IT HAS been a very weird Ashes Test series in many ways and very unpredictable – it was virtually impossible to call from one Test to the next.
And while there has been a lot of excitement, I think the quality of batting has been pretty poor.
That is on both sides to be fair, although more so Australia when it came to pitches that did a bit and their technique was found wanting.
England were better at playing on those kinds of pitches, whereas our batting on the flatter pitches was as poor as Australia’s on the pitches that produced movement and swing.
Overall, it was an interesting series without reaching the heights of previous years – such as in 2005. To be honest, though, it would take something pretty special to beat that.
I did say at the outset that I felt England would just win the series and it proved to be down to several of their unknowns – Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes and Mark Wood – being able to deliver with big, key performances.
England are not going to be the finished article for quite some time and I think the good thing is that people understand that it is still a work in progress.
They have done brilliantly to win the Ashes – because they weren’t favourites – and it is an outstanding achievement.
The team are still evolving and maturing and they will only get better. The more they play the better they will all become – Ali, Stokes, Wood. It’s good to see Finn back with his pace and bounce because he’s such a great asset. Anderson and Broad are such great players still, then there’s our own Liam Plunkett waiting in the wings.
With Cook now back in form and Joe Root playing so well in the middle order, that is a strong nucleus. There is huge potential for this team ahead of the winter.
While it has been difficult for Adam Lyth, I would love England to give him a chance in the winter as I feel there is such lot of potential there.
2015 Ashes heroes
England – Joe Root
An obvious choice. The volume of runs he has scored and the way he batted at crucial times, he has given England in that middle order and he’s the No 1 Test batsman in the world now.
Australia – Chris Rogers
I know Steve Smith got a double hundred and a big hundred at The Oval, but over the series Rogers showed that willingness to graft when he has needed to.
England – Stuart Broad
A tricky one because so many bowlers have contributed over the course of the series but, over the five matches Broad edges it.
Australia – Mitchell Starc
He’s a young bowler and very much a work in progress. He blows hot and cold, but I think over the series he got wickets regularly, which is what you want from your bowlers.