT

    This series has reminded me how, of all the sports in the world, test cricket is the most cruel. England have inflicted a death of 1000 cuts over the course of 25 days, leaving a once proud team in a state of disintegration. Part of me feels sorry for Australia here, after being on the other side of this I can feel the pain. But then I remember it is Australia and I know they are far too proud a sporting nation not to bounce back quickly. Still, I'll enjoy it whilst it lasts.

  • landl47 on January 6, 2011, 22:24 GMT

    England had a good series and got better as they went on (Bresnan and Tremlett made the team stronger when they replaced Finn and Broad). Australia didn't play well, except for Perth, but the Perth win wasn't a fluke. Johnson and Harris bowled exceptionally well and would have bowled out any side in the world. Unfortunately, Harris doesn't seem to be able to play more than a couple of games without breaking down and Johnson only gets it right once in a series. If those two could bowl that way in every match, Australia would be in better shape. However, the batting isn't strong and the spin bowling is practically non-existent. 5-679 in the series is woeful. England played well, but the second innings collapse at Perth is a concern and the side is still lacking an all-rounder, even more of a concern now Colly is retiring. I'd replace Colly with Broad and play Bresnan at 7, rather than bring in Morgan. Bell and Prior are a good 5 and 6 and Broad and Swann can bat. Bring on India!

  • PlayingItStraight on January 6, 2011, 22:10 GMT

    Full credit & congratulations to the English team ... they have been very good in all aspects of the game in 4 of the 5 tests, with a minor hiccup in Perth that was quickly turned around. How can Australia be so bad in comparison? The answers are very simple ... start getting the basics right on a consistent basis (watch what England have done this series compared to the Aussies), make all players accountable for their poor performance and pick the team on form not reputation, and most importantly have continual succession planning in place so there are always new players coming through and the veterans are moved on before they become a liability. England's long-term goal of reaching #1 in the world is commendable, and if Australia want to get back there they will need to stop celebrating mediocrity and start putting long-term strategies into place (as the English have done).

  • on January 7, 2011, 1:10 GMT

    lovely... loved the way aussies got humiliated.. well done england..cheers

  • Silloh on January 7, 2011, 0:03 GMT

    Congratulations England ..very well done ! Hopefully the rain will cease and the last rites would be performed and you can celebrate . I never thought the Aussies will give in that easily but have been proven wrong. England's all round performance has just been too, superb and clinical.The Aussies will rebound in due course but it's certainly obvious that the team has rapidly gone down hill since the departure of some of the great ones- Warne, Mcgrath, Haden and Gilly. For the sake of Test cricket, I wish I could have said that my Caribbean team will rebound shortly too.

  • on January 6, 2011, 23:44 GMT

    Great to see England give it to Aussie,just a pity it is such a dismal Aussie side that they are beating. Would have been great to see Finn,Anderson and co giving it to Langer,Ponting and co in there good days.

  • LeftHandedBeast on January 6, 2011, 22:55 GMT

    Congratulations must go to the England as they have dominated Australia in all aspects of the game. Batting, bowling and fielding have been superb, its disheartening to see how far backwards Australia has gone in all of those aspects. I think the Australian team and the selection process requires a complete overhaul, for a long time now players who are in form in state cricket have not been able to get an opportunity in the Australian side and by all appearences the team appears to be a "boys" club..."i like you, your in the team, i dont like you your out" kind of mentality. As a nation we need to bring it back to basics and rebuild with youthful players showing consistant form at state level. Batsmen that can score runs, bowlers that can take wickets in any conditions, and fielders that can maintain the pressure by restricting runs and taking catches. Players can not be allowed to grow old and remain out of form for extended periods. Forget personal pride and make it about the team!!!

  • on January 6, 2011, 22:51 GMT

    Amazing performance. Everyone contributing hard by England. Making centuries one after another. Absolutely fantastic. They made the Ausies tired like a hell. Their batting got effected by tiring bowling and long fielding in the ground for more then 2 days constantly. This is what Australia have done to other teams over the decade. Now after Colling wood, England would be more dangerous, as Morgan will come and Bell will move up to the order at no 3 or 4.

  • landl47 on January 6, 2011, 22:50 GMT

    Comments on comments: @ vikram_roy: yes, I watched the last day of the deciding test between India and SA hoping to enjoy a great day's cricket. India 166-3 in 82 overs. Fascinating. @Marcio: good for you for at least showing up. I'm glad you are still supporting your team; I'm a bit fed up with those who are leaping off the band wagon. @dh74: I'd rather have Watson at #6 instead of Hussey at #5. Watson's 6 years younger and a useful 4th seamer. Hussey had a last burst of brilliance, but his scores in the last 2 tests were more like his form of the last year than those in the first 3. I'd take Bell over him as #5 right now. @England fans generally: enjoy it now, but remember a team is never as good or as bad as it seems. In 1970/71, Australia didn't have much, 2-0 England. By 1974/5, Lillee and Thomson had appeared, 5-1 Australia. @Australian fans: same thing.

  • on January 6, 2011, 22:47 GMT

    In my point of view, the most worst problem that AUS are facing right is the right use of the new ball. They gave Johnson new balls, he just ruined all the expectations and could not keep the pressure on as the Mcgrath and and rest used to do in the past. Thats why England were able to make higher scores. Because their opening batsmen are survived every time whenever they make 500 plus. This leads coming batsmen like Trott and pieterson to play freely without any pressure whatsoever. Cook was the major difference between two teams. Cook has played most of the new ball massive overs single handedly. Hats off to England. I can go on and on on their praising.

