The 71st Ashes series was no less exciting than the previous tournaments, with surprise decisions, tense confrontation, and impressive players’ feats. The tournament has been around for over a century, and it never ceases to amaze cricket fans in Australia and the UK. Rediscover the main highlights from this year’s tournament. As you can see on cricket team analysis on stumped, the results provide food for thought. From shocking player droppings to pathetic umpire decisions, here is our top ten.
1 Australia’s Breathtaking Win
Australia entered the struggle as the defending holders. Despite the stoic opposition from England, they eventually managed to secure a victory in the fourth Test and retain the Ashes. It had been 18 years since Australians last achieved such success on foreign soil. Ben Stroke’s heroic performance two weeks prior was still giving his teammates hope, but there was no second miracle that day in Manchester, and the urn will go to in Australia for the next two years. In this dramatic final battle, England was striving for a draw, but neither the batmen’s suppressed attack instincts, not the tenacious tail and middle-order efforts could save the day. What a thrilling win!
2 England Lost Their Collective Spirit
According to ex-skipper Michael Vaughan, the British side completely lacked the team spirit in the fourth Test match — right when it was needed the most. The players looked like each was involved in his own job, with no regard for the team as a whole. As a result, England failed to spot the key moments in the game. The decision to bowl Craig Overton and Jack Leach was highly dubious, as Stuart Broad or Jofra Archer were clearly better candidates in Vaughan’s opinion. It would also be better for Jason Roy focus on white-ball cricket in the future, as his performance was disappointing.
3 Incredible Innings from Ben Stokes
This was one of the most miraculous cricket victories ever, which allowed England to bring the score to a draw. The third Test match, this was the highest fourth-innings chase in the history of Ashes and the team’s highest successful run chase in a Test match. The success was preceded by 11 fourths, 8 sixes, and the addition of 76 with Jack Leach. A remarkable feat, this achievement helped to keep England’s hopes to beat Australia alive. Ben Stokes was adored by the media and described as nothing less than “phenomenal”
4 Poor Umpiring Decisions
The opening Test brought a number of dubious decisions, and Aleem Dar of Pakistan had to face a barrage of criticism. He was accused of giving the Australians an unfair advantage by insisting that Travis Head had gained an inside edge before the ball landed into the player’s pads. Head was confirmed to have been plumb. Critics went rampant on social media, and Australian cricket star Megan Schutt even defined the decision as “crap”. Joel Wilson of West Indies also came under fire. He was forced to reconsider his decision of not ruling the batman out for the caught behind appeal aimed at Usman Khawaja. In total, fire umpire decisions were overturned during the match, which is a shocking result.
5 Surprise Changes on the Australian Team
Incredibly, the team’s strongest bowler Mitchell Starc was dropped. The player had taken 27 wickets and the year’s World Cup. This is more than had ever been achieved before. Rumors of the planned move had been circulating before the tournament and were confirmed half an hour before the opening match. It was suggested that Starc’s white-ball form was insufficient for Ashes, following an intense summer when he had played against India in the whites. He was replaced by Pattison, who had last played a Test in 2016 and had taken a break due to injury issues.
6 Saddening Performance Of Cameron Bancroft
Bancroft was making his comeback in the Tests after being banned from the game for proven ball-tampering. However, he failed to show any spectacular results, making 44 runs in 4 innings during the first two Tests in the tournament. Coach Justin Langer described the decision to drop the batman as “tough” and suggested he had been “trying a bit too hard”. As a consequence of poor results, Bancroft was replaced by Marcus Harris, who had just had an incredible batting year.
7 Stemguard Debate
In 2019, Ashes saw a few spectacular injuries. Steve Smith suffered a hit to the side of his neck that came from English bouncer Jofra Archer. The incident occurred on the fourth day of the second Test. Smith fell to the ground but later stood up and continued playing. This hit, however, rekindled the discussion of the need for StemGuards. These safety guards were devised by a U.K. manufacturer after the tragic death of Phillip Hughes five years ago. The guards are designed to provide extra protection for a player’s head behind the ear. Made of plastic and foam, they may be used by more players following Smith’s shocking collapse.
8 Pat Cummings Commits the Cardinal Sin
On the first day of the fifth Test in Manchester, Cummings managed to commit the worst cricket blunder — overstepping the line. A rookie blunder, it can hardly be expected of an experienced cricket player.
9 Tim Paine’s Surprise Decision to Bowl
On the opening of the fifth Test, the Australian coach’s decision to bowl was met with disbelief and amazement. At the beginning of the match, the weather was cloudy, which may have prompted Paine to send the opponents in, hoping to take advantage of the environmental factor. However, the sky soon cleared, and bowling became exhausting.
10 Jofra Archer’s Remarkable Debut
The player’s first appearance in the Tests was memorable. With Bancroft as a maiden wicket, he performed flawless deliveries to the inside and outside edge. Eventually, he managed to trap Bancroft LBW for 13/66 balls. In the fifth Test, he took 6-62, giving his team the upper hand.