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 Wednesday, 22 January, 2003, 18:39 GMT
Can England build on Australia win?
Can Nasser Hussain inspire his troops to victory against Australia?
England have beaten Australia in the final Test in Sydney to avoid an Ashes whitewash.

Can England build on this win as they head off to the World Cup?


Nasser Hussain's men lost the series 4-1 but pulled out all the stops to avoid the whitewash in the final Test.

Andrew Caddick took seven wickets, including the all-important scalp of Steve Waugh, to help England on their way to a crushing 225-run victory.

And the superb batting of man-of-the-match and player-of-the-series Michael Vaughan has been world class throughout the series.

Is this victory the catalyst England need going into the World Cup?


This debate is now closed. A selection of your e-mails appear below.


Well done England. These are the times when winning a single Test against the Aussies in Australia is a remarkable achievement. The English must produce a world class spinner and it looks to be the hardest job to find a wicketkeeper batsman.

Crawley and Dawson need a lot more exposure at local level before any further chances. Caddick can do a much better job if there is class bowler at the other end.
Adnan Mahmood, Denmark

Good to see ECB and England realising not all is well after our win! Past mistakes seem to have been taken on board, although success will not happen overnight due to many other dinosaurs around the counties not willing to change.

Richard from Wales has a good point regarding Hick, Ramprakash and Crawley and I suspect Key is going to fall into this category. I think Dawson has played his last Test. He doesn't really tweak or flight the ball to worry any batsman and his fielding against Oz was really bad.

What is really bothering me is why people on this forum are banging on about Flintoff when he continually proves himself to be unfit, and his stats are so mediocre. Can somebody please justify why he has a central contract?

The bowling coaches should be working on Harmison and Anderson as the long-term replacements for Gough and Caddick

David Taylor, Sydney

Despite all this it is good to watch the Aussies lose their rag while realising they are not invincible! Full admiration for Steve Waugh and what he has done for the game! He should retire at the top and leave the selectors wondering what to do next time they are 63-3.
Gary Watson, Australia - ex Pom

Yes, we lost the series but the Aussies would have beaten any side in the world. At least we showed some guts in Sydney and proved that we can compete. The future looks bleak for the Aussies once McGrath and Warne have retired.

Nasser Hussain deserves a great deal of credit. He paid for his error in Brisbane but he has kept fighting and is a better batsman than some people believe. He has never lost his rag and has been gracious in defeat, unlike Hayden and Gilchrist.

Yes, we can build on this. The bowling coaches should be working on Harmison and Anderson as the long-term replacements for Gough and Caddick. Don't forget we still have Thorpe, Flintoff, Giles and, hopefully Jones to come back.

Michael Vaughan has been sensational and I believe that Marcus Trescothick will recapture his form. The big question mark is Stewart. I think Foster has the skill to replace him as wicketkeeper but we will need Flintoff to develop into a top class all-rounder to keep the side balanced.
David Taylor, Sydney, Australia

The cricket authorities must not get fooled into thinking this win is a new dawn. England do not have the strength in depth to consistently challenge the best. This will only be achieved if youngsters from a broad range of backgrounds are encouraged to take up the sport.

There was some progress on the 50s and 60s but with the demise of grammar schools, the selling off of sports pitches encouraged by Margaret Thatcher and the politically correct anti-sport nonsense of Labour councils, cricket is once again the preserve of the private school.
Kevin, England

Michael Vaughan is going to be one of the greats - no doubt. England must retain Nasser Hussain who calmly maintained his integrity and dignity throughout what must have been a torrid series for him. He is largely responsible for the England resurgence and he is to be commended - shame he didn't go on to the hundred on day one.
Pete H., Australia

I really do hope England will continue to prove some TV pundits wrong. This is the same team that had been criticised by certain sections of the TV commentary box before Christmas for having a captain with no idea, a keeper who is too old to be playing Test cricket and no senior bowler to call upon when required to do a job for his captain.

England's fielding and mental tenacity need to be spot on in the World Cup

Keith, Australia

A certain pundit's idea was to send many of the team home and flood the side with youngsters who, quote: "couldn't do any worse than the current team".

The captain was involved in key partnerships of each innings and lead his team superbly. Stewart was outstanding with both bat and gloves and Caddick took 10 wickets in the match.

The younger players all contributed and would have enjoyed the taste of victory against the old enemy. There are problems that need to be addressed, but that is up to the coaches not the captain!

Lots of plus points, the biggest being that every player in that England team will be confident of featuring in the next Test match side. Who would be on the selection committee? I am just glad it is not some TV commentators.
Brian Allen, England

A great win by England doesn't disguise the fact that this has also happened in the past - one victory and several defeats. Simple things like line and length bowling, consistently, need to be improved, and batsmen who average only in the 30s need to step up a lot in Test match cricket before England will win regularly.

