India vice captain and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Smriti Mandhana also voiced her support for a multi-city format in order to attract more eyeballs to women’s cricket.
Australia’s former captain Ricky Ponting believes that the entertainment England provided in the Ashes series, making a comeback into the series from 0-2, is “just a tip of the iceberg”.
Game-changing spells by England’s Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali denied Australia their first Ashes win away from home since 2001 and Stuart Broad scripted a fairytale finish to his career by taking the final two wickets, defeating the visitors by 49 runs in the fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval on Monday. “This is just the tip of the iceberg, I believe. It is a relatively young team, some of the guys haven’t played a lot of Test cricket – Harry Brook, Ben Duckett and Zak Crawley can all still improve. England will get better, tweak things along the way. I am looking forward to seeing them in the future,” Ponting told Sky Sports.
With the fifth Test win, England has drawn the series 2-2. Australia has retained the Ashes urn, but they have not won it outright, something that they have not done since 2001 in England.
“England had opportunities in those first two Test matches and knew their style was standing up to what Australia had. You could hear the self-belief coming through Stokes, coming through McCullum, coming through all the players, whenever we spoke to them,” he added.
“They were unwavering in what they wanted to do and how they wanted to play. I think they have learnt along the way. It was just a little tweak in game awareness, that’s all it was. If you look at the players they have, I don’t think McCullum is asking them do anything other than be themselves. He is saying, ‘go out and trust your way’.”
After the second session was washed out due to rain, Australia started the final session of the day at 238/3 with Steve Smith (40) and Travis Head (31) standing unbeaten at the crease, needing 146 runs to win.
England made a comeback in the match, with Chris Woakes getting the prized wicket of Smith, who nicked the ball straight into the hands of Zak Crawley for 54. Later, Moeen dismissed the dangerous Mitchell Marsh for just six after being caught behind by Jonny Bairstow. Woakes then in the next over got Mitchell Starc for a two-ball duck.
The tides turned in favour of England, who had reduced Australia to 275/7 with 109 runs to go.
Moeen’s golden arm continued to do wonders for England, as skipper Pat Cummins was caught by England captain Ben Stokes at leg slip for nine. Australia was 294/8 and needed 90 runs with two more wickets left.
Broad completed a fairytale finish to his career, taking his final wicket, dismissing Carey for 28 after he was caught by Bairstow. Australia was all out for 334 runs, losing by 49 runs.