They hold the Ashes and are World Test Champions, but how will this Australian cricket team be remembered?
‘Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone; silence the pianos and with muffled drum, bring out the coffin, this Ashes is done.’
W.H. Auden’s famed poem ‘Funeral Blues’ seems an apt way to bring to a close one of the most engrossing, thrilling, and boorish men’s Ashes series ever.
Now that I can finally think clearly, having been deprived of sleep and reason across six pulsating weeks of glorious cricket and tribalist nonsense, I can also attempt to answer a question that was raised before the first ball was bowled.
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In the lead in to the Ashes, there was much talk of this being an ‘era defining’ tour, in which an experienced Australian men’s team hoped to enshrine its legacy forever.
The core of this team, picked consistently as a unit since 2016, features Steve Smith, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins.