Ashes 2019 Review – England Save Face

England saved face and rounded off what was a thrilling 2019 Ashes Series with a win over Australia on Sunday. The 5th Test Match was scheduled to run until Monday afternoon, with another day of play available if the teams needed it to find a winner, but the host nation got the job done with a bit to spare, granting themselves a day off in the process.

The scoreboard at the end of play on Sunday showed a comfortable England win by 135 runs and that told the story of how the Test Match went, if not the complete story of the Series. The victors got the desired result thanks to 294 all out and a staggering 329 all out which was more than enough to see off an opponent who looked to be simply going through the motions when notching up 225 all out and 263 all out.

Series Ends in a 2-2 Draw

That win helped England save the series and they came out of the round with a 2-2 draw, one Test Match ending level. There was very little between the nations with both fully deserving their wins. Australia started the better and recoded a rare opening match win over England on British soil. They looked to be well on their way to winning the Ashes at the earliest opportunity but were left feeling frustrated when the second Test Match ended in a draw. The Aussies were, arguably, the better team that day and would’ve felt short-changed that they didn’t get out with a 2-0 lead to show for their efforts.

England then threw themselves a lifeline with an astonishing final day round of batting to tie the series at 1-1 and that seemed to help spur both the team and the support on, injecting some much-needed confidence back into the ranks. The drawn serious means Australia kept hold of the Ashes but it will go down as a hugely successful summer of the host nation who won the World Cup earlier this year, knocking rivals Australia out in the latter stages and beating New Zealand in the final by the tightest of margins following a draw.

English Fans Can Look Back Fondly

There’s a reason for everyone involved with English cricket to look back fondly on the last couple of months and it has also done wonders for the sport in the UK and abroad. The World Cup and Ashes taking place in the UK helped boost interest in the game, pulling in a fresh audience who hadn’t previously shown too much of an interest in the game. The next step is to travel to Australia and try to regain the Ashes urn but there is plenty of time between then and now to allow both sides to build on recent results and aim to improve. Followers of cricket know just about anything can happen in that time, and very often does.

Speaking to the press at the end of that 5th Test Match win and Joe Root was delighted to call the summer a huge success for English cricket. The captain seemed to really enjoy the World Cup and labelled it incredible viewing, not just the England games but across the board. For that to then be followed by such a competitive Ashes series proved to Root cricket in this country is in a good place, although he did admit it was a gruelling couple of months and proved difficult to be involved in at times. The squad will be eager to get away and rest up before returning to action later this year.

The captain’s wait for an Ashes series win with him in charge now rumbles on and it’s unclear if he will ever be able to achieve this feat. Going to Australia and winning next time will certainly be no mean feat and it appears Joe Root has missed what was his best chance at captaining an Ashes series-winning team.

Stokes Happy Despite Failure

Chipping in with his own thoughts on how things went, Ben Stokes told fans it was a weird feeling as the team were happy with how things went, despite their failure to win back the Ashes. That probably has a lot to do with how Australia started the series and they really could have won 3-1 following such an early surge for the lead. 3-1 was a real possibility at times but 2-2 reads a lot better for followers of the home side.

Stokes was determined to win the Ashes in England and cap a successful summer but he thought the draw was a fair result and served as a clear reflection on how the series went, ebbing and flowing between the rivals who both had chances to win it throughout the play. On a personal note, Ben Stokes added that he will look back on the final day heroics at Headingly as one of the highlights of his career but said he’d swap that performance for winning the Ashes. The player was also fully supportive of his captain and gave a feel for the mood in the camp surrounding Joe Root’s future, he said he was 100% behind Root as being the right man to take England forward.

Will the organisers listen and keep hold of their current captain or will they swing the axe and make way for a new face to lead England into a promising future? That remains to be seen but it would certainly be harsh to drop Joe Root on the back of a strong run of results and the Ashes series draw has to go down as a fine performance, despite failing to get their hands on the famous old urn.