Australia retain Ashes with dominant win over England at MCG
Australia retain the Ashes with a dominant win over England in the third Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The Test got over in less than three full days as Australia won by an innings and 14 runs. England succumbed to Australian fast bowlers in the second innings, perishing on 68. Scott Boland decimated the English batting line-up with a ferocious six-wicket haul.
England were bowled out for 185 after Australia elected to field. Skipper Joe Root was the lone warrior for the visitors, scoring a half-century (50). The Australian batters stumbled too on Day 2, however, the lower middle-order guided the hosts to 267. Australian seamers were fired-up in the final session, reducing England to 31/4. They eventually skittled out the Root-led side on 68.
Australian pace spearhead Boland delivered one of the greatest spells in Test cricket. He completed his five-wicket haul in mere 19 balls, the joint-fastest five-for in Test history. Overall, Boland registered mind-boggling figures of 6/7 in mere 24 deliveries. Boland, who became the second Indigenous man to play Test cricket for Australia, won the Mullagh medal on debut (Player of the Match).
Boland registered the best innings figures (6/7) by an Australian man on Test debut in Australia since January 1895 when Albert Trott took 8/43 against England at the Adelaide Oval. The former had a strike rate of 14.5 in the third Test.
Australia are unbeaten in the Ashes at home since January 2011. They have won 12 Tests (drawn one) ever since. The Aussies are yet to lose an Ashes Test at home since the 2010/11 series. They won the previous two series 5-0 (in 2013/14) and 4-0 (in 2017/18). Overall, Australia last lost the Ashes in 2015 (in England).
Anderson helped England make a turnaround in the first innings. He took a total of four wickets for 33 runs and bowled 10 maidens. As per Opta, Anderson has taken at least four wickets in a Test innings in Australia seven times. He is only behind Sydney Barnes (9), Sir Ian Botham (8), and Maurice Tate (8) on this list.
Anderson removed Australian opener David Warner in the first innings. The England pace spearhead has now dismissed Warner 10 times in Test cricket. Warner is the third batter to have fallen to Anderson as many times (Cheteshwar Pujara and Peter Siddle - 11 each.
Root was the only England batter who fired in the first innings. He scored 50 off 82 balls (4 fours). He registered his ninth Test half-century in Australia, the most by an English player in the nation without registering a ton. Root now has the third-most Test runs by a batter in a calendar year (1,708). He surpassed Graeme Smith (1,656) on the tally.
Root is the only English batter to have smashed over 1,700 Test runs in a calendar year. He racked up 1,708 runs from 15 Tests this year at an incredible average of 61.00. The tally includes 6 hundreds and 4 half-centuries (Best: 228). Overall, he is only behind Mohammad Yousuf (1,788 in 2006) and Sir Vivian Richards (1,710 in 1976).
England suffered nine defeats in Test cricket this year, the joint-most Test defeats in a calendar year. Bangladesh also lost as many Tests in 2003. The English batters recorded a record-equaling 54 ducks in 2021. Notably, England registered as many ducks in 1998. Dawid Malan became the 20th England batsman to record a duck in Test cricket this year.