Australia v England, 5th Test, Sydney, 5th day January 7, 2011

Unstoppable England create their own history

45

England were kept waiting for their moment of sweet release - an hour and 53 minutes in fact - until Chris Tremlett kicked a length ball off the inside edge and into the stumps of Australia's No. 11, Michael Beer. But far from being a frustration, their leisurely saunter to victory was an opportunity to soak in a day that will live with these players until they are buried as far into history as Douglas Jardine, Len Hutton, Ray Illingworth, and every other England cricketer who has played a part in winning an Ashes series in Australia.

"It's going to be a dressing room full of pride this afternoon," said England's victorious captain, Andrew Strauss. "And probably a bit of alcohol I would have thought." Some six hours after the final wicket had fallen, Strauss was true to his word, as he and his unsteady team-mates staggered out to the precise spot where Beer had been bowled, and sat in a circle to crack open some stubbies and suck in that winning feeling.

A crowd of 19,274 rolled through the turnstiles free of charge on the final day of the series, and some 17,000 of those were ecstatic England fans, parked down at third man at the Randwick End and rattling through a repertoire of Barmy Army songs - "Swann will tear you apart", "That Mitchell Johnson …" - that are sure to appear in these players' dreams, for better (and in many Australians' cases for worse), for months and years to come.

It was a day punctuated by showers, and maybe even by tears, as Paul Collingwood - a self-proclaimed "softie" - was given the honour of leading the players down the pavilion steps and onto the field for his final day as a Test cricketer. It was also punctuated by a handful of meaty blows, as Steven Smith took the opportunity to snaffle his first Ashes half-century, a futile gesture that used to be England's stock-in-trade in situations such as this. But as each of England's players in turn responded to their fans' request for "a wave", it was clear that this was no ordinary morning of Ashes cricket. Not for a generation has an Australian defeat been so inevitable.

"It feels pretty special if I'm honest," said Strauss. "Until an Ashes series is finally over you've got half an eye on what's to come, so even in Melbourne we were still very conscious that we wanted to finish on a high and show people that we deserved to win this series. Now we've done that I think we can have a big sigh of relief and be very proud of what we've achieved, because not many sides have come out here and won, certainly not many that [have won] as emphatically as we did in the end."

England's triumph has been staggeringly conclusive, not merely because of the sizes of their victories or the magnitude of their statistical achievements, but for the breadth and depth of the contributors along the way. Alastair Cook's gargantuan tally of 766 runs in seven innings was the stand-out performance - maybe even of the decade, let alone the series - but as Michael Vaughan would testify, after racking up 633 in England's 4-1 defeat eight years ago, it would have counted for nothing without support from the other end.

It wasn't just support, but solidarity that Cook received along the way, as England turned the statistical tables after their peculiar triumph in 2009, and outscored Australia by nine centuries to three. Their final innings of the series, 644, was their highest of all time in Australia, and only their third 600-plus total in Ashes cricket since the second world war - the second of which, 5 for 620 declared, came three Tests ago in Adelaide. With 513 at Melbourne and that unforgettable 1 for 517 in the second innings at the Gabba, England even outstripped the Wally Hammond-powered campaign of 1928-29 in passing 500 on an unprecedented four separate occasions.

"It's not often you get as many people in great form as we've had on this tour, but when you do it's a pretty hard force to stop," said Strauss. "You've seen what our side's all about, it's about discipline and patience and building pressure, and relying on performances from all 11 people. What happens over the course of a series - and we found in 2006-07 - that once one side gets on top and wins emphatically once or twice, then it's very hard to come back at them. I think that's maybe where we got to in this Test match, because we were as confident as I've ever seen an England team."

The bowling, in its own way, was every bit as remarkable. With the exception of the second innings at the Gabba, where England were limited to 26 overs on a surface better suited to the Timeless Test of 1928-29, they claimed every single Australian wicket bar the injured Ryan Harris at Melbourne, and did so with a repertoire of seam, spin, swing and thrift that few imagined could come to them so easily in conditions that were thought to be so alien.

