Leading commentators on England’s Ashes win


Ian ChappelL: The thing is if you start going a new direction there’s no point going in that new direction with an old captain. It’s got to be a new captain and a new team and it’s got to be his team. I always thought before the series started that this was the right time for Ponting to finish as a Test captain. You do have a used-by date as a captain and Ricky has reached that point. He captains the World Cup and whether or not after that he decides to stay on as a player is totally up to him. But as far as I’m concerned come August when you’re looking at a Test series, you start looking at a new captain and a new team.” The headache for Cricket Australia is they can do all the right things immediately and set it off in the right direction but that’s going to take a few years for it to bear fruit.
That’s when the selectors drew a line in the sand and said ‘we’ve got to go for young guys with talent and character’. Guys like Steve Waugh, Mark Taylor, Ian Healy, Mark Waugh, these guys came into the side and Australia had a terrific period after that. What bothers me is I’m not sure if the talent that is available now that the Australian selectors are in the same position. But they need to start looking to the future.
Geoff Boycott: This match in Melbourne we out-bowled Australia, out-batted them and out-thought them. We were able to adjust to the conditions far better than Australia and full marks to all the backroom staff and our selectors, who have done a marvellous job for the last three years. This morning it was just a question of who was going to take the wickets and how long Australia would last. Brad Haddin played robustly and it was fitting Tim Bresnan got the last wicket because the strength of any good team is the strength of its reserves. Since Stuart Broad’s injury, Chris Tremlett and Bresnan have bowled superbly.
Derek Pringle: It is difficult to say whether he has outscored Ponting on the leadership front as both lack the instincts of the best on-field captains such as Mark Taylor or Mike Brearley. His team has certainly outplayed Ponting’s and a skipper can take credit for that, whether deserved or not. Judging captains from the way they wave their arms about on a cricket pitch or the speeches they make tells only the pubic side of the story. Strauss is a probably a fine captain as much for the things you don’t see as those that you do. He is certainly grounded, as his letter to Graeme Fowler, his cricket coach at Durham University, reveals.
Peter Roebuck: England deserve enormous credit for the sustained excellence of their cricket in this series. Watching them has given pleasure to all save the most one-eyed observer, a breed not unknown in either nation. It has been a team without heroes or egos, a hard-working, tough, thoughtful and committed outfit that has avoided bleating and inexorably crushed a shaky opponent. As much has been obvious during three humiliating days at the MCG. Andrew Strauss’s side has been a cut above to the glamorous Pommy outfits seen in the 1980s, an era whose failings were hidden by the emergence of a handful of gifted players. That was a time of rebel tours, dissolution, cynical domestic exchanges, lazy champions and false prophets. It’s taken a long time and a lot of hard work and several African coaches but finally England have regained the grit that was for so many decades its hallmark.”