  • Clive_Dunn on January 6, 2011, 22:31 GMT

    This series has reminded me how, of all the sports in the world, test cricket is the most cruel. England have inflicted a death of 1000 cuts over the course of 25 days, leaving a once proud team in a state of disintegration. Part of me feels sorry for Australia here, after being on the other side of this I can feel the pain. But then I remember it is Australia and I know they are far too proud a sporting nation not to bounce back quickly. Still, I'll enjoy it whilst it lasts.

  • landl47 on January 6, 2011, 22:24 GMT

    England had a good series and got better as they went on (Bresnan and Tremlett made the team stronger when they replaced Finn and Broad). Australia didn't play well, except for Perth, but the Perth win wasn't a fluke. Johnson and Harris bowled exceptionally well and would have bowled out any side in the world. Unfortunately, Harris doesn't seem to be able to play more than a couple of games without breaking down and Johnson only gets it right once in a series. If those two could bowl that way in every match, Australia would be in better shape. However, the batting isn't strong and the spin bowling is practically non-existent. 5-679 in the series is woeful. England played well, but the second innings collapse at Perth is a concern and the side is still lacking an all-rounder, even more of a concern now Colly is retiring. I'd replace Colly with Broad and play Bresnan at 7, rather than bring in Morgan. Bell and Prior are a good 5 and 6 and Broad and Swann can bat. Bring on India!

  • PlayingItStraight on January 6, 2011, 22:10 GMT

    Full credit & congratulations to the English team ... they have been very good in all aspects of the game in 4 of the 5 tests, with a minor hiccup in Perth that was quickly turned around. How can Australia be so bad in comparison? The answers are very simple ... start getting the basics right on a consistent basis (watch what England have done this series compared to the Aussies), make all players accountable for their poor performance and pick the team on form not reputation, and most importantly have continual succession planning in place so there are always new players coming through and the veterans are moved on before they become a liability. England's long-term goal of reaching #1 in the world is commendable, and if Australia want to get back there they will need to stop celebrating mediocrity and start putting long-term strategies into place (as the English have done).

  • 5wombats on January 6, 2011, 18:48 GMT

    @hyclass; I've said it before - I'm saying it again; YOU ARE AN ACE. Tell it how it is why don't you!!! Australian cricket ought to listen to people like you. You are right about; "Players who once could play have lost skills. Others have been ruined inexplicably", right about; "the distancing of the highly influential Ponting" and; "The Perth pitch (which) suddenly developed alarming bounce". I agree with you; strange how different the tour match pitch was to the one used in the test. I wonder how that could have happened? And you are right; "Has it really come to that?". Your passion is blistering and your insight exceptional. You are also big enough, Australian enough to state; "I applaud england whole heartedly for aspiring to lift its standards through genuine work ethic and principles of courage and excellence". I'd like to slap you on the back and buy you a drink (or 2...). You are a gentleman and I APPLAUD YOU!

  • RohanMarkJay on January 6, 2011, 18:33 GMT

    @Philip C. Núñez I agree with you wholeheartedly man. I certainly wish west indies to have a good cricket team again. And entertain us like they once used to. Still there is no beating the atmosphere and cricket in the caribbean even now. It is still the coolest and best region in the cricketing world. Now all we need is the west indies to have a good cricket team again. Also congrats to England for being competitive down under and making it a good ashes series. Instead of the usual one sided aussie drubbings of years past.

  • voma on January 6, 2011, 18:23 GMT

    To all England fans , maybe this is the start of a new empire ! . A cricketing 1 .

  • AJ_Tiger86 on January 6, 2011, 17:44 GMT

    Wow, England have DESTROYED Australia this winter just like I predicted before the series. This England side is the greatest team of all time. Ha ha Marcio must be in sooooooo much agony. He predicted 2-2? Australia will struggle to draw a series against Bangladesh let alone England.

  • 2.14istherunrate on January 6, 2011, 17:35 GMT

    Great to see Matty Prior make a ton.His whole demeanour on the previous day suggested carnage. This has been a series for records to fall, and I suspect that a third likely innings victory in an Ashes series would constitute a new zenith for us. One was special, two was remarkable( best game ever???), and three??Well that's outrageous, and all the other superlatives. I do not see Siddle and co adding hugely to the Aussie total. It's appropriate that the wickets have been shared so. It has been a four man effort throughout.

  • Trickstar on January 6, 2011, 17:25 GMT

    @Marcio Oh look Mystic Meg 's turned up, with his own brand of delusion, it's always easy to talk big over the internet, even now when your down to 3 batsmen and still 151 runs behind you talk of setting a target. I've had a good laugh at what you've written throughout this series but now I really can't take you seriously.

  • on January 6, 2011, 16:45 GMT

    i think australians were over confident when england arrived from second test match australians couldnt come back. pakistan has good chance to win against newzeland seriies in newzeland to put their selfs on number 5 position where australia is.

