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The Ashes

August 26, 2013

Is the 3-0 Ashes scoreline a fair reflection of the gap between the two teams?

ESPNcricinfo staff


England were the superior side in all departments. They managed to win by a convincing margin despite not being at their best.


Australia led on first innings in four of the five Tests. With better weather they could've prevailed at Old Trafford. With better luck, they could've won at Trent Bridge and Chester-le-Street.


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August 27, 2013, 9:43 GMT


It is a fair reflection because...er....that was the result. You always know a team is in trouble when their post match analysis contains lots of words like 'if', 'only', 'would' and 'should'. "IF Broad had been given out (at Trent Bridge) Australia WOULD have won..." It's all nonsense of course because if you go back and change one incident in a match, thereafter events take a completely different course. England might have won by 100 instead of 14. Who knows? A team in trouble is also inclined to blame the weather, the pitch, the technology and the umpires. We've heard all this from the Australia apologists. "The umpire's decision affected the game" Every wicket , every run - they all affect the game. The umpire's job is to take decisions that affect the game! "England only won because of Bell". Yes, Bell is part of the team. A good selection, that. When all is said and done, England won three of the matches and Australia didn't win any. That was the gap between the teams.

October 11, 2013, 14:56 GMT


YES - the result was fair as per the laws of cricket the score was deemed 3-0. Sounds quite fair to me.

Cricket is all about winning those pivotal moments in test matches.

August 28, 2013, 10:51 GMT


I'm a little sick of readingvthat it was closer because England were well below there best. There players performed as well as they could given the situation and pressure of the opposition. The end result was 3-0. Players from both teams were below there best. Some of the English batsman struggled but that was because of class bowlingsame some Aussie batsman were below par but that was because of the English bowling. So spare me the whinging line.

August 28, 2013, 10:43 GMT


It is the result so yes fair. Australia had there chances in two of those losses but failed at the critical moments. Assuch England deserved those victories as they stepped up at the critical moments. As for the two draws Australia were in the better position before the rain interuptions but we still do not know I'd they played out weather free whether Australia would take there momentsvin critical games. I don't think there is far for Australia to improve but at this point of time they are struggling to win making the scoreline fair.

August 27, 2013, 13:31 GMT


Numbers never tell the full story, do they? You could look at different things (eg. the highest and total series scores of each side, the averages of batsmen and bowlers, even over rates and such), with each painting a slightly different picture of the series.

What the 3-0 does, is reflect on the consistency of the English performance. Sure, they were not head and shoulders above the opposition at every situation, but they played with the same level of competence throughout. Australia fluctuated throughout the series and even when they looked to be on top, they failed to finish off their opposition.

One can argue that a 2-1 or 3-1 score might have better reflected how well contested the series was, but that would not reflect the most important part of the 3-0 score... Australia simply did not manage to defeat their opponent in any of the games. Sport is often regarded as a representation of conflict. If you put up a strong showing, but fail to win battles, you generally lose the war.

August 27, 2013, 10:42 GMT


England deserve to win this series but scoreline 3-0 doesn't show the average quality of cricket played by both the Teams.This is a series for which England cannot be proud of & the Aussies cant be disappointed.I thought first test where aus lost the close match decides the tone of the test series which shows that Aus is good enough to compete you but they cant beat you.It is as simple as that. that made this series a kind of dead for cricket fans except from England.

August 27, 2013, 6:52 GMT


While England's batsmen weren't at their best. 3-0 shows that their bowlers were. I expected Australia might at least win a test, but yet again their bowlers were unable to get 20 wickets.

August 27, 2013, 3:57 GMT


3-0 looks good on Australia's table since many expected a whitewash. Australia were just a meandering aimless mass looking at game completion rather than a win.

The ICC must allow India to play the Ashes and leave behind some archaic traditions.

