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Destroyer: quick Stuart Broad was devastating in Durham

4. The spinner’s sorted


Australia made more than 20 changes to their team or batting order in the series, a practice which will surely stop soon (England claims their stability as a major strength). Axing Nathan Lyon for Ashton Agar was a masterstroke when the teen hit 98 on debut, but his bowling wasn’t up to snuff.

Surely now they realise Lyon’s the man for the job, and the next option Fawad Ahmed is hardly beating the door down. On the numbers, Lyon did a job for Australia that Agar couldn’t. In his three Tests, his economy rate is better than one of the world’s best, Swann (2.56 to 3.03 runs per over) and his average isn’t far off either (33.66 to Swann’s 29.03 runs per wicket).

5. The captain’s better

We knew this at the start, but despite the series result, Michael Clarke showed – on the field anyway – that he’s a far superior tactician to his opposite number Cook. BBC analyst Jonathan Agnew has written that “the demands of captaincy are starting to take their toll” on the out-of-form Cook, who averaged under 30 in the series. More worrying for him, is when things aren’t going right, he lacks a plan B and C.

Maybe Clarke’s had to be creative in tough situations, but it’s universally agreed he has plans C, D and E – they may not always work but it’s cracking to watch. He deserves some sort of medal for making the Oval a game, too. Sure, he had less to lose than England, but wasn’t it good fun?



Powerful: Shane Watson’s just one of Australia’s arsenal of big hitters

Natwest one-day international series

It’s another clean slate for the Aussies when they move into 50-over mode for five matches. Can they atone for the winless Ashes and a disappointing Champions Trophy performance?

Game 1: Friday, September 6Headingley Carnegie, Leeds, 10.15am

Game 2: Sunday, September 8Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester, 10.15am

Game 3: Wednesday, September 11Edgbaston, Birmingham, 2pm

Game 4: Saturday, September 14The SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff, 10.15am

Game 5: Monday, September 16The Ageas Bowl, Southampton, 2pm

All matches will air live on TV’s Sky Sports 1 and BBC Radio’s Test Match Special


Photos: Getty


Ashes 2013: 5 reasons why losing 3-0 to Alastair Cook’s England wasn’t so bad for Michael Clarke’s Aussies as they head into the one-dayers
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