Sunday, January 05, 2014

How bad was that ?

So how bad was that Ashes defeat when placed in the context of Ashes series going back to 1876/77? Well the fact is that there have only been three 5-0 whitewashes by Australia and this was easily the worst. In 2006/7 England under Andrew Flintoff lost 5-0. But in that series England was  “only”  bowled out in nine of the ten innings and scored 2530 runs compared with a paltry 2158 this time. You have to go back to 1920/21 to find the other 5-0 whitewash. In that series England under Douglas was, as in 2013/14,  also bowled out ten times but 2779 runs were scored – far more than in the debacle of 2013/14. The 1920/21 series was called a “disaster” by Wisden.

When it comes to individual performances England's batsmen only scored one century in this recent series (Ben Stokes at Perth). IN 2006/7 there were three and in 1920/21 four. The bowlers fared better than the batsmen and actually bowled Australia out eight times in 2013/14 compared with four in 2006/7 and seven in 1920/21.    

In 2013/14 The “best” batsman was Stokes with 279 runs at 34.87. He was the only batsman to average over 30 and none of the team scored 300 runs in the series. In 2006/7 Pietersen averaged over 50 and he, Collingwood and Bell scored over 300 runs and averaged over 30. In 1920/21 Hobbs averaged over 50 and four others over 30 and three batsmen scored over 300 runs (Hobbs 505).

In 2013/14 The “best” bowler was Broad with 21 wickets with Stokes and Anderson taking 15 and 14 respectively. In 2006/7 Hoggard was the best bowler with 13 wickets with three others (Panesar, Flintoff and Harmison) getting into double figures. In 1920/21 only two bowlers, Parkin (16) and Fender (12) took ten or more wickets.

In conclusion in terms of team results and run aggregates this is England’s worst ever Ashes performance as it is in respect of individual batting. The bowling was better and Broad in particular did not disgrace himself. But overall it doesn't come any worse for England. If the match at The Oval in 1882 which created the legend of The Ashes was a cataclysm for England cricket this five match obliteration in 2013/14 was no less so. Statistics don't ever tell the whole story. But this time they do show how bad it was.

No comments: