Australia won in Perth to go 3-0 up in the first test series and regain the Ashes. The next match is at the MCG Melbourne starting on Boxing Day
England have now lost their last seven overseas Tests and Australia have recorded the most consecutive Test wins against an opponent at one venue: 8 fro 1991 onwards
Throughout this series Australia have bowled faster than England – 141.44kph v 135.37kph, found more swing than England – 0.64° v 0.54°, found more spin than England – 4.56° v 3.18° and have middled more balls than England – 228 v 211. They are the better team & have regained the urn. The performance of the key players on both sides has been crucial and we can see why the Australia selectors are “obsessed” with pace. Three quick bowlers consistently bowling 140kph plus is a key difference between the teams. When the ball isn’t swinging or seaming, the extra pace can still get good players out.
England were 368 for 4 on the second morning at Perth and still lost by an innings. That takes some doing but the inability of their fast medium bowlers to take wickets and the threat offered by the Australian quicks was markedly different.
Then there is the incomparable Australian captain Steve Smith who now has 426 runs in the series with two hundreds, nearly 125 runs ahead of the next highest run scorer (Malan) Contrast this with the runs scored by England’s big two (Root 176 Cook 83) and we see another big factor in the 3-0 result
On the wicket taking front Starc has 19 Hazlewood 15 and Lyon 14 with Anderson next on 12. However Broad has only taken 5 wickets and Ali 3.
So we can see that key experienced England players have underperformed and whilst they have been some encouraging signs by the younger players you just can’t compete away from home in these circumstances
Australia are now as short as 11/10 to win the series 5-0 and 1-2 to win the fourth test, with England at 4-1.Tempting as it is to suggest an England consolation victory I feel that is more likely to come from 4-0 down at Sydney.Australia should win in Melbourne.