Total Pageviews

Thursday, 30 December 2010

2010 - A memorable year of sport (Part 2 - The Ashes)

Next topic of review is the Ashes. It may still be ongoing but England have already made sure the Urn will be going nowhere. The success in 2005 and 2009 were fantastic achievements but to do it on the turf of their oldest rivals is an exceptional effort. 

England were brilliant for all but three days of the tour. Despite being beaten heavily in perth, the tourists were evidently the stronger side and showed that in the MCG test as they battered the Australians to retain the Ashes.

England celebrate the only way they know after thumping Australia and retain the Ashes

Sydney is still to go and it's important that England don't lose that game because 2-2 would be a grave injustice but the main aim of the tour has been achieved.

It all started in Brisbane. After Steve Harmison's infamous first ball four years ago, it was vital England started well this time around but unfortunately that wasn't to be the case as captain Strauss fell third ball of the opening match.

England rescued a draw from the test despite being bowled out for a measly 260 on the first day. That was largely thanks to a massive 517-1 declared with Alistair Cook scoring a fine double century.

The momentum was with England and that was clear to see as they restricted Australia to 2-3 on the opening morning of the Adelaide 2nd test. The tourists dominated the rest of the game and opened up a 1-0 lead in the five match series after a innings and 71 runs victory.

Fans and the media from both sides were already suggesting that the series was over but Australia never know when they're beaten and that was to be the case in Perth.

England have always struggled on a bouncy wicket, they did so again in dramatic fashion. Having got the hosts in all kinds of trouble at 69-5, it appeared England were on course for an Ashes retaining win. But Michael Hussey guided his side to a decent total and they never looked back.

Three days later, Australia wrapped up a 267-run thrashing to leave the series in the balance at 1-1.

But this England side doesn't roll over easy and they bounced back in stunning style as Jimmy Anderson and Chris Tremlett took four wickets each to bowl Australia out for a atrocious 98. Andy Flower's side reached the close of day one on 157-0 to all but ensure the Ashes would be staying in English hands.

In due course, an innings victory was sealed and the players showed how much it meant to them by celebrating long into the night.

I have been very impressed with this England team. Flower has installed stability and confidence into the side. The key to their recent success may be down to how settled the team is. Every player gets along with each other and that can certainly play a big part when it comes to performing on the field.

The whole squad deserves praise for the triumph but some players have stood out more than others. Alistair Cook found his form to be the leading run scorer and Jonathan Trott continued his impressive start to his test career.

Andrew Strauss has led the team with authority while Anderson proved he can bowl in Australian conditions. Tim Bresnan and Chris Tremlett have been huge pluses for England and with Stuart Broad and Graham Onions out injured, the bowling department is getting ever stronger.

2010 has been a fantastic year for English cricket with the 20/20 team securing the countries first ever ICC World Cup win, adding to the Ashes triumph.

Elsewhere, Sachin Tendulkar has once again had a incredible year. Out of all the great players I have witnessed, he beats them hands down. A quality player and with India touring England in the summer, it would be great to see him back in this country.

Another great year of cricket action and 2011 promises just as much.

No comments:

Post a Comment