The English set foot on Australian soil looking to regain the ashes, but the very first ball of the series was a dark reminder of the terrible year they were having in the longest format of the game. With Mitchell Stark bowling an absolute snorter, Rory Burns was left dancing on the off, when the ball came crashing on his leg stump.
England quietly never recovered from there, having a stinker of a series. Pulling off a draw in the fourth match which some cited as a miracle, the only Aussie plan the English could wreck was that of the 5-0 whitewash. Though at times a lone warrior with the bat, Joe Root racked up unwanted records as a Test skipper. Which was surprising considering the fortunes in the enemy's camp.
With Australian fast bowler, Pat Cummins appointed captain against the normal norms of a batsman taking up the duties. All eyes were on the baggy greens to see how they fare. And did they perform or not, apart from running out of time to pick the final wicket in the fourth Test. The Australians were unstoppable.
Even when struck down with injuries, the stand-in players performed out of their skin to stun the opposition. Usman Khawaja’s two centuries in two innings of the match, Scott Boland’s fifer were some performances of replacement players that the English had no answers for. With the only blemish being having drawn one match, the Australian added some more leaflets into their record books.
Today we take a look at the various records created at the recent Ashes series.
A total of 1,708 Test runs by Joe Root in 2021 ranked third in Test history in a calendar year, behind only Mohammad Yousuf's 1,788 runs in 2006 and Sir Vivian Richards' 1,710 runs in 1976. England's next highest scorer was Rory Burns with 530 runs. That set a new record for the biggest differential between the highest two run-scorers for a team in the same year.
Not only did England equal Bangladesh's all-time Test record of nine Test defeats in a single calendar year, set in 2003, they also equaled their own record of 54 ducks in Test cricket in a year, set in 1998. The Joe Root-led side lost five Tests against India two at home and three on the road, one to New Zealand at home and three to Australia away.
A very good example of England's batting failure would be their second inning score of 68 represents the lowest score the English have achieved in Ashes cricket in Australia since Australia were all out for 58 at Brisbane in 1936 and their lowest score in Australia since 1904 when they were all out for 61 at Melbourne.
England's second innings in the Boxing day test saw Scott Boland take five wickets from 19 deliveries. The seamer matched the record that was first set by Ernie Toshack for Australia against India at Brisbane in 1947 and equaled by Stuart Broad for England against Australia at Trent Bridge in 2015. Boland conceded the joint-fewest runs of any bowler to take at least six wickets in an innings
The 82-run first-innings lead Australia held is the third-lowest by a team that won by an innings, while their 267 is the joint eighth-lowest by a team that won by an innings. In addition, it is the lowest total conceded by an England team that lost by an innings. Australia's previous low was 284 at Sydney in 1895
England's batting average in this series is 19.18 is the lowest for any team in a five-match Test series since 2001. This is also England's worst batting average in an Ashes series since 1890 when they averaged 15.74 across two matches.
In the ten day-night tests that Australia has played so far, they have won all ten. England and Australia have played three day-night Tests which included two in this series. Average Australia scored with the bat was 33.87, and the average with the ball was 20.83 in those ten matches
England has lost consecutive Tests in Australia. It is the joint-second longest streak without a win for any team that played the Aussies in Australia. In the period between their victories in 1985 and 2011, New Zealand played 18 Tests, whereas Sri Lanka has played 15 Tests without winning in Australia.
As a captain, Joe Root has experienced 10 defeats in Ashes Tests. Only Archie MacLaren, with 11 defeats in the Ashes, has had ten or more defeats in the Ashes. Eight of Root's 10 losses occurred in Australia, giving him the joint-highest number of Test defeats in a single country for a visiting captain. In eight Test losses on South African soil, Brian Lara was the captain of the West Indies.
With the Ashes coming to a close and what looks like another routine loss for the English in Australia, a major revamp surely lies ahead. With the women’s ashes set to begin, the English fans might be hoping for a slight change of fortunes. With Australia declaring absolute dominance in the men’s ashes, which cricketer impressed you most, and what do you think the future holds for the England Test team.
Cover Credits: CricketAustralia