James Anderson is an unlikely name to bracket alongside Harold Larwood, Frank Tyson and John Snow - the out-and-out pacemen whose names are synonymous with the triumphs of 1932-33, 1954-55 and 1970-71. However, with 24 wickets at 26.04, and no more than four in any given innings, his claim to a place in that pantheon is immense. They said he would not be able to make the Kookaburra dance to his tune, and he demonstrated a mastery of every weapon a modern fast bowler could require; new-ball swing at Adelaide, conventional seam at Melbourne, and old-ball reverse at Sydney, as Australia's batting crumbled for the final time on another blameless surface.

More than anything, however, it was the frugality of England's methods that pushed Australia to the brink. As Strauss admitted in the aftermath of the Melbourne win, the greatest lesson of the 2006-07 whitewash had been the power of suffocation - never more aptly demonstrated than at Adelaide in that fateful second Test, when England's collapse was set in motion by a run-rate that never exceeded two an over.

So England adopted the technique, and adapted it to their own purposes. Stuart Broad may have claimed just two wickets at 80.50 in the series before succumbing to his stomach injury, but he set the benchmark for attrition by conceding his runs at just 2.30 an over, a policy that was adopted with staggering success by Tim Bresnan when his own turn came to front up in the festive finale. But above all there was Anderson, whom Australians recall for a four-ball an over four years ago, diligently buzzing along the party line, and following the exhortation of his bowling coach David Saker, that a cuttable delivery was the work of the devil.

"I certainly had a feeling after the last Ashes out here that the best way to compete out here is to strangle the opposition, especially Australia, I suppose," said Strauss. "In order to do that you need very accurate bowlers, and fortunately very accurate bowlers turned up at the right time for us. We knew pretty much what we were going to get out of them. We're very fortunate that those guys were able to deliver so the plan was able to work."

Little of what transpired, however, would have been possible without the holy ghost of England's Ashes-winning trinity, a set of fielders who, as a unit, can scarcely have been bettered in the team's entire Test history. Leading the line in that department - as he has done throughout his international career - was Paul Collingwood, whose nine catches were the most by any outfield player, and included the outstanding pluck of Ricky Ponting in the first innings at Perth. Meanwhile Jonathan Trott, a potential weak link, turned himself into a dead-eyed stalker at midwicket, from where he pinged down the stumps at Adelaide to run out Simon Katich without facing a ball, and set the standard for England's "perfect" Test.

"I think we have proved it is possible for English sides to win out here, and proved you don't need a mystery spinner or a guy that bowls at 95mph to do it," said Strauss. "You just need a lot of guys performing well and consistently. Australia will regenerate and come back strong, because that is the way Australian sport is, but I think we have overcome a barrier. But if we just turn up next time expecting to win we will get the treatment we have had for the last 24 years."

Whether Strauss returns in four years' time remains to be seen - the likelihood is that, at the age of 37, he will already have passed the reins to his deputy, Alastair Cook, whose formidable performance on this trip ensures he will be treated with nothing but reverence when he next sets foot on these shores. But as was the case in 2009, the time for proper reflection will have to wait until he's settled back in an armchair with his pipe and slippers,and no doubt replaying in his mind the images he accrued on a memorable final morning.

"I think at the end of my career I will sit back and think it is one of the most special times in my career definitely," he said. "But while I am captaining the side I am not doing my job properly if I am not looking forward to what is to come, and trying to get the guys to keep improving and going forward as a side. I can't pat myself on the back too much at this stage and even if I did I don't think my team-mates would let me."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dhurandhar007 on January 8, 2011, 18:25 GMT

    @5wombats: Also, just so you know, I am an Aussie supporter from India, and all series I have been waiting to see that special master class from Ponting. And I was hoping, even praying Australia will fight back to make it 2-2. Alas! They did not. And maybe that is a blessing in disguise as this might kick start an introspection and rebuilding otherwise Cricket will be much poorer without the Champion Aussies that tought the cricketing nations to score at 3.5 to 4 runs an over up from 1.5 to 2.

  • dhurandhar007 on January 8, 2011, 18:16 GMT

    @5wombats: I watched ASHES, INDIA-SA, now PAK-NZ, and was stating what I enjoyed. Apologies if I trespassed into your domain. Congrats if you support the English! If you support Aussies, I hope this will start a rebuild of Aussies into the champions that all love to hate. Now, I have seen some series where there is a big gap between two teams and one gets into a Zone where other can't touch them, let alone compete. One batting forever, all batters hitting century or double, record partnerships abound, and other team lacking firepower and shooting blanks. Dominant team & supporters may love it but is it exciting to neutral cricket lovers? Honestly INDIA-SA would not be enjoyable if Steyn, Kallis were injured and India won 3-0. A question would be how India would fare with Steyn playing. Similar question - how England would fare if a half decent Aussie attack is operating, like at Perth. I am just saying what is enjoyable to me and not trying to take anything away from the English win.