  • phoenixsteve on January 6, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    A thourouhg and very professional performance by England who have totally outplayed/outclssed and outgunned Australia. The debate now seems to be whether England are a really good side or whether Australia are so bad? I can't believe that suddenly the Aussies ahve become so poor and I'm more inclined to believe that England are very good (maybe not the best they can become YET) and that the Aussies have suffered a poor run of form which has been amplified by England's talent, organisation, good form, excellent leadership/management and above all DESIRE TO WIN! Ponting (still avery classy player) had had a miserable series. The selectors have come in for criticism and yielded with selections like Khawaja, Smith, Beer and the flip-flopping of quicks. None of these newbies has shown any real talent and for Australia Khwaja's failure at 3 at least leaves a gap to the return of Punter! Australia would be CRAZY to discard Ricky because he stil has so much to offer. Well done England - next..

  • on January 6, 2011, 16:39 GMT

    This is what Test Cricket is supposed to be! I have had to forgo a lot of sleep to see the live streaming of this Ashes Series here in Trinidad and Tobago. It is a pity that the West Indies has allowed its membership of this elite club to lapse for so long. Congratulations to England and Australia for a most enjoyable Ashes Series.

  • chiggers on January 6, 2011, 16:38 GMT

    Well having seen Marcio's comments here and jonesy2's elsewhere, it looks like my observation was correct. You need help, guys - and I'm not talking about your cricket team...

  • SettingSun on January 6, 2011, 16:36 GMT

    @vikram_roy - there was another test series going on?

  • on January 6, 2011, 16:30 GMT

    This shows that AUSTRALIA'S DOMINANCE IS ALL OVER.What a wonderful match it was for ENGLAND starting from the very first day.Hats of to COLLINGWOOD, ENGLAND would surely miss him in the coming tests.

  • Herbet on January 6, 2011, 16:19 GMT

    Good to see plenty still underestimating England, long may it continue. We have weaker batting than India, but so does everyone else, our bowlers are far superior to theirs, and if you cant take 20 wickets... South Africa have 1 opening bowler better than ours and a tougher, slightly stronger middle order. But they have no spinner, 1 quick who is picked for political reasons and 1 opener who could well be likewise. They are far from a complete side, Morkel is still eratic and Boucher and Kallis aren't getting any younger. I'd back us to see them of in the seam friendly conditions they have had in South Africa this summer.

  • on January 6, 2011, 15:49 GMT

    Awesome perfomence by england.... i think england side much better than SA &INDIA... im just waiting england play against india

  • Crazy_Cricket_Fan on January 6, 2011, 15:22 GMT

    m_baker: I agree with you..congrats to ENG team.. but are they really super talented for 3-1 or 5-0? my answer is definitely NO...in last 25 years i've never seen ENG as good & consistent team..they won only if opposition let them...there was no fire/dominance in their game(including in current ashes)...they r looking better coz aus were toooooo bad..check wht hpnd in home series with PAK few months back...

  • on January 6, 2011, 15:19 GMT

    What has surprised me about the Aussies virtually all thro this series, with a couple of notable exceptions, is their apparent lack of resolution... There just doesn't seem to be any appetite for a fight. They are most unlike any Aussie team I've watched over the years who would have fought tooth and nail to regain the Ashes. For all their pre-series chat, this generation seems to not only lack the skills but also the backbone of their predecessors.

  • landl47 on January 6, 2011, 15:12 GMT

    @m_baker: so England isn't good, it's just that Australia is bad? Some pretty sour grapes there. An England team that wasn't playing as well as this one drew the test series with SA in SA and won the ODI series. This year we play Sri Lanka and India in England and we'll get an idea of how we shape up against them then. It's just possible that Australia aren't that bad and England really are good. We'll see in the next few years.

  • Truemans_Ghost on January 6, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    m_baker..... days of empire have been over for a couple hundred years? Interesting historical perspective. Could be argued that it was at a cusp c.1811 after the loss of the American colonies and before the peak of the asian and Australiasian colonies and before the real establishment of the empire in Africa. I'd hardly say it was "over" in the early 19th Century, however.

  • on January 6, 2011, 14:20 GMT

    Stats speaks for themselves.. Aus -100's -3 (2 batsmen) v Eng - 100's 9 (6 batsmen) Bat.Avg: Aus - 63-45 ( 3 bat) v Eng - 127-44 (six batsmen) Catches Aus - 33 vs Eng-64 Bowling: Wkts: Aus - 15/14/11(3 bowlers) v Eng - 23/16/14/14/11 (5 bowlers) Pace Bowling Avg: Aus - 74/59/37/34/25 Vs Eng - 36/33/26/23/17 Spinners : Aus - 5 wkts between 4 bowlers at 102/110/112/138* (smith with 0 wkts) v Eng - swann - 14 wkts at 42 Aus missed katich, hauritz (tait, lee, clark) and England have found contributing replacements for injured broad and finn. If Ponting needed any motivation to start afresh,look at Kallis and play absolutely selfish for runs and more runs; he has 3 more years of cricket left in him. As for captains, I believe Dhoni is just lucky , that he has great players in their prime at his disposal, He too may see Aus-this-series kind of stats in near future.

  • CaptainPedant on January 6, 2011, 14:19 GMT

    m_baker, most of us Up Over couldn't tell you a thing about the Empire and don't care two hoots about it, while a fair number of ex-colonials whose grandfathers might have lived under the Empire still seem to be nursing big chips on their shoulders about it. Let's stay on topic - the cricket. Twenty years of dominance, a hiccup or two and now the decline and fall, and as one of the great Empire poets put it, "lo, all [y]our pomp of yesterday is one with Nineveh and Tyre". We'll be watching your climb back up the ladder in the same spirit of brotherly friendship as you've greeted English sides to your shores all this time. ;)

  • vichan on January 6, 2011, 14:14 GMT

    @m_barker "England doesn't have the talent [to win in SA and India]. Sorry. The days of empire are over for you": Firstly, what's all this nonsense about empire? I thought this is a cricket website. Secondly, I distinctly remember these message boards being littered with comments before the Ashes began about England not having the talent to win in Australia. That myth has well and truly being dispelled, as we can see. Thirdly, England's last two series in SA have been a win and a draw. In India it's been a draw and a narrow loss. Those England teams were inferior to these, so I think the current set of players would certainly have a decent chance. Anyway based on current form, England are probably better than either SA or India I would say.

