Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here

Home > Features >

2013 Yearender: Resurgent Australia end year on a high by reclaiming Ashes Urn

Australia reclaimed the Ashes Urn after a gap of 4 years © Getty Images
Australia reclaimed the Ashes Urn after a gap of 4 years © Getty Images

From the whitewash in India to a stunning Ashes win back home, Australia had perhaps the most eventful year in 2013. While there were controversies surrounding the team — from the ‘Homework’ affair to Mickey Arthur being sacked just before an important series, David Warner punching Joe Root, Michael Clarke and Shane Watson having tough time together, Australia ended an otherwise disappointing year with the ultimate high — regaining the Ashes after four years. Devarchit Varma takes a look at Australia’s performance in 2013…

 

 

The former world dominators perhaps did not have a roller-coaster ride in past couple of years as they had in 2013 — controversies, sackings, losses, drubbings, despair, wins and finding the Australianism again — all rolled in one.

 

The team that began 2013 with a win over Sri Lanka, followed it up with one of the most anticipated series of the year — the tour of India for four Tests wherein they were whitewashed — and the Ashes loss to England in middle of the year proving that the team from Down Under has many bases to cover, before they start putting up a fight again. But Australia, known for fighting it out till the end, lived up to their reputation and put up a splendid show in the return Ashes affair and reclaimed the urn after four years.

 

Out of the 14 Tests that Australia played in 2013, they won only five. Perhaps this record can tell the kind of year they had. Australia started off with a five-wicket win against Sri Lanka at Sydney, following which their seasoned campaigner Michael Hussey retired and his departure left a huge chasm in their batting. After that win at Sydney, Australia lost four Tests in India and three in England, and drew three. They lost six matches on a trot, and despite putting up a good fight in England, especially in the final Test at The Oval, they could not win. Desperate Australia took all the necessary steps that they could, and bounced back in a remarkable manner towards the end of the year to win four Tests on a trot, thus reclaiming the Ashes and improve their Test record in the year to some extent.

 

Australia’s record in the One-Day Internationals (ODIs) too wasn’t great. Out of the 26 ODIs they played in 2013, they won only 12, which include an emphatic 5-0 win over the West Indies at home. Australia did not last long in the final edition of the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 as well, as they crashed out of the tournament after a 20-run loss to Sri Lanka at Cardiff. They did put up a good fight against India in a seven-match series, but lost it 3-2.

 

Australia’s performance in the Twenty20 (T20) format was even poorer, as they won only one game — against England at Southampton — out of the six they played this year.

 

While the team had a miserable run on the field this year, there were enough controversies and developments that kept the team in news.

 

The tour of India saw Australia hitting one of their lowest ebbs, when four frontline players, including the then vice-captain Shane Watson, were axed from selection for the third Test against India of the Border-Gavaskar series in 2013. Australia’s former coach Mickey Arthur had asked the team to give a short presentation in any form, explaining why they had fared poorly in India and four players — Watson, Mitchell Johnson, James Pattinson and Usman Khawaja — failed to adhere to the deadline, which resulted in them being expelled from the squad. The controversy took a ugly turn when Watson returned home in a haste, signalling that he would contemplate his future in Tests. However, Watson returned for the final Test in time and led Australia in absence of Michael Clarke.

 

The Australian side was indeed no-match for a strong England outfit going into the Ashes 2013, and they didn’t begin the tour on a positive note. Opener David Warner was dropped from the side during the ICC Champions Trophy for punching England’s Joe Root, and a fortnight before the start of the Ashes, Cricket Australia decided to sack Arthur and appoint Darren Lehmann as Australia’s head coach. A day after Arthur’s sacking, Clarke resigned as Australia’s selector — a job which his predecessor Ricky Ponting fought hard for throughout his tenure.

 

Darren Lehmann (right) turned around the fortunes of Australia as the coach of the side © Getty Images
Since his appointment as the coach of Australia, Darren Lehmann (right) has turned around the fortunes of the team © Getty Images

 

Arthur’s sacking opened a can of worms, as the South African made sweeping statements that revealed that all wasn’t well between the players, especially the captain and his deputy. Arthur claimed that Watson was a ‘cancer’ in Clarke’s eye for the national side and he was like the ‘meat in the sandwich’ between the two players. Looking back at these controversies, Cricket Australia (CA) stepped in perhaps at the right time, putting an end to all the off-field matters and putting the team’s cause ahead, by appointing much-revered Lehmann for the coaching job and the results speak in favour of the move.

