England 391-9 declared
Australia 60 & 253 (England won by an innings and 78 runs)
England wasted little time in wrapping up their expected victory on day three of the fourth Test, regaining the Ashes in the process against Australia at Trent Bridge. They took the remaining three wickets in clinical fashion to clinch the series (already) with an unassailable 3-1 lead, as the men from Down Under were convincingly defeated by an innings and 78 runs.
England dominant throughout
Their victory was never really in doubt after the humiliating dismissal of the visitors for just 60 runs on day one as Stuart Broad ran riot to take an unbelievable 8-15. Only 39 minutes of play on day three were needed for Ben Stokes and Mark Wood (2) to skittle the tourists out and confirm yet another comprehensive win for the hosts. Stokes returned highly encouraging figures of 6-36 in the second innings to confirm his place as the nation's ultimate all-rounder at present. His stupendous catch in the first innings to dismiss Adam Voges was perhaps the champagne moment of this Test and maybe the current series.
One—sided Test matches
One of the main features of the latest encounters between the old foes has been the one-sided manner of defeat in the four Tests played so far. England have had by far the better of the exchanges, with home advantage (and some favourable coin tosses) allowing them to avenge the whitewash that they experienced against the same opponents in the previous Ashes series in style.
Much has been said about the preparation of the pitches, as the strengths of England's bowling attack have been (seemingly) kept firmly in mind. After being blasted out by the pace and bounce of Mitchell Johnson on their travels last time out, the surfaces have (Lords apart) dovetailed perfectly to the skill sets of Stuart Broad and James Anderson with the red cherry in hand. Although they have bowled expertly to make full use of the conditions in three of the Tests, it will be intriguing to see whether England can replicate the feat in tours abroad over the next few years.
Lack of spin expertise
Certainly the enthusiasm and national fervor that has been developed this summer should serve them well on their travels, although the glaring lack of a top notch spin option seems likely to haunt them somewhere down the track. Moeen Ali clearly strengthens the batting lower down the order, but as a spinner he looks unlikely to be a decisive factor when the speedsters fail to make an impact.
Fast bowling promise
Wood's introduction into the pace attack has shown promise and sufficient menace to suggest that he will retain his place for the foreseeable future. Steven Finn was back to his best in the third Test but lacked the same impact at Trent Bridge. The selectors will hope that he livens up for the final Test at the Oval.
Clarke to step down
One of the questions about Michael Clarke's future as captain of his national side has been resolved, as the struggling veteran has decided to step down at the end of the current series and retire from international #Cricket. His batting form has been poor throughout and it seems that the 34-year-old has opted to go now rather than drag the saga out any longer. The logical replacement would seem to be Steve Smith, although he too has had his share of peaks and troughs against England this time around.
Root tops rankings
Joe Root’s superb century for England became almost an afterthought after the fireworks from Stuart Broad with the ball on day one, but has been enough to elevate the Yorkshire batsman to top spot in the ICC world rankings. His innings ensured that England posted a large enough total to pile the pressure on to Australia second time around.