If the third Test at Edgbaston lasted for two and a half days, the fourth Test at Trent Bridge finished even quicker, with England wrapping up things very early on the third day, and thus regaining the Ashes. The win was achieved by a few fantastic performances by players from the hosts’ side, and one spectacular one. As England bask in the glory of regaining the Ashes, here’s a look back at the five performances that mattered as far as the Trent Bridge Test was concerned.
Stuart Broad: We begin with the spectacular effort of the match. 9.3 overs, five maidens, 15 runs and eight wickets. The figures actually say it all, and nothing more needs to be said. But, Broad deserves praise of the highest order for the kind of performance he came up with, especially one considers that England’s strike bowler James Anderson had been ruled out of the match. Broad stepped up, and came up with an effort that will go down in history as one of the best bowling efforts ever. The delivery to get rid of Chris Rogers was classic, and there was no looking back for Broad after that. Smith, Marsh, Clarke, Voges -- no one had an answer to Broad’s brilliance.
Joe Root: England were always going to win once Australia were bundled out for 60. But, at 34 for 2, Australia would have sensed a mini-shot at redemption. However, Root ensured that nothing of that sort happened. He batted with poise and grace even as Mitchell Starc troubled batsmen at the other end. His 130 came off only 176 balls, and the innings was decorated with 19 fours, and a six. If Broad had bowled Australia out of the match, Root did the same with the bat.
Jonny Bairstow: In the context of the match, Bairstow’s effort may not be significant, but on a long term level, it is a good sign. England have been seeking a replacement for Gary Ballance, who has been dropped for now. His axe meant Ian Bell went back to number three. Bairstow has struggled in Tests before, but his 74 was an impressive effort, as much as it was aggressive. This should give both him, and the team confidence.
Ben Stokes: He may be known more for his batting exploits, but Stokes proved at Trent Bridge that he is not known as an all-rounder for nothing. He made the ball talk literally, and undid some very good work by the Aussie openers. His six-four in the second innings was definitely the icing on the cake for England.
Mark Wood: He may have picked up only four wickets in the match, but he did make some significant breakthroughs. He dismissed David Warner with a beauty in the first innings, and in the second, he got rid of Micheal Clarke and the tail, to bowl England to an unforgettable victory.
-- By A Cricket Analyst