WHERE DID IT ALL GO WRONG FOR AUSTRALIA?
RYAN HARRIS’ UNTIMELY INJURY
If England could pick one player they wanted to remove from Australia’s squad prior to the series starting, the paceman would be a contender. Harris played some of his best cricket in English conditions, but a setback ended his career before the first Test.
MICHAEL CLARKE’S FORM SLUMP
The captain has dug Australia out of trouble in so many Tests, but never looked like doing so in Test defeats at Cardiff, Birmingham and Nottingham. Clarke wasn’t the sole reason for collapses at those three venues, but his batting blues remained a talking point throughout the series.
A TEAM IN TRANSITION
Clarke was cracking Dad’s Army jokes at the team’s function at the High Commission, which preceded the Ashes. Chris Rogers, the oldest member of the squad, was their leading run-scorer. The 37-year-old was the exception among the older hands. Experienced players Harris, Brad Haddin, Peter Siddle and Shane Watson all played limited roles in the series.
BOLD NEW ENGLAND
Trevor Bayliss helped enhance an attacking spirit in the hosts after taking over as coach on the eve of the series. The way they took the game on with bat and ball, coupled with Alastair Cook’s new-found ability to go for a quick kill, often had Australia reeling.
IF JIMMY DOESN’T GET YOU, BROAD MUST
Australia’s inability to combat class bowling in English conditions was brutally exposed in three of the four Tests. Jimmy Anderson, Steve Finn and Ben Stokes all bagged six-wicket hauls – it was Anderson’s best Ashes figures and career-best figures for Finn and Stokes. Stuart Broad topped them all with an unbelievable 8-15 at Trent Bridge.