Indeed a great day for English cricket as they retained the Ashes by winning 4th test match at MCG. Wait for 24 long years is over and I feel Englishmen will be jubilant and will certainly enjoying the moment. England defeated Australia by innings and 157 runs on fourth day of the 4th test match and now leading the series by 2-1. This is very emphatic win for England and worst loss for Australia. This defeat is ranked at 8th place in terms of margin for Australia. Its Black Day for Australian Cricket and Golden Day for English Cricket. With this defeat, Australian domination on World Cricket is also ended and I feel its good for cricket. Australian fans already organised funeral of this humiliating defeat at MCG on second day of this test when Australia was all-out for 98 runs in first innings and allowed England to score 157 runs without picking up single wicket. Indeed very sad day for Australian fans.
England were favourites to win Ashes this time before the start of series and now they are winners. I feel this victory is good example of team-work. Every member of English team played crucial role in this victory. So it is difficult to give credit to single player. I must appreciate Strauss as captain. He motivated his team to perform well and lead from the front and establish example and when your captain performs well and lead from the front then it becomes easy for the team achieve whatever they want to. This series has proved that captain's role and his performance matters the most. Punter didn't perform well with bat and that affected the morale of his team as he failed to motivate his team with his deeds. So I feel captain of the team play important role in winning or losing cause of the team and this Ashes series is best example of that. Hats-off to England the way they played in this series and now they will be looking to win Sydney test match which is starting in couple of days time and probably end the series with comprehensive win.
Australia have the last chance to salvage some pride by playing well in fifth and final test match at Sydney and for that Punter have to motivate his team and have to lead from the front. If Australian selectors don't axe him before the final test match then it will be Punter's last chance to save his credentials and end his career on high note. If he also lose final test match then I feel it will be a sad end of the illustrious career of one of the finest batsmen. Losing at Sydney means Ponting will become first captain in the history of Australian cricket to lose 3 Ashes series and I am sure after all the debacles in the series, Punter will certainly don't like that and will try and win the final test match and also score some runs. Pain of losing and not scoring runs was clearly seen on his face on the 3rd day of fourth test match from the way he argued with umpires twice and his on-field behaviour also made this loss more sour.
I feel time has come now when Ponting have to decide on his career and future. Australian selectors will be in dilemma whether to drop Ponting from the team or continue with him, so now it is upto Ponting to decide what he wants and have to find the way out of this crisis either by retiring gracefully or allow selectors to end his illustrious career. In my opinion, he should be given chance for Sydney test match and selectors have to give him graceful farewell at Sydney after fifth and final test match. Its sad to see the end of one of the finest batsmen of all time in such a humiliating manner.