As if it hasn’t been questioned enough, Australia’s batting order is once again under the spotlight following a match-losing collapse at the hands of Stuart Broad in the final session of day 4 at Chester Le Street. At 168-2, Australia collapsed to be bowled out for 224, a mere 70 runs away from victory in a match where the visitors played their best game all series. Broad finished with figures of 6-50 and claimed all his wickets in a single 45-ball spell.
It was clear that Australian captain Michael Clarke was bitterly disappointed to draw the Third Test last week, but his spirits would have been raised when his side came back to Chester Le Street and, for the better part of the game, outplayed the English. But the demise of his batting order late on day 4 will have many critics questioning the places of many in this Australian side. Chris Rogers got a century, that’s about the only positive for Australia to take from the 4th Test.
It is a little disappointing that, for the most part, the Australians haven’t really fired in this series. You could argue they should have won the First Test, and could have won the Third Test if not for the rain. DRS has sparked controversy after controversy, but there is no overshadowing the fact that Australia have simply not played to the level required to win back the Ashes.
The English now head to The Oval with momentum, the spoils, form, and success all on their side, and one couldn’t help but bet that some serious changes will be made in the Australian squad this week. England go to the Oval with a 3-0 series lead, and have already retained the Ashes.