The defeat at the MCG, caps a shambolic tour for Joe Root’s men.© AFP
Australia demolished England by an innings and 14 runs in the third Test in Melbourne on Tuesday to retain the Ashes. It caps a shambolic tour for Joe Root’s men, who were also well beaten in the Tests in Brisbane and Adelaide. And it could yet get worse, with two more Tests — in Sydney and Hobart — still to play.
AFP Sport looks at the numbers behind England’s Ashes humiliation:
The tourists’ defeat at the MCG was their ninth Test loss in 2021 — a joint record for a calendar year along with Bangladesh in 2003. With the fourth Ashes Test starting on January 5, England will be glad to see the back of 2021.
England’s poor batting has been central to their demise. Skipper Joe Root, along with Dawid Malan, has been a rare bright spot. Root has 1,708 runs for the calendar year, at an average of 61.00. But a distant second to him for England in 2021 is maligned opener Rory Burns (530 runs), then Jonny Bairstow (391).
Malan, Jack Leach, Mark Wood and Ollie Robinson all went for 0 as England folded for a paltry 68 in their second innings in Melbourne. Cricket experts Wisden said that was a record-equalling 54 Test ducks for England in 2021.
Led by veteran fast bowler Jimmy Anderson, England gave themselves a chance in the third Test, before their batting again let them down. Australia’s first-innings total of 267 was the lowest to win a men’s Test by an innings this century, Wisden said.
Bowler Scott Boland had a dream debut for Australia on home turf at Melbourne Cricket Ground, taking five wickets in just 19 balls, the joint-fastest five-wicket haul in Test history. He finished with incredible figures of 6-7 off four overs to write himself in Ashes folklore.
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