August 26, 2013, 18:51 GMT


Three times england have push Australia down (1st test 1st inn 118-9, 2nd test 1st inn 128 ao and 4th test 2nd inn 224 ao) and when did Australia push England down to that level in the series... never. We were always pushing Australia down when needed where Australia never did that to England. But I will say that the series this winter will be VERY close. So the 3-0 result is very fair.

August 26, 2013, 16:55 GMT


Eng consistently put up big totals to put pressure on somewhat inexperienced Aus top order. Anderson and Broad out bowled Aussies while Swan lent admirable support playing container role to perfection.

August 26, 2013, 15:37 GMT


England took their chances when they had them. Australia crumbled under pressure. 3-0 is fair, but hopefully we will see better and more varied pitches down under that will test players on a wider set of skills.

August 26, 2013, 14:50 GMT


Australia play a brand of Test cricket that is doomed to failure. They play the game like it is 2 ODI's. The players, coaches and commentators are to blame. Ask them if they think Australia did well at the Oval and all stakeholders will say 'yes' when the truth is they very nearly gave the game away...just as they did the series.

August 26, 2013, 14:49 GMT


Yes, because England were better in the most important area of all: the mental side of it. This was highlighted by Boof's carryon about Broad, and then Faulkner's about the slow England batting. Both showing signs of frustration.

Australia were a frustrated team because England got under their skin. But most frustrating of all for Aussies was, they didn't know how the heck they could beat them. And that came down to England being mentally stronger in the moments that mattered.

August 26, 2013, 14:46 GMT


Australia play a brand of Test cricket that is doomed to failure. They play the game like it is 2 ODI's. The players, coaches and commentators are to blame. Ask them if they think Australia did well at the Oval and all stakeholders will say 'yes' when the truth is they very nearly gave the game away...just as they did the series.

August 26, 2013, 12:33 GMT


To win test matches you have to bowl the opposition out cheaply, something that Australia completely failed to do, despite England's batting being completely sub par throughout the series. The fact is even with a full five days victory was certainly not guaranteed at OT or the Oval, particularly as England's second innings batting was very solid throughout the series. Just because you are the better side in a draw does not mean you deserved to win - tests are limited to five days and by the weather, and you have to win within those margins. Will Clarke be the first captain to lose the Ashes twice in six months?

August 26, 2013, 12:22 GMT


Fair results as I see it. Australia weren't demolished as some (including me) feared they would be, and thanks for that! Although Australia did manage to get themselves into strong positions and put pressure on England, England ALWAYS came back harder. On the other hand, when England got themselves into a strong position, Australia folded. To me Australia simply lacked those all-important 10% necessary not only to challenge England, but to actually beat them. I also think that England will take more from this series than Australia: Harris was great for Aus, but he can't last forever (probably not through the next series); Faukner was very positive too, but other than that the much-praised bowlers were ordinary. Smith was probably the only really positive in the batting lineup; despite Watson's great innings doubt will contunue to linger - especially if he fails in the next test (I hope he doesn't, but I have my doubts).

August 26, 2013, 11:49 GMT


Overall Englishmen had better fire power as compared to the Australian Team, England Team played better cricket than the Australians, having said that, there were times when Australians had many opportunities to life up there game and come back into the Ashes, the poor batting performance, the lack of quality bowlers, not to mention dispute within the team led them to there demise. For me the Australian Bowling Quality have gone South, the only way they could have saved themselves from humiliation was if they had performed with the bat, the talent was there, but the mental toughness to absorb the pressure was felt at all.

Regards Umar

August 26, 2013, 11:31 GMT


They were most definitely worthy 3-0 winners, u take ur chances when they're presented to u and/or u make ur own luck. When England had a sniff they took their chances, thats what winners do. Aussies didnt make use of their chances, they choked....

I was surprised by the Aussies batting, it was far better than i thought itd be!!! And I do share the opinion tho that the whole story isnt being told by the 3-0 scoreline, they were far closer to England than that score suggests......

August 26, 2013, 11:27 GMT


Even though Cook was not in good form in batting, he has used his brain at right times on many occasions particularly in DRS system. Also Bell as usual hero of Ashes. But honestly England team were not upto the mark to win ashes win convincingly like this.

August 26, 2013, 11:10 GMT


Yes - I can barely believe this is being debated. I saw almost all the series and England dominated 90% of the time. That to me is as decisive as you get in any sporting contest. 3-0? Could've and should've been 4-0. But at least this time, like in 2010/11 but unlike before then, there's no squabbling over who the better team is: England have been the better team for 6 years and that is true now, and doesn't look like changing for a long long time.

August 26, 2013, 11:02 GMT


I think that a comment I heard today was most appropriate :

When England needed runs, they got them.

When England needed wickets, they took them.

When Aust needed runs, they fell apart.

When Aust needed wickets, they were Englishmen refused to give them away cheaply.

Where to from here Aust?

Are we going to keep the same team for the Ashes in Australia, and then for the tour of South Africa ... deckchairs of the Titanic? Are we going to keep the same selectors who select players that principally come from NSW? Are we going to keep the same training team that continues to cripple our players?

Most cricket followers would say that Australia is not far from the mark, but Albert Einstein once said that insanity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. We have played all top three teams in the past 12mths, lost all 3-series, not won a single TM, the score is 8-0.

Just continue to ignore the obvious problem and cry out, "Clarke is a great captain!!"

August 26, 2013, 10:53 GMT


People are saying that Australia deserved to win at least one test but to be honest, the only way that was going to happen would've been for England to lose the test for them. England didn't play their best cricket and that is the only reason why Aus had any chance of winning a match. When we are saying that England won but didn't win well enough well... That's British press for you.

August 26, 2013, 10:22 GMT


England were obviously the better side. I think the two sides were close, but the reason England were better was because they won the 'big moments'. They won by 15 runs in the first Test, Bell pulled them out of some poor top order collapses, their bowlers responded when they needed to. Until Australia can win those close contests, then they will continue to get beaten 3-0 and 4-0

August 27, 2013, 5:52 GMT


it is not a fair representation. The scoreline of 3-0 suggests England's dominance which was not the case. The difference was that England stepped up when needed to while Australia wilted at crucial junctures. but nowhere there appeared a confirmed possibility of and Australian win as even though they were in winning positions in two tests, somewhere in the back of the mind there was a thought that they could not do it. That is why fans were happy whenever England was challenged as Australia in a way was seen as the underdog. It was more like a bout of boxing where the professional plays well below his ability when facing and amateur. the amateur though trying valiantly, egged on by a cheering crowd gets punched out at critical junctures to lose the bout. The scoreline hence does not indicate his efforts rather his body is evidence to the battering that was received..the same way Australia is now.

September 15, 2013, 10:26 GMT


No. Australia were on verger of winning 1st and 3rd tests.

September 2, 2013, 6:49 GMT


No, for me the Aussies were much better than this display because the two of the drawn matches were in their pockets. Rain, bad lights and umpires' wrong calls to end play were the reason. It should have been 3-2.

August 28, 2013, 2:29 GMT


England obviously did enough to win as the result suggests and afterall this is all that is needed. Batting stalwarts like Cook, Trott and Prior had a below par series but that doesn't matter when the team is performing enough to win.

3 - Nil probably dosen't reflect the closeness as it turned out BUT I feel England were always in control and when needed to they just lifted a gear, this is what class teams do and that is what Australia used to do. Even when they played bad they still managed to win (except 2005).

Australia in my opinion is 2 class batsmen short and it would have been a much better contest with Ponting & Hussey in the side. I really thought these 2 greats would have left retirement until after this Australian Ashes summer.

Batsmen like Maddinson, Doolan, S Marsh & Phil Hughes (needs to be given a go selectors) are in the wings to filll the gap. Warner needs to stick to the shorter game, way too inconsistent for a test opener.

August 27, 2013, 7:06 GMT


Certainly not! With some luck Oz's could have been 2-1. Their shambolic performances in few innings make us feel like they should have lost 4-0. But those who have followed the matches can say if OZ batsmen had shown some restraint and had luck been on their side, they could have emerged victorious.