  • Chapelau on January 6, 2011, 14:04 GMT

    @m_Baker - you make a good point that England have to do well in SA and India to become No.1. Recent series in the past few yrs with SA have been tight as both teams have improved. The key is that the abilities of BOTH teams need to be taken into account. India are an aging team with the best batting side in the world, but usually only 1 (Zak) or sometimes 2 (HS) good bowlers. England's bowlers hunt as a pack and have strength in depth. Again, SA have a great batting side - though not as good as India, but only have two bowlers (albeit world class quicks) and no spin.

  • Marcio on January 6, 2011, 13:53 GMT

    Ah, Mr Wombat, loud as usual when things are going well. Strangely, I don't seem to recall you responding to my bet, nor the bet I put to you before the Perth game. BTW, you never responded to my comments AFTER that game either. Wot, Gawd blimey, me bleedin' internet connection wuz deuwn! Anyway, why would I pay up? The game is not finished! We have 3 batsmen left and all day to set you a decent target. And God has undoubtedly run out of the unfeasible number of blessings he has so far bestowed upon your team. See ya at the World cup , where we are going for number 4 in a row!

  • DavidJeyaraj on January 6, 2011, 13:43 GMT

    "Awesome England" could be added to the link on the main page with "Awful Australia". If only they can manage the unimaginable clean sweep in their next stop, Sri Lanka, England can reach the no. 2 spot in test rankings.

  • on January 6, 2011, 13:30 GMT

    M Baker - not sure what you are getting at. I am just pleased we beat the Aussies, its great to see the team so dominant. I am not sure how good this team are, because Australia have been so pitiful, but one step at a time. I assume you are talking about being the no1 team in the world? Not sure why beating a poor test team should mean England should now expect to be number 1.

    Whats once having an empire got to do with cricket? It really is an odd statment to make. Also, Great Britain (not England) lost the empire 60 years ago, not 200. In fact 200 years ago there wasn't an empire at all!

  • CricketKeeper on January 6, 2011, 13:12 GMT

    At least this time Watson was gracious enough to run himself out, not his partner. England have shown such exceptional talent and depth thereof in this series that I will be keen to see how they fare against South Africa and India - both are formidable challenges but the Poms are coming off the back of an elevating 3-1 Ashes series where India and SA are coming from a disappointingly drawn series and the influence those results have on morale musn't be underestimated.

  • kdcricket on January 6, 2011, 13:07 GMT

    In my view, this outcome is the best Aussies could have done. Actually it should have been 5-0 in England's favor. Actually Aussies did not play that badly. They had bowlers who had been serving the country for last 2-3 years and doing it quite well. The fact is they were well and truly outclassed in this series and as this is the core team of the future in terms of bowling resources, bad times are going to last for some time.

  • 5wombats on January 6, 2011, 13:04 GMT

    @Tim Van Der Laan; the "end of the era" came at the Oval in 2005 - arguably before - with the dropping of Gillespie earlier in the series. You could see why "the greats" wanted to stay on - revenge in 2006/7. Nobody at the top of Australian cricket could see where that was going to lead - they just assumed that being Australian they would just turn up and win - like at Adelaide in 2006 - the most sickening Ashes test in my lifetime. That 5-0 drubbing caused England to get smart. Ashes defeat in 2009 should have been a warning - as should England drawing the series in SA 1-1, and failure to beat Pakistan in England in bowler friendly conditions. Unless they were blind Cricket Australia could not fail to see the problems with their bowling unit, Johnson in particular. I thought Aus were average in 2009 - and they have declined, Ponting and Clarke especially. Meanwhile, England have improved significantly. So 5-0 has led 4 years later to 1-3 and Australia only have themselves to blame.

  • on January 6, 2011, 12:54 GMT

    awesome performance by the English-men............ Showed the aussies that its high time to pullup their socks...its almost losing its earlier elasticity ......

  • on January 6, 2011, 12:49 GMT

    Seriously this is the Worst Australian team I have seen from the time I used to understand International Cricket, maybe from 1997 onwards. It's time to make Big changes in Aussie team. Michael Clarke doesn't deserve to be captain, he doesn't deserve to be in team for that matter. Michael Hussey also seems to be tired of saving the team again and again.

  • on January 6, 2011, 12:46 GMT

    @ m-baker.

    Last two England tours of SA - We won one and drew the other. Not sure where you get your facts from mate.

  • on January 6, 2011, 12:43 GMT

    Certain booky (The one named after a powerful irishman) after 3rd test game 15/1 for England to win the last 2 tests, 33 to one to win both and one of them by an innings, and 200/1 to win both by an innings. They even had a "give you back losing bets" offer on for it (don't know how that works mathematically - but it was there)

    Man - I wish I'd put a tenner on that. In fact I wish I'd sold my house...

