Time has come for them to shrug off rust and gather momentum for The Ashes © Getty Images
Time has come for them to shrug off rust and gather momentum for The Ashes © Getty Images

After a successful outing in West Indies, No. 2 ranked Australia head to England for the much-awaited Ashes 2015. Devarchit Varma reviews Australia’s performance in Frank Worrell Trophy 2015, which served as a prelude for what is in store for them.

For the first time since its inception 55 years ago, Frank Worrell Trophy was a two-Test affair. It is a different matter that legends from both cricketing nations would have never settled for such a small series in the past — for the manner in which it panned out for the West Indies would have certainly made the greats shudder. It was a one-way traffic that involved the West Indies getting back to the mediocre — and even that is an understatement — and capitulating to a humiliating 0-2 defeat in the hands of a rampant Australia. West Indies need serious introspection after horror series against Australia

It was not the case of the West Indies not having the best of their men. They decided to do away with Shivnarine Chanderpaul after he finally entered a rough patch. The others, yes, the Indian Premier League (IPL) stars are apparently not worthy for Test cricket. Thus, a young, inexperienced Caribbean side was expected to repeat what they did against England.

Had it been any other team, it might have done slightly better; not West Indies. They cleaned up the dirt from The Frank Worrell Trophy and presented it to Australia without any qualm. Why CricketCountry predicted Test rankings wrongly

What saddens the fans around the world is that Australia, despite being far off from their best, managed to finish both Tests within three days. The matters were in such pathetic state with West Indies that even though Australia’s top-order flopped consistently and they managed only two hundreds and one five-wicket haul, they managed to run riot in the Caribbean.

Australia would know what their shortcomings are. The top order needs runs and Chris Rogers — playing in his final series this Ashes — has missed out on a golden opportunity to get them. Shane Watson got the starts but never converted them into big ones. David Warner was on and off. Steven Smith had only one good outing. Michael Clarke needs runs desperately. Adam Voges’ rise has certainly created some selection issues for them, as the 35-year-old with a century on debut proved that he is not going to miss out on opportunities coming his way. Nathan Lyon becomes most successful off-spinner for Australia in Test cricket

The bowlers are the only ones on whom Australia can pin their hopes without much deliberation. They extracted bounce, pace, swing and turn on the lifeless tracks of Roseau and Sabina Park. Josh Hazlewood made competition stiffer for Peter Siddle and the others, and the Mitchells, Johnson and Starc, were on the mark as usual. Nathan Lyon, who surpassed Hugh Trumble to become Australia’s leading wicket-taker as an off-spinner, was impressive as well.

Australia’s fielding was top class as well. From Clarke’s one-handed effort to get rid of Darren Bravo off Lyon to Warner’s leap to his right to pull off a blinder to get rid of the same batsman, there were special moments. West Indies shed their intensity too quickly as seen against Australia in 2nd Test

The Australians stayed away from talks related to The Ashes throughout their time in the Caribbean. With the tour to the West Indies coming to an end and The Ashes 2015 impending, time has come for them to shrug off rust and gather momentum.

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