  • dhurandhar007 on January 8, 2011, 17:31 GMT

    @landl47: If you can not appreciate 166-3 in about 85 overs, and Sachin's 14 in about 100 balls and Gambhir's 60+ in about 5 hours, then you do not understand Test Cricket. You should watch only T20 or at best ODIs. In my mind Sachin's 14 in 100 balls was as good as a century in 30 balls.

  • JohnSilva on January 8, 2011, 17:21 GMT

    As the Aussies sledged, although with diminishing vigour as the series progressed, England romped home. Hope this rout dispels the belief held by some that sledging wins you matches and it will be consigned to the ashes once and for all. Let us restore cricket back to being a gentlemen's game (although it was never strictly one right from the time of WG Grace).

  • corpusninja on January 8, 2011, 16:43 GMT

    Let's put this into perspective. England have beaten a team in chronic decline throughout 2010. From a strictly cricketing perspective, this ranks amongst their least important (and consequently most worthless) series victories in recent memory, ignoring this irrational Ashes hysteria which goes with every series between these sides.

  • Aussasinator on January 8, 2011, 13:06 GMT

    A mouth watering spectacle would be a 5 test India-England series in England followed by one the next year in India. This pattern needs to be set. After all an India-England rivalry also can be awesome in a historical context and has never been worked upon because both teams have not been at the top of their games in the last decade until now. This is the moment to give a spark to such a series and save Test cricket.

  • 5wombats on January 8, 2011, 11:29 GMT

    @dhurandhar007; a lot of indians have strayed onto ASHES conversations here - and some not by accident. dhurandhar007 - not one single English poster on any ASHES conversation on cricinfo in the past 6 weeks ever said England were number 1 - check if you like. Sure; SA and Ind were well matched and Aus v Eng were not - but to suggest that the ASHES lacked intensity is just plain wrong. England v Australia is a very very special contest and deep down both sides and their followers have a fundamental respect for the fighting qualities of the other rooted in the very fabric of the game of cricket. Some Indians - and I'm not saying you dhurandhar007, just don't grasp this sporting respect. Instead, some indians here have displayed a real hatred of Australia and have come onto ASHES forums just simply to disrespect and lord it over an ailing Aus side. Pointless. We are not interested in indian cricketing affairs right now. In this ASHES series indian observations are irrelevent.

  • landl47 on January 8, 2011, 7:49 GMT

    England and India are at least playing a 4-game test series in England this year not just 3 games. While I would rather see a 5-game series and less ODIs, 4 games will give a pretty good idea of the relative strength of the two sides. @dhurandhar007- I don't recall any day of the Ashes series which produced 166-3 from 82 overs. If that's your idea of competitive, quality cricket, you're welcome to it.

  • stormy16 on January 8, 2011, 6:52 GMT

    Eng were absolutely sensational on all fronts and could not have planned for a better outcome. It was a case of evrything Eng touched turned to gold. All the batters except Colly churned the run while the bowlers were led by Anderson and well suported by all the others. What a team and what a performance and they have all the corners covered with bat and ball and most of all temperement and I cant see many teams beat this End team.

  • restive99 on January 8, 2011, 4:56 GMT

    Good on you English Cricket team. Australia is doomed

  • dhurandhar007 on January 8, 2011, 18:25 GMT

    @5wombats: Also, just so you know, I am an Aussie supporter from India, and all series I have been waiting to see that special master class from Ponting. And I was hoping, even praying Australia will fight back to make it 2-2. Alas! They did not. And maybe that is a blessing in disguise as this might kick start an introspection and rebuilding otherwise Cricket will be much poorer without the Champion Aussies that tought the cricketing nations to score at 3.5 to 4 runs an over up from 1.5 to 2.