  • on January 6, 2011, 12:40 GMT

    @m-baker. England fan here, just thought you'd like to know that we'd probably have Shane Watson but he'd be batting down at 6 or 7. No one else would even be in the second team.

    As for England not having the talent to beat India let's see, they're in England next July.

  • vikram_roy on January 6, 2011, 12:36 GMT

    What a poor uninteresting one-sided series... you guys should have watched the india SA series.. thats what test cricket is all about. Learn from them.

  • jpa170478 on January 6, 2011, 12:21 GMT

    Would disagree that this is a terrible Australia team, but would agree they have been awful, the Bradmanesque form of Cook, and great form of Strauss v the terrible form of Ponting and Clarke. Lets not forget the great English bowling, think the English bowlers are currently the best group in the world, SA are close but don't have the spin bowler of Swann's quality. But it has been incredible just how uncompetitive we (Australia have been), almost beating India at home in the 1st test , in India where we have always struggled. Looking towards the future Australia needs to not overreact and be patient with the development of the young batsman and have a good mix of stability, Khawaja at 3, Ponting at 6. English need to celebrate then move on and look to how they compete with India and SA. Time for India, SA and England and to some extent Sri Lanka step up and show who deserves to be number 1.......before we come back

  • hyclass on January 6, 2011, 12:10 GMT

    I applaud england whole heartedly for aspiring to lift its standards through genuine work ethic and principles of courage and excellence. The men employed to coach them are of the highest calibre. Both the head coach, Andy Flower and the bowling coach David Saker are genuinely tough men who never take a backward step. They are backed by a well selected side and good match plans. Men who have failed here before have learned their lessons and achieved incomparable results. In reply, the australian team has been, for a number of years, the worst selected, worst coached and worst managed side. It has learned no lessons. Its standards have dropped exponentially. Players who once could play have lost skills. Others have been ruined inexplicably. Others with great success at first class level have not been selected while players with no credibility have been. The Perth pitch suddenly developed alarming bounce.Only Hussey who debuted on it in 1994/95 tamed it. Has it really come to that?

  • coeurlion on January 6, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    I was the eternal optimist at the the start of the series, I predicted Aus 3-1. It's looking like I got the margin right, but the team wrong! However, I must say, well played England. England have been far superior this series... a VERY bitter pill to swallow as an Aussie. We've been thoroughly outplayed... and at home too! I (luckily) saw on the TV a certain England fan I remembered from 06/07. From an 0-5 whitewash to this! Enjoy it mate, after all those years of hurt, your team deserved it. As for Australian team? *sigh* Our aura is well and truly gone, and it looks as bleak as Hughes and the early 80's. Well, we've got to knuckle down, go back to basics and get some new blood in and start again. (even pinch a few ideas from England... like recognising talent like Cook and Anderson) Smith and Khawaja are a start. Both are young, Smith is very unformed... is he a bowling/batting all-rounder, or a specialist spin option? Usie... good technique and temperament, but needs more work.

  • hyclass on January 6, 2011, 11:46 GMT

    I wonder if even this latest disgracefull episode will be enough to create the right kind of change in australian cricket. It is the scar if insincerity, self- servitude and extreme ineptitude that have haunted our national team since the appointments of CEO Sutherland, Nielsen and Hilditch. Only after their removal and the distancing of the highly influential Ponting, can a genuine rebuilding take place. It should have taken place 2 years ago. Hodge was banished with an average of 55 in 2008 with scores of 67 and 27 in his last test.David Hussey with an incredible record was never chosen. Why? How australia might now have used their skill and guts. Hauritz, the worlds most improved test player was dropped. The Sth Africans would fail to recognise the timid Hughes of 2010/2011-the same player who at 20, boldly flayed Dale Steyn, still the worlds best bowler, for 415 runs at 68 . What have they done to he and the rest of our team. Surely the men in charge must be branded unaustralian.

  • one-on-the-arm on January 6, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    Congratulations England-well done! The writing was on the wall for Australia before a ball was bowled. When Andrew McDonald hit two tons in three days against a full-strength NSW side in Sydney and did not make the 'short-list' of 17 best players in the country, it was obvious the selectors had no time for form or experience. True, McDonald probably would not have pushed out Watson as the all-rounder, but the message was devastating for any aspiring (and in-form) shield player. After enjoying watching the well drilled Vics for the past 4-5 seasons, I seriously thought their time had come as there were spots up for grabs in the Australian side. Instead selectors threw guys with limited experience into the mix, promoted out of form players - well everyone knows the rest. So Hussey, White, McDonald, Klinger etc now deemed too old or whatever and a whole generation of seasoned, talented and tough cricketers miss their chance. We'll never know what might have been...

  • butterBum on January 6, 2011, 11:40 GMT

    Finally a Aussie cricket team is feeling the pressure to perform.poor guys reputation their predecessors had is taking a heavy toll on the new and upcoming cricketers. They badly miss the experience ,skill and presence of the 'blond spinning wheel' that turns anything it comes in contact with " ball r gal ", warnnie Australia needs you more than ever.please give 'ball' another chance.

  • NayNay on January 6, 2011, 11:31 GMT

    Aus cricket.. The fat lady has sung!

