Make no mistake – Australia have battered England and fully deserve their success. Their Renaissance under Darren Lehmann and Michael Clarke has been swift and ruthless; the right players chosen at the right time to restore some much needed faith in Australian cricket.
England have wilted like a dehydrated rose in the face of the Australian heat. They will have to wait until next summer to attempt to blossom once more. Some pruning, however, is essential if they are to move on from the total humiliation inflicted upon them here. The beauty created by Andy Flower in tandem with, first Andrew Strauss and then Alastair Cook, has become warped and disfigured. Change is not so much necessary as inevitable.
The immediate attention turns to one last fight. The Ashes are gone, but there is pride at stake. A whitewash must be averted. When that fate was inflicted on Duncan Fletcher’s class of 2006/07, it was done so by a team containing Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer, Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee. This Australia side contains only Clarke as a genuine world beater. This Australia side hasn’t transformed since the summer into a world class side. It is more organised, sure, but it is not better.
It’s a sorry end to magnificent era of English cricket. Australia will hope that it’s a happy beginning to a rekindling of their former glories.
By Miles Reucroft