Australia crushed England by an innings and 14 runs in the third Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday to retain the Ashes. The Aussies needed just a draw in the third Test to regain the urn but, led by debutant fast bowler Scott Boland went about dismantling the English batting line-up with some hostile pace bowling. Resuming at 31 for four on Day 3, England batters fell like ninepins as Boland took six wickets to help bundle out the visitors for a paltry 68 in the second innings.
Twitter went into hyperdrive following England’s dismal showing, many failing to come to terms with the visitors’ meek surrender in Melbourne.
Apart from Boland, Mitchell Starc too was unplayable at times. The left-armer produced a peach of a delivery to send Ben Stokes packing to start the procession of wickets.
Starc ended up with three in the second innings to add to the two wickets he had taken in the first.
Only two England batters — Stokes (11) and skipper Joe Root (28) — managed to get into double figures in the second innings.
On a personal front, it has been a brilliant year with the bat for Root, who ended 2021 with the third-most runs in a calendar year in Test cricket history.
The England captain ended the year with 1,708 runs, finishing behind only Pakistan’s Mohammad Yousuf (1,788 in 2006) and West Indian legend Viv Richards (1,710 in 1976).
England have a lot of soul-searching to do ahead of the remaining two Tests. The fourth Test begins on January 5 at the Sydney Cricket Ground while the fifth and final match will be played at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart from January 14.