Three months ago, I think every Australian cricket lover was panicking because we’d just lost three Ashes series in a row … and because we had to play this mob again!
This English team is a great side – history says that.
But the era is over for them, it’s well and truly gone, and it’s happened in the blink of an eye.
The loss of Jonathan Trott is huge – he’s a wall, they’ve built their team around him. They can’t find another opening batsmen to support Alastair Cook. Controversy just seems to follow Kevin Pietersen – when you’re winning that’s fine but when you’re losing, it’s not.
I think James Anderson is off the boil, he looks battle scarred. He’s been an amazing bowler with 300 Test wickets, but he’s lost his outswinger. He’s not what he was, and that’s happened overnight.
Graeme Swann is not bowling anywhere near as good as he did in England – they prepare those wickets over there to suit Swann, and we threw up a couple of other left-handers in Phil Hughes and Usman Khawaja just to help him.
You need a genuine strike bowler to be a powerful nation, and England doesn’t seem to have one right now.
When I looked at that England team in June/July, I thought there were only two or three Australians who could get in that team.
Now I reckon there are seven who could make it – and I don’t reckon we’re that good yet, it’s just England have slipped that much. They don’t look like a powerhouse team anymore, and it’s happened almost overnight.
Australia had the two X-factors in Dave Warner and Mitchell Johnson, and they both came up trumps in Brisbane.
Johnson is a world-class bowler on home soil. At the Adelaide Oval he’s taken 19 wickets at 23. In Brisbane, he’s got 26 wickets at 21. At the WACA, he’s got 36 at 19, at the MCG it’s 19 wickets at 26 and in Sydney he’s got 18 wickets at 36.
His performances, in this country, are as good as anybody who has played the game.
Compare that to his record abroad. At Lord’s, he’s got a bowling average of 76 and at the Basin Reserve in New Zealand, he’s got an average of 72.
But this series isn’t being played in England, or New Zealand. It’s being played in Australia.
We had four batsmen out of the top six who didn’t fire a shot, and still, we handled England beautifully. It’s our bottom end that was the difference – Haddin, Johnson, Lyon, Siddle and Harris – that group is outstanding.
That used to be England’s strength – but this series, Matt Prior has gone missing and Swann and the boys aren’t how they were.
We may have lost 3-0 in England and they did thump us at Lord’s … but after that we gave them a really good fight.
I think they are going to have a long summer on their hands, because the dominant era of English cricket looks done.