 

As another surprising turn of events, Ricky Ponting, who had retired last season, revealed his reservations against Clarke. Till then, many believed that Clarke and Ponting shared a very special relationship, but the latter’s claims in his autobiography spoke otherwise. Nevertheless, they weren’t as damaging as the other controversies that Australia had in the year and Clarke remain unperturbed with the events that happened off the field and stayed focussed on the job of retaining the Ashes.

 

England arrived in Australia with the hope of winning the Ashes for a fourth consecutive time, but little did they know what Australia had in store. While on tour of England, Australia claimed they managed to find chinks in England’s armour and the coach Lehmann promised to make the most of the opportunity when the Ashes rivalry was resumed. The likes of Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell, who had till then flourished against Australia, were denied scoring runs in their favourite areas and the Australian bowlers did a splendid job to regain the Ashes. The rise of Johnson was the success story for Australia in 2013 and by the look of things; their fortunes in Test cricket are certainly improving.

 

(Devarchit Varma is a reporter with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)

 

 

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 17, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Sharjah

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 18, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 18, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 19, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 19, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Dubai

More

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 16, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 41 runs

Womens World T20, 2014

Apr 6, 2014  at Dhaka

Australia Women won by 6 wkts

T20 WC 2014

Apr 6, 2014  at Dhaka

Sri Lanka won by 6 wkts

Womens World T20, 2014

Apr 4, 2014  at Dhaka

England Women won by 9 wkts

T20 WC 2014

Apr 4, 2014  at Dhaka

India won by 6 wkts

Photos

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge play cricket

Videos

Prince William, Kate Middleton meet McGrath, Ellyse

IPL 7: Vintage Jacques Kallis showed his class for Kolkata Knight Riders against Mumbai Indians

IPL 2014: Onus on Chris Gayle to take Royal Challengers Bangalore all the way

IPL 2014: Capacity crowd at UAE provides glimpse of the T20 league’s huge following

Narendra Modi’s tea-vendor origin influences MS Dhoni in calling laundrymen to clean up BCCI mess

Delhi Daredevils vs Royal Challengers Bangalore IPL 2014 Preview: RCB have advantage over DD sans Kevin Pietersen

Australia BCCI England India IPL IPL 7 IPL 2014 Kolkata Knight Riders Lasith Malinga Moments in history Mumbai Indians Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders Royal Challengers Bangalore Sachin Tendulkar

England should stick with Ashley Giles, says Mickey Arthur

Chris Rogers backs Sam Robson to play for England against India, Sri Lanka this summer

IPL 2014: Delhi Daredevils coach Gary Kirsten happy with all-round squad

Glenn McGrath couldn’t resist having a dig at Prince William over Australia’s Ashes win

IPL 7: Ross Taylor happy to be back with Delhi Daredevils

IPL 7: Vintage Jacques Kallis showed his class for Kolkata Knight Riders against Mumbai Indians

IPL 2014: Onus on Chris Gayle to take Royal Challengers Bangalore all the way

IPL 2014: Royal Challengers Bangalore’s bowlers have their work cut out against Delhi Daredevils

IPL 2014: Capacity crowd at UAE provides glimpse of the T20 league’s huge following

Narendra Modi’s tea-vendor origin influences MS Dhoni in calling laundrymen to clean up BCCI mess

Fan of the Day

Mahesh Yadav

Mahesh Yadav

39 Posts | 0 Fans

CCL 4: Live Free Streaming Bhojpuri Dabanggs Vs Chennai Rhinos at Ranchi

Yeh Hain Mohabbatein’s Divyanka Tripathi to tie the knot with boyfriend Ssharad Malhotraa?

Spotting during second trimester — 4 reasons why you shouldn’t neglect it

Katrina Kaif chooses Ranbir Kapoor over her Cannes debut

IPL 2014: Delhi Daredevils coach Gary Kirsten happy with all-round squad

Snoop Dogg recruited for Call of Duty: Ghosts voiceovers

Heartbleed fix may slow Web performance

Spotting or bleeding during third trimester of pregnancy

Chris Rogers backs Sam Robson to play for England against India, Sri Lanka this summer

Also on cricketcountry.com