As for the World Cup, well, that's a bit of a lottery anyway. England's fielding and mental tenacity need to be spot on. The talent is generally there.

It would be good to see England win; at times they looked downright third class in the Test series, but they also maintained a remarkable dignity and humour. After all, in the end cricket just is a game; nothing more, nothing less.
Keith, Australia

The England management should now know which players are able to rise to the occasion and play on the big stage. It's not just about averages.

For example, everyone knows that Hick, Ramprakash and Crawley are punishing county bats, but all have been proven to be lacking that certain something at Test level. The players for the future are the ones who can go out to the middle when England are 40-4 and go on to score a century.

Equally, we need someone to whom Nasser can throw the ball when the wickets aren't coming. These roles used to be filled by Thorpe and Gough. Vaughan has been a great find, but his Yorkshire record is very modest by comparison.

At least they now have a clear picture of which players are capable of improving and which are not

Richard, Wales

England need to be courageous enough to pick young players with the right temperament and not be seduced by phoney county averages on shirt-front wickets against sub-standard bowling.

A 4-1 defeat means more minuses than pluses, but at least they now have a clear picture of which players are capable of improving and which are not.

As for Hussain, I hope he does England the favour of staying on as captain for at least another 18 months. There are better batsmen around, but few captains have his man management skills. It would also stop Vaughan being burdened with the job, which risks ruining our best batsman of this generation.
Richard, Wales

Hells teeth! - one win and we're world beaters again! I listened to Nasser on the radio this morning, and he talked some real sense. The gist of his point was that we got lucky - an English-style wicket that our bowler(s?) could use.

But he warned that unless we can bowl well on any surface, we'll struggle in future. Wise words. Nonetheless, it's good to avoid what seemed to be an inevitable 5-0.
Mic, UK

Yes, I'm happy we avoided a whitewash, and thankful for something to feel good about. My real worry is that this is just the excuse for the game's dinosaur-like administrators to ignore the massive problems cricket faces in England.

Australia are a class above everyone else, and even with a fully fit team we'd have struggled, but this tour has exposed the deep malaise in our game. It needs a root and branch reform; from getting non-public school youngsters playing again to a complete clearout of the amateurs in charge.
Phil, Bristol, UK

As the senior bowler Caddick should have shown Harmison the way, not the other way round

Tim, England

Well played boys, nice to get something out of the tour. Let's not lose sight of the fact that it was a dead rubber, and please can people stop slapping Caddick on the back.

Well played yesterday but how about four Tests earlier. It's no good puffing your chest out and behaving like a world beater when you have been thrashed all round the park for the whole series.

As the senior bowler Caddick should have shown Harmison the way, not the other way round as has been the case.

Oh yeah, and the Aussies on this board, stop whingeing about umpiring decisions, fitness problems etc. Steve Waugh didn't complain, why are you?
Tim, England

How wonderful it is to see England finally lay to rest the myth that Australia are invincible. They aren't. We made a half-decent first innings score and their temperament proves to be brittle under pressure. So what if it's at the end of a losing series? Aussies don't lay down and play dead, do they?

It's a great compliment to the adopted Yorkshireman, Michael Vaughan, to be made Man-of-the-Series on a losing team. Despite what the rankings say, we know he's number one in the world. Bring on Shaun Pollock's boys.
Gary Denton, Mexborough, England

Well done to England - the Barmy Army will finally have something to really cheer about. Those making comparisons between Warne and McGrath missing from the Aussies line-up and Gough, Flintoff, Giles, Jones and White missing from the English line-up should remember that Warne and McGrath have taken over 900 wickets between them - not sure we can say the same about the missing Poms. Also not too sure about Vaughan winning Man of the Series when over half his runs were scored after the series was decided. One positive for the Aussies is that it will fire them up for the World Cup and Windies tour.
Mark, Australia

S B, are you serious. Ponting was certainly out, Hayden was 50/50, Langer was a shocker (as was Vaughan's). No doubt your next excuse is "if Warne was fit etc etc" You lost, get over it!
Gary Helm (English), Australia

Yes some dodgy decisions for the Aussies but so was Vaughan's. It all comes out in the wash.
Nathan, England

Great to see the Poms finally get a win and fantastic to see that crazy "Barmy Army" gives us some stick - I loved it. Only down point is the 10% "Lager Louts" that infiltrate the Barmy Army and give them a bad name. They appear to be soccer louts of European fame trading their wares Down Under. A real shame for what otherwise has been an amusing and enjoyable summer.
Jake, Sydney, Australia

Fantastic win and well done England! If only Australia were as gracious in defeat as they are vocal in victory. To say they only lost this test because of the absence of Warne and McGrath is churlish when you consider England won without Thorpe, Gough, Flintoff, Giles, Jones and White. With all these players (I know maybe Gough cannot come back) fit this is a very solid outfit. Roll on the next ashes tour in England!
George Lockyer, Australia

