So it’s over. Australia won the Urn back after three glorious series of English dominance. In the end it took just 14 days and there was only ever one side in it.
Well the second Test didn’t go to plan did it? England’s meagre resistance lasted just short of an hour on Monday as their lower order, many of them accomplished batsmen, inexplicably came out hooking and flailing when, surely, the situation called for them to bat time and attempt to tire their rampant opponents out.
The curse of the Gabbatoir struck again as England’s winless streak there extended to 27 years as they were out-classed, out-thought and out-fought on a quick, bouncy pitch in stifling heat.
Just as the England team discovered in Hobart, I’ve made the uncomfortable realisation that Down Under the skies aren’t always blue and the temperature isn’t always 30 degrees.
I’ve been in Melbourne since last Tuesday and the city’s passion for the game is visible everywhere. There are Ovals on every corner and the detection of my Pom accent has, without fail, led to heated discussions about the game, much to my amusement.
The mood of Aussie supporters who conferred the status of the Pantomime Villain Pom on Stuart Broad may not be improved by the understanding that England’s three-time Ashes winner owes most of his career to Glenn McGrath, if not all of it.