August 27, 2013, 6:08 GMT


Eng No. 1, 2, 3, 6 and 7 were below par all through and were saved by Aus 1,2, 3, 5, 6 being even worse.

August 27, 2013, 5:58 GMT


Facts - UDRS Challenges are meant to reverse umpiring errors, each side is entitled to 2 incorrect challenges. Common Sense dictates - When you know the umpire is right, you don't challenge the umpire. When you know the umpire is wrong, you challenge the umpire. One of their openers & key batsmen, Shane Watson routinely challenged LBW's going against him, even when the ball was hitting middle stump (My conclusion - Either Watson does not know where his middle stump is OR he has no common sense. Either way, he is not fit to represent a good Test Side, but Watson did represent Australia). Their #3, Usman Khwaja refused to challenge a blatantly incorrect LBW against him, where the ball was missing the stumps (Again, indicating that either he has no common sense OR does not know where his stumps are. Either way, he is not fit to represent a good Test Side, but Khwaja did represent Australia). I would expect a 5-0 against a side with such batsmen.

August 27, 2013, 3:32 GMT


@Travis Newton basically has it spot on. England was the better team on balance but the overall scoreline is extremely flattering (especially when viewed against the last series in Aus when England actually did dominate and 3-1 was a spot on reflection).

For so many English supporters to keep saying 3-0 or 4-0 was a fair reflection is sadly missing how even the two teams were in the end and how weather certainly did play a part in the two games they were most likely to lose.

Bell was awesome and probably the difference in the end. Hat's off to Pietersen for his presence and game style, too. He wasn't always in form but he still went about his game in a style Aussies appreciate and applaud.

Slates are clean for the return series and England may lift to a higher level, but as an Aussie I feel we were the lesser side overall but 3-0: certainly not. The other big difference: a more experienced and settled England side took their chances in a few key moments.

August 27, 2013, 0:05 GMT


Did England deserve to win 3-0? No. England would most probably have lost the fourth test but were saved by weather. If the weather had been "fair" England would have lost at least one of their victories to rain. England can claim to have not won the last test due to the light but the match situation only reached that point due to the intervention of the weather, again with Australia in a promising position.

Travis makes an excellent point about the DRS, which certainly did inflate the scoreline.

I think 3-1 or 2-1 would have been a fairer reflection of the performance of the two teams.

On a side note: the way England play there NEED to be laws penalising dilatory play. When during Australia's succession of Ashes wins was there ever an occasion where they played with such overweening negativity and cynical disregard for both the spirit f the game and the interests of the paying public?

August 26, 2013, 19:43 GMT


Aus team looked far weaker and the Eng team looked far stronger than a normal Test team; so the bridge was incredibly wide. No one--not even the Aussie fans, experts, selectors and Micky--gave them any theoretical chance to win (Arthur wanted to push the Poms a bit). And what we saw? Terrific resilience from the Aussies. Manytimes they pushed down the Poms; took terrific 1st-innings leads. Except for a few terrible outings of their batsmen and consistently terrible gameplans from the Poms, they could have won the series. This tells a lot about the ability of this English team to shut down opponents effectively. And I go by many of those experts when they say that this English team would be beaten squarely many times by the English team of 2005. Besides, Cook, with all his supposedly terrific players, chose to play for draws, while Clarke, with all his weak links, had the guts to play for wins. I would rate Clarke a thousand points higher than Cook. My salutation to him.

