Cricket Australia Items/Blogs/dean-wilson/2013/8/6/rip-return-the-urn

Dean Wilson

RIP #returntheurn

06 August 2013 1

Cricket Correspondent for the UK's Daily Mirror newspaper Dean Wilson says goodbye to #returntheurn. The urn is going nowhere (for now).

The urn is going nowhere. (Technically the urn never goes anywhere, but you know what I mean)

England retained the Ashes thanks to a giant dose of rainy luck and a huge dollop of outstanding cricket over 14 days.

Australia gave it their best shot with a dominant third Test performance, but in the end it was too little too late to stop the biggest smallest prize in sport from staying put.

There is still an awful lot of cricket to be played in this series and I for one don't think England will have it all their own way after watching the Australians play such good authentic cricket.

But I still expect England to raise their game a notch or two to come away with the series win that will stop all this retention chat and just leave us with a winner and a loser.

At the end in Manchester you could say that cricket was the loser, denying us all a fitting end to what had been a cracking Test match up to then.

It had everything you could want in a game that unfolds over five days.

Tension, high quality skill on show, drama and a bit of controversy thrown in for good measure and at the end of it the team that played the better cricket felt the sadder of the two.

Only in cricket.

Despite not being able to win the Ashes outright Michael Clarke will reflect on a job well done at Old Trafford.

He helped stop the rot of six successive defeats. He stopped the run of four successive Ashes defeats and he could be proud of the way his team put England through the wringer.

When play was halted at lunch with just 90 minutes of action possible, Australia had reduced England to 35-3 and you could sense the nervousness around the ground.

England needed to bat out the day and Australia needed 10 wickets, you could tell the visitors were in the ascendency.

There was a theory that the rain that had been predicted might just not materialise and the battle would have to be won and lost out in the middle.

Australian tails were up thanks to Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle, while those who have followed England for many a year knew that anything was possible.

I have seen them scrape draws in Cardiff, at Centurion, in Cape Town and in Auckland in recent years, but I have also seen them bowled out for 72 chasing 140 in the UAE.

What would have happened we have no idea, but it was thrilling while it lasted.

Alas the weather intervened, but not before we got to see the worst lbw review of the series bar none, and it wasn't Shane Watson.

Alastair Cook inexplicably took a 'captain's review' for himself when he was so plumb to Harris he really should have walked.

It reminded us once again what a superb bowler Harris is and if Australia are to have a hope of winning in Durham or at the Oval they really need him on the park.

The other wicket taker was Peter Siddle, a bowler every captain would love to have. He is a master of the slightly not new ball and Kevin Pietersen can count himself unlucky to be a good enough player to get a slight edge to the ball he did.

Why he went off raging against the review was slightly odd, but he soon calmed down.

Ah yes, the DRS. What to do with it.

Hotspot is getting a bit of a kicking, and the 'umpire's call' is causing a lot of heartache.

I have just three things to offer on it before I bore you and myself silly. 

Hotspot should be used as a positive identifier only. If there is a white mark then that shows conclusively a batsman has hit the ball, if there is no mark then just ignore it, because it doesn't mean he hasn't hit it.

Secondly, fielding sides should not lose a review for 'umpire's call' when it comes to an lbw. If the ball is crashing into the stumps but is a millimetre away from being out, that is hard to swallow.

Likewise, if a batsman is given out and the 'umpire's call' says the ball is just barely flicking the stumps, then he should still be out, but the team can keep the review.

Lastly, I think the DRS is a good thing and just because it has been a bit tricky in this series doesn't mean it isn't useful. It just has limitations like everything. It is not a panacea.

Right back to the cricket.

Just because they can't win the Ashes doesn't mean Australia haven't got plenty to play for in the rest of this series.

They've got England on the hop a little bit and now I expect to see both teams have a real go at each other in Durham and at the Oval.

Despite the rain this series is hotting up.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia.
Read more about: England vs Australia , Australia , England
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