Humiliation. There is no other word for it.
England didn’t just beat Australia at Lord’s yesterday, they comprehensively embarrassed them.
A narrow, nailbiting win in Nottingham was replaced by a cake walk in London as England triumphed by a whopping 347 runs to confirm their superiority over their oldest rivals.
It says something when Australia’s biggest positive from the game was in making England wait until the final possible over of the fourth day until victory was secured.
The heart and fight showed by the last-wicket pair of James Pattinson and Ryan Harris in trying to force the game into a fifth day was admirable, but a complete irrelevance to the match and the series.
When Graeme Swann claimed the final wicket with just three balls left in the day, it created an artificial sense of excitement, but you could understand the player’s joy at earning an extra day off.
At 2-0 up in the series after two matches English thoughts must now turn to the whitewash, not in an arrogant or gloating way, but because that is now the challenge.
Led by Joe Root’s 180 and his crucial two wickets to boot, England know they have Australia in a vice and there is no reason to loosen it before August 25th.
Day by day this England team is pulling further and further away from the Aussies and there is nothing they can do to stop it.
The claim, from several former Australian cricketers, that these two teams are actually a lot closer than people think is being shown to be pure bunkum.
There is a gulf in class that was epitomised by Root’s collection of the man-of-the-match award in just his eighth Test for a majestic hundred, but such is his confidence right now he bowled as if he were picked just for that.
In one of only two periods of defiance from Australia during the day, skipper Michael Clarke and Usman Khawaja batted with skill and courage to repel England in a partnership of 98 after lunch.
But with Swann off the field nursing a back injury, caused by Khawaja clattering into him accidentally, Root took his chance to shine.
He gives the ball a good old rip and it was enough for Clarke to tickle one to the waiting Cook at leg slip.
It was one captain’s total victory over another.
Khawaja followed two overs later with a more authentic edge to gully where James Anderson pouched the catch. The procession to victory was underway as Australia’s middle and lower order fell with comforting regularity until the final pair came together.
If there can be any criticism of England throughout this series it must be their difficulty at capturing the final wicket in an innings.
This time it was Pattinson and Harris, two of the hardest working bowlers, who did what their batsmen should have done in thwarting England’s attack.
It is one thing getting a few useful runs from the lower order, but Australia’s 10th-wicket partnership has become a key part of their batting unit and for that the rest of their batsman should be ashamed.
England are on a roll and will enjoy the little gap until the next match.
For Australia, Old Trafford on Thursday week will still come around all too soon.
source: Mirror UK