Finally England has done it.. Though I was supporting Aussies in the series, seeing the English rejuvenation and joy, I feel the “excitement”, the same enthusiasm when I see India win a series (that rarely happen these days). I feel I am also a Brit. Kudos to the English team. They have achieved the unachievable. They have tamed the world champions. Of course, this will be the greatest moment for every English fan.
Some unforgettable Ashes moments (These are picked up from my memory, so may not be in the chronological order, and I have watched only the first and third tests. So many moments will be missing)…
1. Steve Harmison hitting Langer, Ponting and Hayden on the first hour of the series. The “bleeding” punter.
2. McGrath on a roll in the first test. The balls which took Flintoff and Bell were a peach of a delivery. The celebration of his 500th wicket is something which I will remember forever
3. Pietersen shows his mettle and substance on the first day.
4. Struggling Gillespie… it was very distressing to see the old war horse struggling to find his rhythm. I feel had someone backed him up, he would probably have made a comeback. But the Aussies team was in a miserable condition that nobody bothered to back him.
5. Lee back with a bang in the second test, so is Flintoff.
6. Surprise first day total for England in the second test.
7. The partnership of Lee and Warne, and Lee and Kasprovicz, which almost saw the Aussies through. Had they won that test, things would have been different.
8. The England relief seeing the fall of Kasprovicz.
9. Flintoff getting Gilchrist out by bowling around the wicket.
10. Warne magic. He bowls with a big heart. The wicket of Bell in the first test is a befitting example. He showed once again that he is a true champion. He is a professional to the core. The whole cricketing world will miss this spin wizard. Hats off to Warnie… It is so sad that he didn’t get a chance to lead the Aussie team in his long and prolific career. Whenever the critics wrote him off, back he came like a phoenix with a bang. His batting average was also good in this series. I feel he is the best spinner ever.
11. The clash of captains: Both the captains shrugging off their lousy form, with well played centuries. Michael Vaughan is such a delight to watch on his day, and he showed he is a class apart from the other English batsmen. The match saving innings of Ponting was another gem of an innings. This innings reminds us about Steve Waugh, who induced the fighting spirit into the Aussie line up.
12. Simon Jones- I had a feeling in the first three tests that Vaughan is underutilizing him. But in the fourth test, he was unleashed by Vaughan. I believe he kept him as his secret weapon and the gamble paid off. He ripped apart the renowned Aussie batting line up with his reverse swinging deliveries.
13. Shaun Tait: First for his weird action, then for his pace. He will be a frontline bowler for the Aussies in the years to come. He needs to learn to be consistent.
14. Lee and Warne bowling in tandem in the final session of fourth test, shows the Aussie fighting spirit and their never say die attitude. Though they set a paltry target of 129, they didn’t give up.
15. Finally Warne magic again. He single handedly overhauled the Englishmen except Pietersen. His Ashes saving innings on the final day will be something which he will never ever forget in his life.
16. And… finally England lifting the Ashes. Oh man.. who can forget that?
17. The biggest names in Aussie cricket now, Warne and McGrath going out of the ground hugging each other leave us a sad moment… Sure, we are going to miss them…

Cheers to the English team. They outplayed the Aussies in the series. This should be the most cherishing moment in the ECB history.
One last note: Though England outclassed Australians in batting, bowling and fielding, the Australians still outclassed them in one aspect: “The Fighting Spirit” They went down fighting. No other team in cricket history would have done that. That is the mark of a true champion. If England needs to reach the top, they need to outclass the Australians in this aspect in the future.
Finally a thousand cheers to Shane Warne… the best spinner ever.

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