  • cricketman96 on January 6, 2011, 11:23 GMT

    What a fall of the mighty.The once invincible Aussies are now struggling big time.Australia lacks bowling dept.At times their crease occupation has been surprisingly dismal.Like any other sport if one aspect of your game is lacking the other parts suffer.Opposing teams continue to score heavily against them.A score of 400+ should put any team in a position of strength, but not Australia as demonstrated by their recent tour of India.Twice the Aussies scored heavily in the first innings of both test,but went on to lose. Now England are having their way in this Ashes series.500+ runs has now become the norm rather than the exception 4 England on the tour.If you want to demoralize a team and deflate their enthusiasm, continue 2 score heavily.And thats what England has done consistently. Well done England.You richly deserve d success you are having lately.England are playing excellent overall cricket,bowling batting and fielding well. Aussies!you got some work to do.LOVELY CRICKET.

  • rohanbala on January 6, 2011, 11:17 GMT

    @ Tim Van Der Laan.. A thorough shake up is needed in the Australian camp. The chairman of selectors, his co-selectors and the coach should be asked to put in their papers. I vaguely remember that some years ago, the then australian selectors bore the ire of the public by having them say "Are you blind?" when one of them said that their team is doing quite well. I wonder what is in store for the current team of selectors when the Sydney test ends tomorrow.

  • on January 6, 2011, 11:16 GMT

    It is now official. There has been an end of a dawn of Cricket Australia. Now CA doesn't posses the teeth for which world has known to it. The bowling of Australia is worse than ordinary, the batting have no real skill which can deal with quality bowling. Don't know what impact Mike Clarke will make. CA seem to be clusless over succeeding captain as Mike Clarke has not been promising enough either.

    The real test for England would be against India and Africa, not only on their home turf but in England even. I doubt if England can beat India/Africa even on its own soil.

  • chiggers on January 6, 2011, 11:08 GMT

    Somewhere at a bar in Cloud Cuckoo Land, jonesy2, marcio and popcorn are sitting, discussing how Hilfenhaus and Beer will rack up 500 runs by tea tomorrow and then Johnson and Smith will bowl out England in a single session to level the series and start a new golden era for Australian cricket.

    Take off the blinkers, guys; open the other eye. It isn't going to happen; it's over, the gig's up. Go away, put up a few statues of Ricky, stick some pins in effigies of the selectors. Get some denial therapy, realise that it isn't 10 years ago any more. Start to move on; try saying these words to start the process:

    'Well done England, you were the better side and deserved to beat Australia'

    Hopefully in a couple of years time you will be able to come to England and have recovered enough to make it a competitive series. To paraphrase the dolphins in Douglas Adams Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - 'Goodbye and thanks for all the laughs'

  • Guernica on January 6, 2011, 11:07 GMT

    Like many people (barring a minority of Aussie fans still living in the past) I was expecting a very close series before the start. However this England team continues to amaze me with their professionalism and ruthlessness. It's just such a turn-around from the dark days of the nineties. You can argue that the Australia team is playing very badly, but the way England have hammered home the advantage when they've got on top has been exceptional.

  • ell_bee on January 6, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    I think the odds on sports bet for England to win this series (3-1) was about 25/1. After watching the Australian performance this summer, a realistic figure should have been about 6/4. Since the departure of Buchanan this team has gone backward - yeah I know that mcGrath, Hayden Gilly etc have gone but this team is without purpose and the talent that is there is just not coached. Lets hope that board of Australian Cricket has a look through what we armchair enthusiast's have been saying throughout this series about talent, selections, captaincy and players who just should not be there. A prominent journalist our coach Teflon Tim - I say Tim who?

  • Guernica on January 6, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    @m_baker. We would certainly take Hussey at number 5 please if you were offering. A top bloke and a great competitor, though it would be a pretty short-term option for maybe 2 years. But yes, I agree there would be no other player from this Aussie team that I would want in the current England side. I Don't really understand your comments about the 'Empire' though, can you explain? I certainly think England are capable of beating South Africa on their own turf - just look at their performance in Durban last year. And by the time they next play in India I don't think the Indian side will be as strong.

  • Philsy on January 6, 2011, 10:47 GMT

    It would be a very one-sided draw if the rain stopped England winning 3-1 tomorrow, as yet again they have proved far the superior side. Has Australia lost by an innings on 3 occasions in the same test series in living memory? For Bell, Pietersen, Anderson, and Strauss, it must taste very sweet after the 2007 debacle, they havc responded to the pressure, the heat, and the parochial local media in the best way possible-and mostly without silly media mind games and talking themselves up. They have done the talking where it matters most, with bat and ball, an historic series victory, I can't remember such a dominant effort in Australia since West Indies at their peak or Hadlee's efforts for NZ in 85/86. Maybe the Aussies, not to mention their struggling NZ counterparts, should go scouting for a few players from South Africa? Hmmm.

  • SettingSun on January 6, 2011, 10:37 GMT

    Where art thou, @popcorn? Gone very quiet now, hasn't it? Australia have been humiliated and, next summer, we will prove we are the best team in the world.

  • Herbet on January 6, 2011, 10:36 GMT

    m_baker "The days of empire are over for you and have been for a couple hundred years." What does that have to do with anything? Spain's empire crumbled long before ours did but they have still managed to win the football World Cup!! Thats one of the stupidest statments I have ever read. England cant beat India in India or the Saffers down there end because we dont have an Empire anymore. Ok.

  • SprinklerSam on January 6, 2011, 10:32 GMT

    @Marcio - Another lucky win for England :) Australia are obviously far superior, just haven't had any luck...

  • on January 6, 2011, 10:27 GMT

    i would love to know what australia tactics were to the english top 6. because what i can see is, they didn't do any homework on them and the top 6, they have weaknesses and instead of bowling to their weaknesses. our bowlers bowled them back into form. it's embarrassing. if they don't change anything after the farce i am not going to support them any more. i have been following the australian cricket team for 25 years. i also would like to know if the umpires checked the ball at all during the australians second innings

  • on January 6, 2011, 10:14 GMT

    @marcio: what happened to the 2-all prediction , mate?

  • m_baker on January 6, 2011, 10:03 GMT

    land47, Australia was thrashed. The most awful Australian team in perhaps 50 years. With the worst captain(s). Happy? In Australia, we used to ask if anyone in opposing teams could squeeze into the Aust 11. In 2006/7 maybe you could get Flintoff and Peterson in but no one else. Now, in 2011, there is no Australian player who could get into the English 11. It really is true. 3-1 is an understatement. England thoroughly deserved 5-0. But what England has to do is beat SA and India on their own turf. That will be the acid test. I doubt they will. England doesn't have the talent. Sorry. The days of empire are over for you and have been for a couple hundred years.

  • clutch28 on January 6, 2011, 9:30 GMT

    At first I thought this series was going to be a clash of two rather even sides and that the series would come down to the final day at the SCG. Well, I was right at least on the final day part. What I'm still shocked over is the generally poor performances the Aussies keep putting out. Perth none withstanding, but the Aussie lineup apart from a revitalized Hussey and when Watson isn't making mental errors, consistency; it's looked shaky and flat. The bowling attack apart from Siddle has been a sheer nightmare and has yet to be settled. Even the fielding on the Aussie side has been a shade below par. Yet England have been class in every department. the batting has been resourceful and resolute, the bowling tight and dangerous and the fielding has been some of the crispest I've seen displayed from and England team ever. England right now are playing like they are the number one Test team in the World, not number 3. Australia is playing like they are number 7, not 4.

  • on January 6, 2011, 9:29 GMT

    chasejp i am indian the true is england is too strong than australia. as collingwood says its start for england after winning t20 world cup.

  • rgk1974 on January 6, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    Absolutely brilliant, couldn't have asked for more from the lads. BUt where is Mervo? Mervo? are you there? ha ha ha ha

  • 5wombats on January 6, 2011, 9:08 GMT

    @Marcio; England to win at Sydney 11/8. Remember? I won my bet...... What are you going to blame it on? We'd all love to know. Perspective mate, perspective.

  • on January 6, 2011, 9:05 GMT

    @ Okakaboka, the problem with watson as an opener is that he only has 2 shots, the block, and the whack. it works fine 1st up when the ball is hard and he's facing attacking fields, as he can relieve pressure with the whack. but as soon as the ball goes a bit softer and teams set more defensive fields, he loses his only pressure release, gets caught up in 2 minds, and either gets himself out, or runs his partner out. if he could turn a few more dot balls into 1's and 1's into 2's he'd be excellent. as he cant, i'd suggest finding an actual opening batsman and dropping him to 6, where he can do a bit more bowling. at the moment, the aussies are only getting 70% out of him, through no inherent fault of his own

  • on January 6, 2011, 8:52 GMT

    Well said by landl47. As an Aussie fan it absolutely pains me to see the end of an era our Test team, which we've managed to extend by several years through relying on some of our older players and our openers. However now it seems the wheels are finally coming off, and while indeed we have not had the rub off the green, England have been the far superior team all summer. While a lot has been made of the Aussies batting collapses, I actually feel the bowling attack is the biggest problem facing the new captain. No consistency, no swing, no seam, no spin, no wicket-taking ability, no threat. And looking ahead at the young bowling/batting stocks, I'd say this will remain the same. Australia have some very promising young batsmen coming through, but the bowling (especially spin) looks to be dead. Anyway, congratulations England!

  • Okakaboka on January 6, 2011, 8:20 GMT

    This was a really poor effort again! Watson is a liability as an opener...yeah he consistently makes 40 to 60 but.....if he runs his partner out every second innings then his average should be reduced by 33%. That now makes him a failure in the opening role. Clarke....I AM SICK OF THE HYPE...even in this article: "It took all of Clarke's skill to survive as long as he did but..." WHAT????? Was he batting on the same track that our bowling attack got carted on a few hours earlier. Face it...Our bowlers are not up to it...Our batsmen are plain stupid...look at the rediculous shots played when we had to bat for 2 days....as for Watson's run out...DURRRRRR!!!! As for the Captaincy...Pathetic!...just as nearly all non NSW bloggers predicted.

  • chasejp on January 6, 2011, 8:09 GMT

    Hussey also seems to have joined the other batsmen and has refused to stand out. This is quite unbelievable. Is Australia such a bad team or is it that England too strong? It is not about Ponting or Clarke, there is a lack of confidence in the whole team. No will to fight! No pride at stake! Just going through the motions.

  • landl47 on January 6, 2011, 7:57 GMT

    Another great day for England, who have got stronger and stronger as the tour has gone on. Once again it was a team effort; everyone has contributed (even Collingwood took Mike Hussey's wicket in the first innings) and everyone has shared the jubilation created by the team's success. Three wickets tomorrow and England will have beaten Australia by an innings three times in a series in their own backyard. I never thought I'd live to see the day. I'm just guessing we won't get any comments from Marcio, popcorn, jonesy2, Something_Witty and a few of the other Aussie fans, but I want to say that it's been fun sharing the banter with you guys and I have the utmost respect for Australians and the Aussie cricket team. England have a long way to go to make up for 1990-2005, not to mention 2006/7, but three series out of the last 4 isn't a bad start to laying the ghosts.

