Cardiff, Lords, Birmingham, Nottingham and The Oval – 5 Ashes tests, 5 outright results, and NONE of the five tests lasted five days. The first test was done and dusted on Day 4, the second test ended on Day 4 again, the third test barely went into the tea session on Day 3, the fourth test was over in the morning session on Day 3, and the final test – Clarke’s last ever international match – limped into Day 4.
More interestingly, all 5 matches were outrageously one-sided. This was an absurd Ashes series in every physical and statistical manner possible. On both the flatter wickets at Lords and Oval, Australia annihilated England, and on the typical seaming English wickets, Broad, Anderson, Finn and Stokes annihilated Australia. This wasn’t the most memorable series for the batsmen on both sides – which is always a good thing for international cricket.
One thing is for sure – Nathan Lyon has proved that he is the best off-spinner in test cricket. He has taken wickets in all conditions around the world, and has repeatedly gotten crucial breakthroughs with the ball in England. Also, Adam Lyth may never play a test match again, and Mark Wood has a long way to go before he establishes himself as a test bowler. Rogers and Clarke will end their batting careers in contrasting ways.
– This was only the third time since 1930 that an Ashes series has been decided by a 3-2 scoreline (Australia in 1936, Australia in 1997, and England in 2015).
– The Oval marked the first time Clarke enforced the follow-on as Captain, out of the five times he was in a position to do so. Clearly, VVS Laxman changed an entire generation of Australian thinking.
– As of now, England and Australia have won exactly 32 series each out of 69 played. Australia has won more individual test matches.
– In the last 10 years, Australia has won only two of the Ashes series, both at home, and both by a 5-0 margin. They have lost 5 series.
– Adam Lyth’s average in the entire series as opener is 12.77. He played all the 5 tests, and is likely to be dropped. Forever. Buttler has an average of 17 in the series, and will probably become England’s specialist limited-overs keeper ONLY.
– Alastair Cook failed to score a century in the entire series, and is yet to score one against Australia on home soil. He has 4 in Australia.
– Chris Rogers will end the series with the highest batting average (60), with one century and three fifties to his name. He will retire on a high, unlike Clarke, who ended with an average of 16.50.
– Steve Smith and Joe Root will end the series with two centuries each. Smith is the only batsman to score a double century in the series. Smith is also the only batsman to score more than 500 runs in the series. Root has 460.
– Johnson and Starc will both end with more runs and a higher average than Clarke in the series.
– Ben Stokes will end the series with three ducks.
– Stuart Broad will end the series as the highest wicket taker (21).