Home > News >

Ashes 2013-14 win rates highly among Australian triumphs: Allan Border

Australia © Getty Images
Australia regained the Ashes after a gap of four years © Getty Images

Jan 7, 2014

Former captain Allan Border has heaped praise on Michael Clarke-led Australian side for sealing a 5-0 win in the Ashes 2013-14, with a 281-run win over England at Sydney. Border said this win rates highly among Australian triumphs.

Border, writing in his column in Australian Cricket Family letter, had special mention of Mitchell Johnson and Brad Haddin who were the key performers for the home side in their winning campaign.

Border wrote, “We were hopeful but nobody could have foreseen a five-nil scoreline. It’s been an incredible performance from our [Australian] boys. Ahead of the series I did think we could win. I had a sneaking suspicion about Mitchell Johnson and I applauded his selection. I thought it would be maybe a 2-1 scoreline but five-nil, that’s just beyond everyone’s wildest dreams! I’m very proud of them. They’ve held it all together, they’ve hunted as a pack, they’ve grown as a group and they’re covering for each other.”

Border said while there were many good performances in the recently-concluded Ashes series, Haddin and Johnson stood out with their contribution to the Australian side.

He wrote, “There were good, individual pieces of performance from everyone across the series but two standouts in Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson. Haddin was just phenomenal. I don’t think I’ve seen better first-innings performances from someone under pressure, just to turn fortunes around and keep us [Australia] in the contest. Extraordinary to do it in all five games too. And Mitchell’s bowling was just causing all sorts of havoc. He was well supported and I think he was getting wickets for blokes at the other end. They [England] were just not keen on facing Mitchell!”

“I think Johnson just shaded Haddin as player of the series, for mine. But if it went the other way, I would have been just as happy. I thought they should have given it to them both. One bloke kept us in the contest with the bat, the other bloke made sure we got our 20 wickets sorted. It’s hard to separate which is more important. I suppose a few little cameos with the bat from Mitchell, and that spectacular run-out of Joe Root in Melbourne … those things may have just tipped the balance in his favour,” he added.

Border compared Johnson with the West Indies fast bowlers in the 1980s. He wrote, “I rate Mitch up there with some of the great West Indies quicks of the 1980s. He’s a bit like Malcolm Marshall. A high 140kph bowler but he’s actually five Ks quicker because of his very difficult to pick up fast arm action.”

“It’s hard to pick up length facing a bowler like that because it’s very difficult to distinguish what is a short ball and what is a full ball. So you’re on to it later than some other fast bowlers. It makes a huge difference. England didn’t bat very well against him and they got their feathers ruffled.”

Border continued, “Australia’s plan to bounce out eight-nine-ten-jack is a very astute one, particularly on pitches like Brisbane and Perth. If you throw that doubt in it permeates through to your batting on a flatter surface like Adelaide or Melbourne. Footwork starts to go out the window, and they’re looking for the short ball. They got barraged and then even on good surfaces they were shot, mentally.”

“Mitch’s overall Test record is pretty compelling. The West Indies used to have three crackerjacks and one who was maybe a bit of a loose cannon. Mitchell would definitely get into a fourth fast-bowler’s spot in those teams. Plus being left-handed, and he’s no mug with the bat either,” he added.

“There’s been a lot of interesting comments about Mitchell over the years, but when you pare it back to straight stats, it’s a very impressive career he’s having. He’s got 242 wickets from 56 Tests at an average of 28. I wouldn’t have enjoyed facing him, I can guarantee you that! I would have gone a bit better than Piers Morgan at least. Anyone who says they enjoy facing fast bowling is a big fat liar. It’s a challenge, and there is that fear factor, but, well, he’d have got me and every now and again I would have gotten through. I wouldn’t have enjoyed one second of it though!” Border expressed.

Talking about the fifth and final Test at Sydney, Border said, “If you’re a cricket purist, there was plenty there to be very critical of from the England performance. When England were at their lowest ebb you thought they might have started a bit of a fightback but there was nothing. From a pure cricket critique point of view, you can give them plenty of swish for that performance. But on the other side of the coin, we [Australia] just have not let them play. They have their moments and get little sniffs here and there but they just get snuffed out so quickly and we’re all over them. Psychologically, we’ve just butchered them.”