  • dhurandhar007 on January 8, 2011, 18:16 GMT

    @5wombats: I watched ASHES, INDIA-SA, now PAK-NZ, and was stating what I enjoyed. Apologies if I trespassed into your domain. Congrats if you support the English! If you support Aussies, I hope this will start a rebuild of Aussies into the champions that all love to hate. Now, I have seen some series where there is a big gap between two teams and one gets into a Zone where other can't touch them, let alone compete. One batting forever, all batters hitting century or double, record partnerships abound, and other team lacking firepower and shooting blanks. Dominant team & supporters may love it but is it exciting to neutral cricket lovers? Honestly INDIA-SA would not be enjoyable if Steyn, Kallis were injured and India won 3-0. A question would be how India would fare with Steyn playing. Similar question - how England would fare if a half decent Aussie attack is operating, like at Perth. I am just saying what is enjoyable to me and not trying to take anything away from the English win.

  • dhurandhar007 on January 8, 2011, 17:31 GMT

    @landl47: If you can not appreciate 166-3 in about 85 overs, and Sachin's 14 in about 100 balls and Gambhir's 60+ in about 5 hours, then you do not understand Test Cricket. You should watch only T20 or at best ODIs. In my mind Sachin's 14 in 100 balls was as good as a century in 30 balls.

  • JohnSilva on January 8, 2011, 17:21 GMT

    As the Aussies sledged, although with diminishing vigour as the series progressed, England romped home. Hope this rout dispels the belief held by some that sledging wins you matches and it will be consigned to the ashes once and for all. Let us restore cricket back to being a gentlemen's game (although it was never strictly one right from the time of WG Grace).

  • corpusninja on January 8, 2011, 16:43 GMT

    Let's put this into perspective. England have beaten a team in chronic decline throughout 2010. From a strictly cricketing perspective, this ranks amongst their least important (and consequently most worthless) series victories in recent memory, ignoring this irrational Ashes hysteria which goes with every series between these sides.

  • Aussasinator on January 8, 2011, 13:06 GMT

    A mouth watering spectacle would be a 5 test India-England series in England followed by one the next year in India. This pattern needs to be set. After all an India-England rivalry also can be awesome in a historical context and has never been worked upon because both teams have not been at the top of their games in the last decade until now. This is the moment to give a spark to such a series and save Test cricket.

  • 5wombats on January 8, 2011, 11:29 GMT

    @dhurandhar007; a lot of indians have strayed onto ASHES conversations here - and some not by accident. dhurandhar007 - not one single English poster on any ASHES conversation on cricinfo in the past 6 weeks ever said England were number 1 - check if you like. Sure; SA and Ind were well matched and Aus v Eng were not - but to suggest that the ASHES lacked intensity is just plain wrong. England v Australia is a very very special contest and deep down both sides and their followers have a fundamental respect for the fighting qualities of the other rooted in the very fabric of the game of cricket. Some Indians - and I'm not saying you dhurandhar007, just don't grasp this sporting respect. Instead, some indians here have displayed a real hatred of Australia and have come onto ASHES forums just simply to disrespect and lord it over an ailing Aus side. Pointless. We are not interested in indian cricketing affairs right now. In this ASHES series indian observations are irrelevent.

  • landl47 on January 8, 2011, 7:49 GMT

    England and India are at least playing a 4-game test series in England this year not just 3 games. While I would rather see a 5-game series and less ODIs, 4 games will give a pretty good idea of the relative strength of the two sides. @dhurandhar007- I don't recall any day of the Ashes series which produced 166-3 from 82 overs. If that's your idea of competitive, quality cricket, you're welcome to it.

  • stormy16 on January 8, 2011, 6:52 GMT

    Eng were absolutely sensational on all fronts and could not have planned for a better outcome. It was a case of evrything Eng touched turned to gold. All the batters except Colly churned the run while the bowlers were led by Anderson and well suported by all the others. What a team and what a performance and they have all the corners covered with bat and ball and most of all temperement and I cant see many teams beat this End team.

