The Australian cricket team's golden summer
WHEN the Ashes series began, I don’t think anyone would have predicted what has unfolded in the past two months.
The Aussies, led by a stoic Michael Clarke, managed an Ashes whitewash.
There has only been three clean sweeps in history.
From the first test in Brisbane in late November to Ryan Harris’ final wicket in Sydney, Australia’s Ashes campaign was perfectly executed.
Australia’s Ashes campaign was perfectly executed.
The final score 5-0.
It has been a stunning Australian revival.
The entire nation has got behind the team.
It has inspired a new generation of cricket fans.
The Australian players were as hungry as I have ever seen them.
The performances of Mitchell Johnson and Brad Haddin are the reason why I think this team has been so successful.
Taking 37 wickets over five tests, Johnson was clearly the man of the series.
He was ruthless in his bowling attack, showing no mercy to the English team.
In the end the Poms were scared to face Johnson and his 1970s mo.
Haddin, who was out of the Australian team last year, has pulled off an amazing feat.
At 36 years of age, the wicket-keeper scored 493 runs across the series as well as taking several catches.
However despite the performances of Johnson and Haddin, each member of the team played their role.
There were moments in each test that made Australia proud.
Nathan Lyon’s five wickets in the Boxing Day test, George Bailey’s world record equalling 28 run over and Steve Smith’s ton in Perth.
For England, it was just embarrassing.
The old enemy was humiliated on the field.
They showed no fight and will now have to fly home battered and bruised.
It is a series Alastair Cook would rather forget, but I think it will be one that will haunt him and his team.
One man who deserves to be recognised for the change in the way Australia has played is coach and fan favourite Darren ‘Boof’ Lehmann.
Lehmann decided to stick with the same 11 throughout the Ashes, bringing some much needed consistency to the team.
Twelve months ago this wasn’t the case.
Former coach Mickey Arthur continued to chop and change the team.
Whereas Lehmann has taken a different approach and it is clearly paying off.
He has created an environment were players are enjoying their cricket.
David Warner is a prime example.
The reformed bad boy has won a new league of fans this summer.
He let his cricket do the talking, scoring memorable centuries in the Brisbane and Adelaide tests.
Australia will now look to further punish England in the One Day Internationals which begin on Sunday.
If the form shown by the Australian team is anything to go by, I am predicting another Australian series win.