This Ashes winning team has been brilliant, but our 2005 side was better. I think our batting line-up was stronger than this side, and with the likes of Geraint Jones, Steve Harmison and Freddie Flintoff we definitely had a much stronger bowling attack.
There were stronger characters in both sides in the 2005 series too. Australia had the likes of Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist, Justin Langer, Matthew Hayden, and Ricky Ponting while we had Harmison, Michael Vaughan, Flintoff, and me whacking it round with a stupid hairstyle, so I think there was definitely a lot more for the crowds in 2005.
Another reason this Ashes series hasn’t been as big as 2005 is because it isn’t on terrestrial television. If it was on terrestrial I think it would capture the imagination of the public a lot more. Plus, the test matches in this series haven’t been as close, they’ve been over in 2 or 3 days and while that is great for the team who’s winning, it isn’t for everyone else.
I think Andrew Strauss has made some good decisions, especially with Trevor Bayliss and Paul Fabrace and those guys have done a fantastic job in turning it around this summer. Farbrace, who took over before the New Zealand series, has given the players’ the free spirit to go out there and whack the ball around, bowl the ball and basically play in a free spirited nature. This young England side is full of very good cricketers, they just needed somebody to give them the freedom to express themselves and this management structure has done that perfectly well.
While Peter Moores can probably be credited for progressing some of the youngsters’ games trying to make them better players, unfortunately under Moores the team was held back and there was far too much focus on statistics and data. The new set up has given the players a creative licence to go and enjoy themselves and play with freedom. I think most of the credit goes to Farbrace for what he did against NZ and what the duo of Bayliss and Farbrace have done here with the England players.
— Yorkshire CCC (@Yorkshireccc) August 6, 2015
I really hope Joe Root will go on to be England’s greatest ever batsman, he’s got all the characteristics for it, he’s a quick learner, plays brilliant cricket and is a wonderful bloke. Ben Stokes on the other hand is a superstar, but someone who’ll have ups and downs during his career because that’s just the nature of his personality. I have no doubt there’ll be more good days than bad, and he’ll always be much more loved by England fans than hated as he’ll put in some unbelievable performances.