  • restive99 on January 8, 2011, 4:56 GMT

    Good on you English Cricket team. Australia is doomed

  • dhurandhar007 on January 8, 2011, 3:54 GMT

    I have been watching INDIA-SA, ASHES, and now PAK-NZ matches live on TV. Compared to the intensiity, competetion and quality of the INDIA-SA plays and contests, both the ASHES and the PAK-NZ matches look like club cricket. PAK-NZ looks like club cricket because of the quality of cricket both teams are playing, and ASHES looked like club cricket because the standard was pulled down to club cricket level by Australia - England completely dominated a club-like Australia, so the excitement was missing and England's achievement does not seem, to me, as big an achievement. Also, it is unfair to say England are number 1 because they beat Australia. Just think, if Australia had Steyn, Kallis, Morkel or Harbhajan, Laxman, Tendulkar, or Warnie, McGrath, Hayden, Langer. It would have been a very different contest. Just once when the Aussie bowlers struck in Perth, England were blown away. All said, Australia is not going to lie low for long. I hope and pray so for the sake of world cricket.

  • StJohn on January 8, 2011, 0:48 GMT

    I think Chris Tremlett deserved, and deserves, a mention - some 17 wkts in 3 Tests - a great comeback from a quality bowler. I hope he retains his place come the summer. My England XI for the 1st Test v Sri Lanka in June: Strauss, Cook, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Prior, Broad, Bresnan, Swann, Anderson, Tremlett. I think with the lower-middle order of Broad, Bresnan and Swann, England effectively have 3 all-rounders and could therefore try playing just 5 specialist batsmen to accommodate 5 bowlers. I think Morgan has that spark of genius that may mark him out for a prosperous career at Test level, but I'd like to see Tremlett retained: despite his good performances in this series, the pressure may be on his or Bresnan's place when Broad is fit again, but neither of them deserve to be dropped. I'm surprised by the margin of England's wins in this series, but we have to guard against complacency.

  • 5wombats on January 8, 2011, 0:36 GMT

    Good article; a credible picture of "how it was". Good posts too. Once England had demonstrated great strength in SA by securing a draw I felt we would win in Australia 2-1 or 3-1, indeed I came on here back in August bantering with Aussies then. But I never imagined the margins would be so wide. It's been impressive to watch England play and even better to see them win the mental game that they usually lose down under; Eng recovered from a dodgy start @Gabba where they were 220 behind on 1st Inns - that on it's own was something that England of the 90's could never have done. The iconic "Eng 517/1" really meant; "We are mentally strong". "Unstoppable" has to start in the head and the superb performance by the top 3 batsmen brought it out onto the field. Once that happened I was certain England would win the series. England bowling has been EXCEPTIONAL - to bowl like that requires months of dedicated practice and fitness training. "Unstoppable" in this series? YES! BRILLIANT? YES!

  • phoenixsteve on January 7, 2011, 22:51 GMT

    The Aussie played poorly and England played very well! Does this suddenly make Australia a rubbish team? NO - of course not! Australia simply were not allowed to perform and were kept out by England who showed professionalism, technique, temperament and team spirit. It's highly siginificant that the one player deemed to have failed (Coillingwood) was a thorn in Australias side in other ways! Just ask Ponting about those catches & Hussey about THAT ball! A few personnel changes might be called for but no knee-jerk reactions please! Australia are still a capable side - Ponting is still one of the all time greats - with some good cricket left in him. Khawaja didn't do it for me & maybe a new future captain needs to be found? Haddin is below par as a keeper and a more consistent MJ needs to evolve. EVOLUTION is the ket word here not radical change! Comments will stop on this subject soon; so thanks to Cricinfo, to Landl47 and Biggus for the sense they tallked! As for Jonesy2 & marcio.....

  • DazTaylor on January 7, 2011, 21:25 GMT

    I agree with IMSingular - the upcoming England - India series should be 5 test matches. How can the number 1 and 3 ranked sides meet in only 3 games? As for people questioning England's victory because the Australians were awful: I could of sworn Australia scored over 400 in BOTH matches against India recently, in India no less. Yet when England play very well and prevent Australia from winning, they put us down. Unbelieveable.

  • Trickstar on January 7, 2011, 19:55 GMT

    @Gloryof96 If I'm not mistaken this is the same Australian side that India had huge trouble beating in 2 tests at home, the same side that give a hammering to Pakistan and WI and the same side that beat SA in SA, but now since England have give them a lesson in Cricket, they are no good, priceless! You get a sense, that a lot of so called cricket fans, have trouble with England being a very good side. Even if Australia under performed, you don't beat a team in their own back yard by over a innings three times, by being anything less than a very good side, it just doesn't happen.

  • Pingissimus on January 7, 2011, 19:53 GMT

    Quite right IM Singular, India-England really has to be a 5 match series. Could be a classic. And what a chance to boost the 5 day game and not the 20/20 kickaround. It was bonkers that the India-SA series stopped just as it was getting going. Now the really rather dull Aussie domination is gone, the game's administrators have a real chance to set the agenda for test cricket. Not that they will of course.

  • on January 7, 2011, 19:45 GMT

    all credit to england...they were simply awesome, totally crushed australia...hoping for a mouth watering clash between england and india very soon....may the best team win.....peace.

  • tjsimonsen on January 7, 2011, 19:17 GMT

    @IMSingular: good idea, but where should the series be played. On neutral ground in the Carribean?

  • Chapelau on January 7, 2011, 18:26 GMT

    Some food for thought guys; 1) Krishnan - I am with you - couldn't agree more... maybe the new Oz team that emerges will stop this habit of sledging - it's just bad sportsmanship. 2) Half baked Aussie side? - that was almost the identical team that beat the current SA team in SA just under 2 years ago... check the teams out - they are exactly the same barring one or two names! 3) I look forward to the next big battle in the summer between England and India... and bearing in mind if England win - as I think they will, they will still have to go and win in India to be truly No.1... PS also agree Eng v India should have been 5 tests for a while !

  • CHARANONFIRE on January 7, 2011, 17:12 GMT

    ENGLAND has got a tough job ahead this year after world cup 11' its,2 defeat INDIA in the test series 2 prove themselves 2 be UNSTOPPABLE........UNTIL,its really hard 2 say that they are UNSTOPPABLE.

  • mmoosa on January 7, 2011, 17:03 GMT

    @Lateralis This was the most complete and era defining cricket victory since the Aussies beat the Windies in the 90,s.Make no mistake as a die-hard S.A fan,this English team,in this form, will only lose if they underestimate opponents.The series against India will be a cracker-i know where my money is going to.

  • landl47 on January 7, 2011, 17:03 GMT

    'Unstoppable' is always a relative term in cricket. In this instance, England was unstoppable by the Australian side they played. Whether the Indians will find them unstoppable we'll find out in England later this year. However, I think that England's plan and execution was the best I've seen from an England team in the Ashes and my memory stretches back to 1958/59. What was most impressive was that they were able to adapt to the conditions; only one pitch took spin (Adelaide), so Swann contained while the seamers took wickets. The new ball didn't swing much, so they used the seam or reverse swing. Conditions at Melbourne were more suited to Tim Bresnan, so Finn was left out despite being the top wicket-taker in the series to that point (his time will come again, for sure). Even though Colly wasn't in form with the bat, his fielding, bowling and team spirit kept him in the side and it was great that his last ball in test cricket removed Mike Hussey. Well done, lads- unstoppable.

  • on January 7, 2011, 16:37 GMT

    Rest In Peace Aussies. I hope this year Australian team wont reach World cup final too.

  • karthik132 on January 7, 2011, 15:39 GMT

    @ IMSingular - Rightly said. India always play at the level of the oppoenet! Nothing more true. Thats you see them never dominating teams like even Bangla and Zim. But at the same time they rise to match the best. Strange paradox but thats how it is in India.

  • JohnSilva on January 7, 2011, 15:30 GMT

    Margin of victory in each test was awesome ! As an Indian fan I say India better watch out this summer facing the English bowlers - the best pack in the world without doubt. Battery of six pacemen with swing and bounce capabilities backed by the safest slip catchers. The best spinner today - great turn at good pace ! The keeper has improved beyond recognition in both keeping and batting. India had won the last time in England. This time however it may not be an Indian summer

  • tfjones1978 on January 7, 2011, 15:00 GMT

    Australia should schedule as a warm up series a 2 test series against either Bang, Zimb, Ireland or another top Associate country (even if unofficial) as the warm up series each year before playing against one of the top 3 countries (Eng, SA, India). Instead Aust played India IN India, got beaten and were under prepared for a series that fell to pieces. Also, Aust should encourage a 16 team Test A tournament over 4 years between A teams of 10 test countries and top 6 associate countries. This could replace the Intercontinential Cup and allow better competition for the Associate countries that are calling for games against A teams from the test countries.

