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By Stephan Shemilt
BBC Sport in Old Trafford
For the very first time in 18 decades, Australia will go down under with all the Ashes in their own luggage.
They went 2-1 up with just one match to play to ensure a drawn string, which will be all of the holders require to retain the urn , by winning at Old Trafford.
On the 1 hand, England can count themselves unfortunate. They likely would have won, if it had not been at Lord’s.
They wanted among the innings to give them success in a next Test they looked certain to lose and were soundly beaten in the Tests.
Here are some reasons why Australia retain possession of cricket’s oldest prize and England won’t do a World check.
Let’s start with the biggest difference between the 2 sides: the door-sized bat of Steven Peter Devereux Smith.
A constant fidgeting run-scoring machine, although he is not simply a batsman.
To possess tortured England once, on their tour down under in 2017-18, is one thing. To do it following 18 months out of Test cricket due to his part in the ball-tampering scandal, lifts him to the sort of Ashes greatness that is surpassed perhaps only by Sir Donald Bradman.
Not since Neighbours came on TV screens has something Australian put together a body of work.
Smith runs is almost twice as many as anyone else – and he missed one Evaluation. His score is 82.
Despite the fact that the Ashes series is more than two years off, England should be thinking about how to stop Smith from doing this. He will be their main obstacle to regaining the urn in 2021-22.
Taking nothing away from Smith’s accomplishment, it is reasonable to consider the string could have been England’s James Anderson already been fit.
Whether it was wrong or right to have began the very first Test, four weeks after having a calf when playing Lancashire, is problematic, but the fact remains he bowled four overs in the string and not 1 delivery to Smith.
To be without your leading wicket-taker, among the swing bowlers to have ever played the sport, when seeking to dislodge the planet batsman is.
Jofra Archer and stuart Broad performed admirably in Anderson’s lack, but it left the England attack incomplete.
Whereas Australia needed three unrelenting pace bowlers to call , never giving the house batsmen a minute to breathe, England’s assault could not offer exactly the danger.
For seven decades the top order of England has ever contained at least one hole.
They have scrapped enough runs collectively for the bowlers, although It’s hurt them away show.
It potentially shouldn’t have been a issue here – Australia’s batting, pub Smith, has been shaky.
England couldn’t exploit that because their particular collapses were never far away. Four wickets for 18 runs in the first innings of the first Test, 6-27 at the next innings; 138-6 from the first innings of the drawn second Test, 161-5 in the next; and 67 all out in the early innings of the third Test (rational enough, they won).
There was fight from the Test, but on consecutive evenings, England still shipped three wickets for 30 runs, two for none.
England’s batting has not had more success than Bambi stepping on to a lake when it has to do with staying upright. It’s the component of the staff that needs the urgent attention.
It can be contended that England were outplayed in three Tests (Edgbaston, Headingley and Old Trafford) and have been the better side from the other (Lord’s).
They also had opportunities from others, simply to let the moment slip through their fingers, were refused by the weather of the Lord and managed to succeed at Headingley.
After bowling Australia out for 284 at the first innings of the first Test, England found themselves 267-4 at the conclusion of the day, using the opportunity to bat the tourists out of this game. They managed an effect of just 90.
After that, Australia were 75-3 in their second innings 15 behind. Matthew Wade and smith made centuries over the fourth day, moving the people with the support of some England tactics which included a curious lack of Chris Woakes’ bowling.
Australia were 224-5 on a placid pitch when Smith was united by captain Tim Paine. In Paine was shed and Smith, who went on to make 211, was captured a Jack Leach no-ball on 118 away from.
On show, and these moments do matches, hinge.
England have a proud record in home collection. They have not lost this one – yet – but Australia feels like a beat.
However those house wins all have come with caveats. Where England were thrashed at Lord’s the 4-1 triumph over India last summer was considerably closer than the scoreline suggested and was countered with a draw with Pakistan.
At the wins over South Africa and West Indies in 2017, England endured a chastening Test defeat. They came back against Ireland this summer after being pumped out for 85, winning.
Put England have been able to come through despite their flaws, but those frailties were ripe for vulnerability when an Australia team came into town.
England will deny that the attention on winning the World Cup has come at the detriment of their Test side, but tons of evidence indicates otherwise.
Some concrete improvements are made. Archer has brought the pace lacking program has been latterly demonstrated by the batsmen and for Leach looks like he could be a Test-quality spinner.
However Australia are a better team.
From batting collapses to Steve Smith’s brilliance, the reasons behind England’s Ashes failure – and could we have called it?
Watch the second Josh Hazlewood traps Craig Overton lbw to wrap up.
England have not lost an Ashes series in the home – but will you recall who played that series conquer?
Joe Root claims he is still the correct man to captain England even though failing to recover the Ashes.
Analysis and opinion from the BBC’s cricket correspondent.

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