An improved batting lineup, greater bowling depth and a captain in his prime are aiming higher than retaining the urn
In the hours and days after the 2019 Ashes in England had finished as a drawn series, the careful wording from the touring country was all about retention. That was the focus of the congratulatory press release from Cricket Australia. Those around the camp who before the fifth Test had talked up victory had to temper it and explain that their primary job had been to hold on to the tiny urn, and that ultimately they were satisfied. “Retain” was pasted in for “win”, with the audible hint of an invisible asterisk.
Much about the effort was extraordinary. Start with Steve Smith’s 774 runs despite missing the third Test with concussion, after 16 months out suspended. Only Donald Bradman, Everton Weekes, and Viv Richards have exceeded that series tally without playing more innings. Australia had withstood Jofra Archer’s fiercest to draw at Lord’s, taken a first-innings advantage after enduring the season’s toughest batting conditions at Headingley, lost that match to a once-in-a-lifetime performance, then collected themselves to recover and win in Manchester.
Written by Geoff Lemon at Edgbaston
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2023/jun/15/the-ashes-retention-not-enough-as-hungry-australia-seek-to-right-wrongs-of-2019 under the title “England beware: in-form Australia are hungry to right Ashes wrongs of 2019”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.