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  • landl47 on January 6, 2011, 7:57 GMT

    Another great day for England, who have got stronger and stronger as the tour has gone on. Once again it was a team effort; everyone has contributed (even Collingwood took Mike Hussey's wicket in the first innings) and everyone has shared the jubilation created by the team's success. Three wickets tomorrow and England will have beaten Australia by an innings three times in a series in their own backyard. I never thought I'd live to see the day. I'm just guessing we won't get any comments from Marcio, popcorn, jonesy2, Something_Witty and a few of the other Aussie fans, but I want to say that it's been fun sharing the banter with you guys and I have the utmost respect for Australians and the Aussie cricket team. England have a long way to go to make up for 1990-2005, not to mention 2006/7, but three series out of the last 4 isn't a bad start to laying the ghosts.

  • chasejp on January 6, 2011, 8:09 GMT

    Hussey also seems to have joined the other batsmen and has refused to stand out. This is quite unbelievable. Is Australia such a bad team or is it that England too strong? It is not about Ponting or Clarke, there is a lack of confidence in the whole team. No will to fight! No pride at stake! Just going through the motions.

  • Okakaboka on January 6, 2011, 8:20 GMT

    This was a really poor effort again! Watson is a liability as an opener...yeah he consistently makes 40 to 60 but.....if he runs his partner out every second innings then his average should be reduced by 33%. That now makes him a failure in the opening role. Clarke....I AM SICK OF THE HYPE...even in this article: "It took all of Clarke's skill to survive as long as he did but..." WHAT????? Was he batting on the same track that our bowling attack got carted on a few hours earlier. Face it...Our bowlers are not up to it...Our batsmen are plain stupid...look at the rediculous shots played when we had to bat for 2 days....as for Watson's run out...DURRRRRR!!!! As for the Captaincy...Pathetic!...just as nearly all non NSW bloggers predicted.

  • on January 6, 2011, 8:52 GMT

    Well said by landl47. As an Aussie fan it absolutely pains me to see the end of an era our Test team, which we've managed to extend by several years through relying on some of our older players and our openers. However now it seems the wheels are finally coming off, and while indeed we have not had the rub off the green, England have been the far superior team all summer. While a lot has been made of the Aussies batting collapses, I actually feel the bowling attack is the biggest problem facing the new captain. No consistency, no swing, no seam, no spin, no wicket-taking ability, no threat. And looking ahead at the young bowling/batting stocks, I'd say this will remain the same. Australia have some very promising young batsmen coming through, but the bowling (especially spin) looks to be dead. Anyway, congratulations England!

  • on January 6, 2011, 9:05 GMT

    @ Okakaboka, the problem with watson as an opener is that he only has 2 shots, the block, and the whack. it works fine 1st up when the ball is hard and he's facing attacking fields, as he can relieve pressure with the whack. but as soon as the ball goes a bit softer and teams set more defensive fields, he loses his only pressure release, gets caught up in 2 minds, and either gets himself out, or runs his partner out. if he could turn a few more dot balls into 1's and 1's into 2's he'd be excellent. as he cant, i'd suggest finding an actual opening batsman and dropping him to 6, where he can do a bit more bowling. at the moment, the aussies are only getting 70% out of him, through no inherent fault of his own

  • 5wombats on January 6, 2011, 9:08 GMT

    @Marcio; England to win at Sydney 11/8. Remember? I won my bet...... What are you going to blame it on? We'd all love to know. Perspective mate, perspective.

  • rgk1974 on January 6, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    Absolutely brilliant, couldn't have asked for more from the lads. BUt where is Mervo? Mervo? are you there? ha ha ha ha

  • on January 6, 2011, 9:29 GMT

    chasejp i am indian the true is england is too strong than australia. as collingwood says its start for england after winning t20 world cup.

  • clutch28 on January 6, 2011, 9:30 GMT

    At first I thought this series was going to be a clash of two rather even sides and that the series would come down to the final day at the SCG. Well, I was right at least on the final day part. What I'm still shocked over is the generally poor performances the Aussies keep putting out. Perth none withstanding, but the Aussie lineup apart from a revitalized Hussey and when Watson isn't making mental errors, consistency; it's looked shaky and flat. The bowling attack apart from Siddle has been a sheer nightmare and has yet to be settled. Even the fielding on the Aussie side has been a shade below par. Yet England have been class in every department. the batting has been resourceful and resolute, the bowling tight and dangerous and the fielding has been some of the crispest I've seen displayed from and England team ever. England right now are playing like they are the number one Test team in the World, not number 3. Australia is playing like they are number 7, not 4.

  • m_baker on January 6, 2011, 10:03 GMT

    land47, Australia was thrashed. The most awful Australian team in perhaps 50 years. With the worst captain(s). Happy? In Australia, we used to ask if anyone in opposing teams could squeeze into the Aust 11. In 2006/7 maybe you could get Flintoff and Peterson in but no one else. Now, in 2011, there is no Australian player who could get into the English 11. It really is true. 3-1 is an understatement. England thoroughly deserved 5-0. But what England has to do is beat SA and India on their own turf. That will be the acid test. I doubt they will. England doesn't have the talent. Sorry. The days of empire are over for you and have been for a couple hundred years.