Australia were in a commanding position on the 5th and final day when the weather interrupted the match as well as Australia’s chances of regaining the Ashes. England being 2-0 up, were only required to secure a draw to retain the Ashes and that is exactly what they managed to do with a little help from the weather.
Australia had England on the ropes on the final day and would consider themselves unlucky as this is the first time in the series that rain has caused a significant amount of play to be lost. While England would have liked to put up a better show in the match, captain Alistair Cook was happy at retaining the Ashes.
In a statement, Cook said To retain the Ashes after three games, playing some really good cricket in the first two and fighting hard here – I’d have bitten your hand off if you’d offered me that at the start of the series. Two-nil up with two to play is a good place to be. Our first objective was to retain the Ashes, now I want to win them”.
Australia played their best cricket as both the bowling and the batting units fired. Batting first captain Michael Clarke got a huge hundred, followed by good contributions from Chris Rogers, Steve Smith, Brad Haddin and Mitchell Starc. They posted a score in excess of 500 and put pressure on the England batting line-up.
England played okay in the first innings as Kevin Pietersen scored a century and helped England avoid the follow on. However, the form of Jonathan Trott will be a cause for concern. Before the series started, Jimmy Anderson went on record to say that Trott is currently the best batsman in Test cricket but he hasn’t delivered so far. England were outplayed in this test and will be looking to bounce back in Durham.
This was another test match that was marred by the DRS. Both sides felt a bit undone as Usman Khawaja and Kevin Pietersen got poor decisions that were not overturned by the DRS. However, Cook and Clarke stated that while they were unhappy with the decisions, they still supported DRS and have no issues with using the technology in the remaining matches.
During the post match interview, Aussie captain Michael Clarke was happy with his own personal form but disappointed that Australia were unable to regain the Ashes. He said “You know when you come to the UK there is a chance that rain is going to play a part and after we got ourselves into a position of being 2-0 down it was always going to be tough coming back. If we can level the series we will take a lot of confidence back to Australia and I’m confident that with the type of cricket we played here we will give it a good chase.”
For Australia, the form of Shane Watson as an opener is a concern and he could very well lose his place at the top of order to Dave Warner for the 4th test. Australia will have more momentum and will look to use it fully to win the remaining 2 tests so that they can tie the series.