  • harshthakor on January 7, 2011, 14:48 GMT

    Congrats to England for their great triumph down under after 23 yaers.It is one one of the strongest English sides ever,who have exhibited great professionalism and temperament.It is the best performance ever in recent years against the former test champions,and no team has vanquished them with such disdain.England to me are favourites for claiming the world test title.It is hard imagining India or South Africa beating Australia with such authority.-imagine 3 innings victories!This wa sthe margin Clive Lloyd's West Indians used to vanquish teams.

  • MartinC on January 7, 2011, 14:22 GMT

    re IMSinular's comment that England/India should play a 5 Test series and less ODI's I agree 100%. The recent England/Australia and the SA/India Test series will be recalled and talked about for years. No one really cares about ODIs outside of World Cups and as for 20/20 .......

    Test cricket is what is says on the tin - as test and over 5 games you find out which side is best. ODIS are instant cricket for TV and casual fans - nothing wrong with that by the way and it all helps to pay the bills but the balance of number of days spent playing each is wrong right now.

    David 'Bumble" Lloyds comment on 20/20 is dead on - 'its entertainment played with cricket equipment'.

  • CharlesKeefe on January 7, 2011, 13:33 GMT

    No matter how bad the Aussies palyed, it's still a tough task to win a series in Australia. Well done to England, it was a superb all round performance acheived notwithstanding the absence of one of their front-line bowlers (Staurt Broad) for most of the series.

  • indianzen on January 7, 2011, 12:43 GMT

    Whats next for Australia? A series with bangadesh ?

  • on January 7, 2011, 11:56 GMT

    England were just amazing in this ashes just like aus. in 2007 (5-0) clean sweep.

  • dawsonmox on January 7, 2011, 11:48 GMT

    How can you say half baked? According to all the CA chiefs this was the best possible side! that needs to be gone on, no matter what the public think. In saying that I'm a VICTORIAN proud to follow and support England whilst Australia is continually represented by NSW players for no other reason other than that they are from NSW! They are picked on location not form. And whats with Johnson? My goodness. England were and are brilliant. Better things to come for them!

  • koldmeat on January 7, 2011, 11:46 GMT

    even Pakistan can beat the mighty!!! Aussies! the Australian domination is over.

  • IMObserver on January 7, 2011, 11:39 GMT

    Unstoppable England until they encounter India? That was the case with Australians twice. I think Indian mind set is to play at the level of opponent, and not overwhelm them. No point is getting injured if you can beat them with less effort. Alekhine used to do that in chess: he would play below par moves if opponent were weak and save the best against the strongest.

  • on January 7, 2011, 11:39 GMT

    This English victory is especially dear to us Indians who always see the Aussies as sledging and arrogant bullies in the cricket field. I hope this will teach the Aussies to be more humble in their attitude in future.

  • big_al_81 on January 7, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    I think previous posters may have missed the point. England proved unstoppable over the course of a 5 test series in Australia. 3-1 is emphatic proof that Australia found them impossible to play against and it was a particular joy to hear at least 2 of the Aussie players using the phrase 'outplayed us' over the last couple of days. Saying that this is a terrible Australian side is just a disappointing way to greet a great triumph. You beat the team put in front of you and that's what England did - this team have showed us the way to break out of a negative sporting legacy and giving them faint praise because the opposition didn't play well is just not good enough and the king of attitude that keeps us losing at sport. Let's just bask in this great series win and then move on to the next challenge.

  • on January 7, 2011, 11:21 GMT

    I was at the SCG today. It was amazing. The Australians must have been outnumbered 19,000 to 1. What a day.

  • IMObserver on January 7, 2011, 11:21 GMT

    Now it's, that is No 1 status, between India and England. They should work out a five test series and curtail ODI's if necessory. Three cheers to Team England and Two cheers to Team India in the contests just concluded.

  • Lateralis on January 7, 2011, 11:08 GMT

    Err.... England were pretty much unstoppable in Australia. That's what the headline and entire article was suggesting. 3 innings victories in 5 matches?! Where one of the matches was played out on a road of a track (at Brisbane). Sure, they may not be unstoppable against South Africa or India, but a) we don't know that for definite yet; England's series against India in 2011 will help elucidate that point and b) the article wasn't on about other teams or series except England in Australia.

