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The 2015 Ashes Series did not take place.

August 24, 2015


The England Australia Ashes test series wasn’t.

I mean it will be listed along with all the others, but there was really very little test cricket in it.

Quantitatively, in terms of days lost – not to rain but to one-sided play – we’ve been robbed of an entire test match.   There was not a fifth day to be had all summer between these teams.  Days and days of cricket just didn’t happen.

3:2 sounds like a close scoreline.  An absurdly close scoreline given that there was no one close match to be had all summer. Let’s review.  Overwhelming English victory at Cardiff – overwhelming Australian victory at Lords – overwhelming English victory at Edgbaston, overwhelming English victory at Trent Bridge and overwhelming Australian victory at the Oval.

At no point all summer was a draw ever on the table.

And test cricket needs draws.  Or rather, test cricket needs the strong possibility of draws.  It’s not that I wanted any of these matches to be drawn especially – I just wanted to have to think about any one of these matches being drawn at some stage,  Because a gritty drawn match is one of the necessary experiential elements in the test cricket spice palate.

There was some fine bowling, some (but rather less) finer batting and some catches that deserve being repeated in slow motion – but in none of these matches were these elements mixed together in a way that reminds me of test cricket at its best.

Test cricket should be epic – and epic involves a portfolio of narrative devices which involves some elements which some people think are boring.  Non stop action is not epic.  Non stop action gives no sense of time passing, gives no sense of th weight of time.  Non stop action movies are far less exciting, ultimately, than slower movies that are periodically punctuated by action.  Likewise, this England Australia series was less than exciting because too many wickets were falling too quickly.  The wickets, when they fell (on either side) – did not feel “earned” in the same way.

Ho hum.

Obvious stuff I think.  Peter Siddle should have been playing from the start.  England needs to shuffle their order to give Cook a proper opening partner and move Ali further up.  But what the series really needed was not better bowlers but someone more like Rahul Dravid.  A Rahul Dravid cloned and given to both sides.

But that’s technical stuff.  I hope to get to see some real test cricket again soon – cricket that plays games with the nature of time and space.

Farewell Ashes 2015.  We hardly knew ye.


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