August 26, 2013, 17:54 GMT


A 2 -1 RESULT in favour of england would have been a fairer result considering the 1 st ashes test in which australia lost by a very little margin due to the fact that that stuart broad wasout but umpire did not gave him out and his crucial runs were the deciding factorso thus a 2 -1 result was fairer .lets be honest england have also not played at their best

August 26, 2013, 17:50 GMT


Watson - wasted UDRS reviews every time he was declared out LBW, even if the ball was hitting middle stump (Either Watson did not know where his stumps are OR did not realise there was daylight between his bat & the ball, either way - Australia's opener gave no evidence of having basic cricket sense). Usman Khwaja did not use UDRS to protect his wicket when the ball was clearly missing the stumps (He was scared of wasting a review, clearly indicating that the Australian # 3 did not know where his stumps were). How can a 3-0 defeat result be unfair to a cricket team whose opener & #3 don't seem to know where their stumps are ? It is all very well for Australian fans to look for somebody else to blame, but if your opener wastes a review challenging LBW for middle stump AND your #3 does not review an LBW when the ball is clearly missing all the 3 stumps because he is scared his review will be declined - forget test match, you don't deserve to win school-boy cricket games !

August 26, 2013, 15:46 GMT


3-0 is hardly a fair representation of the series Take the 10/11 Ashes as a comparison. England were dominant and won the series 3-1. This time around I felt the teams were very evenly matched, both batting lineups were fairly average, but Bell stood up and made runs when it mattered. For me it was Bell and the weather that were the main factors contributing to the 3-0 the scoreline, oh and Australia's horrible batting collapses (most notably at Durham)

August 26, 2013, 15:13 GMT


Of the top 6 run scorers in the series, two were English. That says it all.

Australia were on course to win both the 1st and 4th tests and were denied by the weather/light for long periods of the 3rd test (not that the media in England remember this).

Let's not mention them being on the rough end of questionable umpiring decisions. People said the Aussies used DRS badly, but it was actually about 50-50. How many times did we see Aussie batsmen given out when the ball was barely hitting the stumps but the decision having to stay with the onfield umpire then English batsmen not being given out in more conclusive situations only for them to be let off on the same grounds.

England were more decisive, Ian Bell was in a class of his own, and Australia were unlucky. This could easily have been 2-2 or even 2-1 Australia.

PS I'm not an Aussie (I'm English) I'm just not ridiculously biased!

August 26, 2013, 14:39 GMT


3-0 is a bit too harsh on Aussies. Here is why I think the series was closer than a 3-0 result suggests: 1. Aussies batting was horrible but England's wasn't too good either.Ian Bell was the only difference between the two sides. 2. The weather also seemed to side with England for the series and Aussies could have surely had at least a win had weather not come in the way. 3. Aussies got the worse of DRS, partly due to their own use and partly due to the DRS system itself. Have to admit though that Aussies faltered at some crucial moments despite having an upper hand, whereas England handled those moments better and came at the top in the end.

August 26, 2013, 12:00 GMT


But only just. 3-1, with the win up at Old Trafford, was probably a fair reflection. At Trent Bridge the Broad incident is an obvious talking point but who's to say that the runs wouldn't have come from Swann instead? And there was also the stumping of Agar, when a similar incident went the other way in the Champions Trophy final.

Lord's was a demolition job, Old Trafford would, I suspect, have been Australia's to win had the rain not come. It's possible we might have batted the day out, stranger things have happened, but I wouldn't have put any money on it.

Durham was Australia's to win but they threw it away, not sure anyone can say they "deserved" to win that. They got themselves into a great position, but if the batting collapses like that, I'm not sure you can feel hard done by.

The Oval was probably always set to be a draw on that pitch. Doubt that even with a full five days we'd have gotten a result; neither team's bowlers looked like taking 20 wickets on that pitch.

August 26, 2013, 11:50 GMT


3-2 is a better representation. Australia should have won at Trent Bridge and Old Trafford. Chester le Street was much closer but only a brilliant spell from Broad saved our bacon. Lord's was an annihilation but The Oval near win was pretty much caused by Clarke. The Aussies have played better than us in terms of batting, 2 150+ scores for Aus vs 1 for England. 6 scores of 80+ for Aus vs 5 for England. Not a 3-0 scoreline at all.