I think that England should draw confidence from this victory with further regard to the talent of batsman available to England but there are lessons to be learnt. They have been guilty of bowling the ball far too short throughout the whole series and when they finally pitch it up........bang. I'm sure that if they bowl as short in the One Days at the World Cup as they have for 90% of the current series they will be slaughtered and put their confidence back another three years.
Mark Whalley, New Zealand

Better then nothing, but it's good for the English team that they will go back with at least one win. We must realise that this is the B-side of English because most of their players are facing injury problems.
Muhammad Kamran, Pakistan

Oh well good luck to England, a second string England side beating a second string Aussie side should still have resulted in an Aussie win, but it didn't. Australia for once in a long while had both innings where their top order batsmen did nothing. McGrath and Warne not being there played only a small part. But in the end it was the batsmen that lost it for Australia. And the very high Bad umpire decisions that went mostly to England on this occasion.
John Symonds, Australia

To the Kiwi Sam. I never cease to be amazed at the small minded churlishness that inhabits the sentiments of the NZ migrants in Australia. You leave a country with half the per capita GDP of Australia, chronic unemployment, miserable weather and one that can't even keep an air force flying and you have the temerity to criticise Australians! Like I say to all whinging Kiwi bludgers in this country, tell me the time and place to be and I will buy you a one way ticket back to NZ any time you want.

If you don't Australia, leave. There are plenty of boat people who want your dole cheque.
Kim, Western Australia

SB and Cameron need to settle down. So one or two questionable LBW decisions went against the Aussies? I doubt they complained when Vaughan's second innings was curtailed by a doubtful ruling. Now the hard part for England: to build on this win and not be satisfied with one job well done.


Jim, USA

The contrast between the initial sentiments posted on this question and the events that I have witnessed in the last five days, in this cricket match - in my fair city - is stark. They reflect no appreciation of the significance of the match recently concluded here. What we have just seen is the game that, put simply, had it all.

The ABC radio call has had me in tears over the last few days, particularly at the end when the old friendships were re-affirmed and an agreement was made that England were on the mend. These occasional gems of matches are what sets this magnificent game in a league of its' own, a resounding affirmation of patience, application, and the will to triumph over adversity.

Bravo to the English fighting spirit, I wouldn't mind betting that those die hard supporters who have endured a ton of crap and spent a bucket-load of money on following their team have enjoyed Sydney immensely. Happy New Year indeed!

I think the attendance figures represent the mutual affection here - nationwide - and the last two weeks reflect the glorious uncertainty, and potential for theatre, that only this game can provide. The choice of Vaughan as Man of the Series reflected well on both nations, not to mention the man himself. One can only hope the tone of the correspondence can lift closer to the level of the entertainment provided - so memorably - in this last rubber.
Ben Link, Australia

5-0 avoided and avoided in style quite emphatically!
Arijit Biswas, India

Although it was one victory in a dead rubber, very well done to England - and in order, Hussain more guts, batting & leadership, Vaughan for wonderful batting and to Caddick for fronting up when he was needed. Now all we need is for a shorter more competitive domestic game that amongst other things will reduce the risk of injury.

It would also be nice to see more humility from Australian supporters on this board; injuries, umpires and other problems have beset England from day 1 not just this test match. Oh, and by the way, to the Pakistanis posting anti-England stuff on here... take a look at the world rankings table.
Jim, Hong Kong

As a Kiwi I was as happy as anyone to see the Aussies lose. The thing that really gets you when you live over here is how one-eyed the Aussies are. When they win something and the losing side make any kind of excuse they call them whingers and say how superior they are but as soon as they lose they come out with a million and one reasons they failed.

Just look at this page for example, the Aussies have used McGrath and Warne being out as their reason for losing, but what about Gough, Flintoff, White and the other 7 or so English players out? Lets face it Australia were beaten by a second-string English team!! And then they claim, "what about the bad lbw decisions!" I am sure probably the worst decision Umpire Tiffin made was against poor old Vaughan who just can't seem to make 200!

Let's just hope the Kiwis and Poms can continue to give it to them at the cricket and rugby world cups this year!!
Sam, Australia

It seems, at least for the English and their supporters, one Swallow DOES a summer make.
Kathy, Australia

Fantastic! At last I don't have to resort to mentioning Rugby when ever the Aussies talk cricket!
Ed, Melbourne, Australia (Bristish)

A meanless win, 4 tests too late I reckon.
Steve Waugh, USA

It seems the formula to beat Australia is simple; get a crowd of 1000 to sledge them. They seem to crumble like anyone else after that!
Siddhartha Shivshankar, India (USA)

I say bloody good for England! Better to win the final Test than go home with nothing to show for the effort.
Bob Zimmermann, USA

A measure of respect returns. Now I only hope the Indians can derive some inspiration from the Brits.
Suma Rao, India

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