England players rejoice after the fall of an Australian wicket.© AFP
England had a memorable last day of the fifth Ashes Test as the Ben Stokes-led team fought till the last to win the Test and draw the series. At 264-3, chasing a mammoth target of 384, Australia had a chance to pull off an improbable victory on the last day of the fifth and final Test at The Oval. A draw would have been enough to have sealed the series. But instead, they suffered a dramatic collapse, losing their last seven wickets for 70 runs, as England won by 49 runs to end the series all square at 2-2 — the same result as the 2019 Ashes.
After the result, ex-England captain Michael Vaughan minced no words to criticise Australia.
“This Ashes has ended up as a 2-2 draw, but of the two captains there are going to be far more questions about Pat Cummins‘ method than Stokes’. Meanwhile, Cummins and Australia have sent a message to England that they’re almost scared of them. They’ve been so, so worried about what England can do that at times they’ve forgotten about their own strengths,” Vaughan wrote in his column for The Telegraph.
“So even though they won the World Test Championship final against India and leave England with the urn retained, Cummins goes home with more questions than answers. This summer England have played in that Australian way. And Australia have been left looking like England in the 1990s: too attritional and fearful. England have done to Australia what Australia have done to them many times before.”
The former England captain went on to write that, Australia were ‘spooked’ by England’s ‘Bazball’ mode of play.
“The tourists have tried but I think they’ve been spooked by Bazball. In the field they’ve been far too attritional and reactive at times, and they’ve also let England stick to their own plans with the ball. We all talk about the batting side of Bazball but with the ball England have always created new angles and challenges, even on some flat wickets,” he wrote.
With AFP inputs
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