Ashes: The key reasons why Australia beat England | Dieanda

Ashes: The key reasons why Australia beat England

January , 2018-01-02 02:06:28

On reflection, England barely gave themselves a chance.

At the time that Ben Stokes was arrested, it felt like the Ashes tour had started to go wrong before England had even picked their squad.

And that was just the first bullet that Joe Root's men fired into their collective feet.

Headbutts and poured drinks off the field, opportunities missed and big players missing on it.

But to focus solely on the things that England have done wrong and ignoring what Australia have got right, would do the home side a disservice.

Here, in a rough reverse order, are the factors I think have led to Australia celebrating regaining the urn in Perth. You can vote which one you think is the main contributor below.

England's squad

The reaction to the announcement of England's squad ranged from bewilderment, through to bemusement and downright anger.

The batting looked threadbare, the fast bowling one-paced and the spin-bowling options almost non-existent (and that, remember, was when Stokes was still included).

However, the lesser lights and left-field picks have impressed in Australia. Dawid Malan is England's top run-scorer, James Vince and Mark Stoneman have both made two half-centuries and Craig Overton has bowled nicely in his two Tests.

If you offered England the performances that those players have put in, they probably would have taken them.

Yes, the bowling has been exposed (more on that later), but who, realistically, could have made a difference? Mark Wood was injured and Liam Plunkett barely plays first-class cricket.

As Trevor Bayliss has reminded us, you cannot pick what you haven't got.

Verdict: Not nearly as important as was feared. The inexperienced members of England's squad have done as well as could have been expected.

Avenue antics

That England somehow managed to twice find trouble in the same Perth nightclub is barely believable.

Jonny Bairstow's 'headbutt' of Cameron Bancroft turned out to be little more than a misunderstanding, yet it still gave ammunition for Australia and left England's players under a curfew.

Ben Duckett's drink-pouring over James Anderson was ill-advised, even if it sounded nothing more than team-mates messing around. It still left Bayliss furious, though.

Did they really have an effect on results? Yes, Bairstow may have been distracted by an on-field mention of the headbutt, but England were already sliding to defeat in Brisbane.

Verdict: A distraction, but no real impact on where the urn has ended up.

Author: Pedro Appona Lasa`be
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