Australia struggled through testing weather, less than ideal pitch conditions and the determination of England. But after 15 days of cricket, the Ashes belong to Australia once again, with Australian captain Steve Smith leading his country to a triumphant outcome for the series.
Captain Steve Smith performs
Steve Smith has risen to the occasion and steered Australia to victory, claiming the Ashes title for the second time in the past six Test series. The final day of the WACA Test saw Smith deliver his highest ever score and earn his second man of the match title in three matches.
The elated captain was overcome with emotion in the WACA sheds. Smith teared up post-match as the men’s hard work and dedication throughout the past few weeks finally paid off.
Smith is extremely eager to experience another 5-0 whitewash, after tasting its sweetness in the 2013-14 series. While he’s currently taking it one step at a time, the captain’s hopeful that Australia is in a position to do it again.
In his first Ashes series as captain, Smith was determined to stand out and make a memorable difference to the series. After facing heavy skepticism for the match in Adelaide, the captain was certainly able to bounce back and perform when it mattered most.
After the start of play was delayed by an unusual dampening of the pitch, there were concerns that Australia wouldn’t even get the opportunity to finish England off. WACA ground staff were geared up with leaf blowers in a desperate attempt to fix the state of the pitch, as both countries grew agitated by the inconvenient situation.
The pitch was deemed too dangerous for play and a forced draw was on the horizon, when the umpires concluded that the match would proceed.
Despite the decision, troublesome weather conditions persisted, delaying the start of play until after midday and costing the match 28 overs. However Australia eventually proved to only need 33 overs to take the remaining six wickets.
In hindsight, the captains of both England and Australia have supported the umpire’s decisions and commended them for their cautious approach. They were wary of the overarching aim to protect the players’ safety, while also respecting the pressure of the public to continue with the event.
In response, the umpires were able to make a call that allowed play to progress in acceptable conditions.
England is understandably disappointed with the outcome, with their promising starts failing to uphold throughout the past three consecutive away Tests. Conversely, the Australian players and the rest of the country are ecstatic with the result, with the selectors choice’s seemingly paying off.
After an intense few weeks for the players, Australia has pulled together and made its way to Ashes glory.