August 26, 2013, 11:36 GMT


Clearly no. Simply weather would've led to a 3-1 or even 3-2. England were better, but not 3-0 better. 3-0 does not show the closeness of the series at all. Whereas in the 2010/11 series, England smashed Australia,yet the scoreline was 3-1, all games but 1 here were closely fought. A 1 or 2 test margin would be far fairer, with Australia winning at least 1 test

August 26, 2013, 11:21 GMT


3-1 was probably a fairer result. Australia certainly deserved to lose the 3 tests that they did, so any talk of 2-2 is complete nonsense. I keep seeing people say Australia were 'unlucky' to lose at Trent Bridge, but the truth is, they were obscenely lucky to lose by only 14 runs. 220 runs for the 10th wicket over 2 innings of a test match is a fluke that will not be repeated for many years (if ever), and the Aussies were outrageously fortunate that it happened for them at all. If we want to talk about luck, England were unlucky not to win that match by 200 runs. An Australian win in that match would have been a travesty.

August 26, 2013, 11:17 GMT


I think 3-1 would have been a better representation with Australia winning Chester-Le-Street. The Trent Bridge test did not deserve to be won by Australia, despite Stuart Broad not walking. Not only did Australia put in an awful batting display in the 1st innings (obviously superbly saved by Agar), but they used their reviews badly in England's second innings so Stuart Broad could stand there. I personally don't agree with that, but you didn't see either Clarke or Haddin walking when they nicked theirs. But anyway, even despite that, it took another big last wicked partnership to get them within 14 runs so I think that it would not have been a "deserved" Aussie victory. Chester-Le-Street England were dug out by the weather, and there was no way England deserved to win the last test after playing so negatively on day 3. Clarke deserves 100% of the credit for making that last day a game

August 26, 2013, 11:13 GMT


A 3-0 margin makes it look like a complete demolition, which it obviously wasn't. England are worthy winners, but Australia do reserve the right to say that at times by factors beyond their control, they were hard done by

August 26, 2013, 11:06 GMT


Fair result should be 4-1 to mighty aussies...

August 26, 2013, 10:52 GMT


I wouldn't think so. Apart from Lord's and Oval, Australia had a great opportunity to win. Australia should've won in Durham.

August 26, 2013, 10:34 GMT

indian cric

NO. Aus with some luck could have won the series. 2-2 is more accurate IMO. Eng winning the 2nd and 4th test. 5th test a draw. In 1st test SB cheated and put up a match changing innings. 3rd tests luck went against Aus. 4th Aus have themselves to blame with some stupid batting display. So I dont think 3-0 is a fair representation of the series.

August 26, 2013, 10:16 GMT


England were the better team ... i guess 3-1 would have been a fair result...

August 26, 2013, 10:15 GMT


I dont thnk so. Ideally it should have been 2-2. Aus should have won trent bridge and chester-le street. Of the 9 centuries 5 were scored by eng and 4 by aus. so not much difference and in bowling 3 of the top bowlers were from australia. with little bit of luck and better usage of drs and decent umpiring the series should have been squared. lets hope we can see a better series in australia in nov 2013

August 26, 2013, 10:06 GMT


England were the better side, but 3-0 is a big margin. They were far more dominant for their 3-1 win in 2010-11, and that seemed a fair scoreline then.

3-1 or 2-1 would have been fair this time, given the stats and given England's batting. They didn't pass 400 once - which Australia did at the Oval - and conceded a first innings lead 4 times. They did well at pulling it back, but 2-1 would have been a bit more sobering for them too, and wouldn't have been such a bad thing in terms a boot up the backside to remind them that you can't win matches without scoring big runs.

The Aussies were inconsistent, and that is what gave England the big win. If they had been a bit more reliable, they could have surprised everyone. I think they'll feel surprisingly confident about the winter.

August 26, 2013, 10:03 GMT


We deserved to win, we grabbed opportunities when they came. Australia had several, but muffed them.

Even so, 3-0 doesn't tell the whole story, by any manner of means. Apart from LOrds, they were actually closer to us than in 2010-11, when we won 3-1.