  • Yotta on January 7, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    Agreed, well done to England for playing some outstanding cricket. A big lesson to be learnt by Australia here is the value of preparation. Going into the first test England had heaps more preparation in Aussie conditions then the home team and it showed through the whole series. Now lets bring on some changes... hopefully first to go will be the selection panel/manager....

  • Dr.Vindaloo on January 7, 2011, 10:57 GMT

    So what exactly made Australia 'atrocious' and 'half-baked' in their own backyard for the first time in 20+ years? They weren't atrocious in England in 2009, and they certainly weren't atrocious on their recent tour of India. You do need to give England credit for forcing the disintegration of this Australian side, just as it took excellent Australian sides to turn England into a rabble in recent decades. Sport is all about cause and effect.

  • Kirstenfan on January 7, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    But give credit, England were superb and obliterated that half-baked Aussie side. Thank goodness KP got the ball rolling 2 years ago by firing himself!

  • Gloryof96 on January 7, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    Now hold on chaps, this means nothing to the rest of the test playing nations beating a half baked aussie side!!

  • Webba84 on January 7, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    Congratulations to England for their hardwork and application, it certainly paid off for them! Nonetheless I think describing them as unstoppable is a bit of a stretch, Australia was just really atrocious.

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  • Webba84 on January 7, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    Congratulations to England for their hardwork and application, it certainly paid off for them! Nonetheless I think describing them as unstoppable is a bit of a stretch, Australia was just really atrocious.

  • Gloryof96 on January 7, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    Now hold on chaps, this means nothing to the rest of the test playing nations beating a half baked aussie side!!

  • Kirstenfan on January 7, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    But give credit, England were superb and obliterated that half-baked Aussie side. Thank goodness KP got the ball rolling 2 years ago by firing himself!

  • Dr.Vindaloo on January 7, 2011, 10:57 GMT

    So what exactly made Australia 'atrocious' and 'half-baked' in their own backyard for the first time in 20+ years? They weren't atrocious in England in 2009, and they certainly weren't atrocious on their recent tour of India. You do need to give England credit for forcing the disintegration of this Australian side, just as it took excellent Australian sides to turn England into a rabble in recent decades. Sport is all about cause and effect.

  • Yotta on January 7, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    Agreed, well done to England for playing some outstanding cricket. A big lesson to be learnt by Australia here is the value of preparation. Going into the first test England had heaps more preparation in Aussie conditions then the home team and it showed through the whole series. Now lets bring on some changes... hopefully first to go will be the selection panel/manager....

  • Lateralis on January 7, 2011, 11:08 GMT

    Err.... England were pretty much unstoppable in Australia. That's what the headline and entire article was suggesting. 3 innings victories in 5 matches?! Where one of the matches was played out on a road of a track (at Brisbane). Sure, they may not be unstoppable against South Africa or India, but a) we don't know that for definite yet; England's series against India in 2011 will help elucidate that point and b) the article wasn't on about other teams or series except England in Australia.

  • IMObserver on January 7, 2011, 11:21 GMT

    Now it's, that is No 1 status, between India and England. They should work out a five test series and curtail ODI's if necessory. Three cheers to Team England and Two cheers to Team India in the contests just concluded.

  • on January 7, 2011, 11:21 GMT

    I was at the SCG today. It was amazing. The Australians must have been outnumbered 19,000 to 1. What a day.

  • big_al_81 on January 7, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    I think previous posters may have missed the point. England proved unstoppable over the course of a 5 test series in Australia. 3-1 is emphatic proof that Australia found them impossible to play against and it was a particular joy to hear at least 2 of the Aussie players using the phrase 'outplayed us' over the last couple of days. Saying that this is a terrible Australian side is just a disappointing way to greet a great triumph. You beat the team put in front of you and that's what England did - this team have showed us the way to break out of a negative sporting legacy and giving them faint praise because the opposition didn't play well is just not good enough and the king of attitude that keeps us losing at sport. Let's just bask in this great series win and then move on to the next challenge.

  • on January 7, 2011, 11:39 GMT

    This English victory is especially dear to us Indians who always see the Aussies as sledging and arrogant bullies in the cricket field. I hope this will teach the Aussies to be more humble in their attitude in future.