The Ashes - Never mind the length, feel the quality
England reclaim the Ashes after two days and 42 minutes at Trent Bridge.
England only needed 61 balls to defeat Australia on the 3rd day of the 4th Test at Trent Bridge. When Mark Wood bowled Nathan Lyon the players and supporters exploded as one. The only English people who may not have been completely overjoyed are those with tickets for tomorrow. For many it will have been the only Ashes tickets they bought this year, so the joy victory brought will be tinged with disappointment at missing out at watching their heroes.
The first two Tests finished on Day 4 and the Third Test was won early on Day 3. Four Tests have added up to 14 days play in total from a possible 20. The cricket has been exciting but there are consequences to playing Test cricket in One Day mode. There is an obvious financial penalty to the venues. Clubs like Nottinghamshire pay a hefty premium to host an Ashes Test and losing around 25% of their income will hit them hard.
The other consequence is in losing some traditional Test skills. Games in the Indian sub-continent require patience for batsmen and bowlers alike. Bowlers need to learn how to bowl in longer innings and after only Joe Root has made a century in four Tests, the need to improve innings building is clear for all to see.
However, these are worries for the end of the series. For now we should rejoice in reclaiming the Ashes. England have five seam bowlers who can take five wicket hauls, Ian Bell and Alastair Cook are regaining form and Root is arguably the best batsmen in the world. We will need more than this to defeat South Africa this winter, but for now it will do very nicely.