The former captain said he celebrated the series win at a party organised by former England cricketer Ian Botham, who had predicted Australia’s 10-0 whitewash in the two Ashes series.

Border wrote, “I celebrated the whitewash at Ian Botham’s party, so it was a double dose of good fortune for me. He was very magnanimous but I didn’t let him forget that he predicted the five-nil scoreline. He just got the team wrong! He’s been copping heaps, but he’s good about it. He said, ‘We were just terrible and you guys made us look even worse.’”

Border said the Ashes 2013-14 win will be rated very highly among the greatest Australian victories.

“This series victory rates very highly amongst the greatest Australian triumphs because of the situation we found ourselves in earlier in the year. We [Australia] went to India, they made wickets to suit of course, but they beat us fair and square – don’t forget we won four tosses – and we lost four-nil. Then we went to England where they made tracks to suit their cricket better. We had our moments but again, three-nil. Then to come back, have a rethink about how we were playing our cricket, Clarke’s leadership and captaincy, Lehmann’s input as new coach …whatever they’ve done in preparation you just think ‘Wow’. That’s quite an incredible turnaround. Three months ago you crossed your fingers and hoped for a good performance,” he wrote.

“We were being written off all over the place before this series. I was talking to English guys that I’ve got a bit of time for, like Botham, and mentioned Johnson was bowling well. And they’re rolling their eyes and saying ‘Yeah, yeah, whatever’ and telling me to get off the drink. They didn’t have any concept he would be a threat. Across the park they thought they had us covered. Before the series the English supporters would have had one of our blokes in their team, Michael Clarke. Now, would there be an Englishman who would get a game in our team? Who would you pick? Botham asked me and I told him maybe Broad could carry our drinks! Isn’t it amazing how it has turned around so quickly,” he added.

However, Border said Australia have some issues to address before they head to South Africa.

“But the same problem has struck again — first-innings batting. Some good individual performances have papered over the cracks. I’m sure the coaching staff is all over it, though. They just need guys at the top of the order to put their hand up and do some hard work in the first innings. If they do that, we’re going to be a pretty good cricket team. We [Australia] are not going to keep getting out of jail like we have done. Haddin can’t keep rescuing us from being in positions like 5-120. Particularly against a side like South Africa, who have a very good bowling attack. They’ll make us pay more than England have,” he said.

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 28, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 29, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

More

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 124 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 25 runs

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Photos

Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos

Videos

AB de Villiers: Disappointed with defeat in Australia

Sachin Tendulkar express shock on Phillip Hughes’ death

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) must be disqualified, says Supreme Court

Virat Kohli mourns Phil Hughes’ death

Phil Hughes passes away: Twitter reactions

Australia Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 England India India tour of Australia 2014-15 Pakistan Phil Hughes Phil Hughes head injury Phillip Hughes South Africa Sri Lanka Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Phillip Hughes’ death: Delhi players demand better equipment in wake of tragedy

Phillip Hughes passes away: Cricket helmet pioneer Dennis Amiss hopes for better protection

Phillip Hughes would’ve wanted the 1st Test between India and Australia to happen, says Ian Chappell

Phil Hughes passes away: Sean Abbott gets global support

Phil Hughes’ death: Cricket community extends support to Sean Abbott

Phil Hughes and other cricketers who succumbed to on-field injuries

IPL 2013 spot-fixing controversy: When Will the Supreme Court make the whole Mudgal report public?

Phillip Hughes 7th-youngest Test cricketer to die

Phillip Hughes: A brief look at the career of one of Australia’s most promising talents

Phillip Hughes: Rest in peace

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

682 Posts | 6 Fans

Video: Phil Hughes suffers head injury, collapses on field during New South Wales vs South Australia tie

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

Yo Yo Honey Singh goes into depression? His whereabouts unknown!

इबोला प्रायोगिक दवा के प्रयोग के नतीजे सकारात्मक आए

Shocking: Priyanka Chopra’s property a part of a sex racket?

Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, and Aamir Khan to share stage with Rajat Sharma to celebrate 21 years of Aap Ki Adaalat!

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Kanika Maheshwari aka Meenakshi of Diya Aur Baati Hum: Gautam needs to control his anger a little

सुपरमॉडल केट का क्रिसमस के लिए ब्यूटी टिप्स

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here