New year, same woes for England in the Ashes. England’s cricket team enter 2022 having already lost the 2021/22 Ashes series, trailing the hosts 3-0 with just 2 tests left to play. The problems with the team were evident coming into the series, heading into December with nobody other than Joe Root in form with the bat. Perhaps the only positive aside from the form of captain Root was the return of Ben Stokes, but with such a long period without cricket, it was always going to take time for him to return to his very best, and any hopes of him repeating his sensational 2019 heroics were very optimistic.

Since the retirement of Alistair Cook, England’s struggle for an international quality opening partnership has been a key reason for the recent failure in test cricket, and the beginning of the series was almost written in the stars, Rory Burns clean bowled by Mitchell Starc on the very first ball of the Ashes, as England were bowled out for just 147 on Day One. Despite the best efforts of Joe Root and Dawid Malan in the second innings, the damage was done, and Australia comfortably chased down just 20, to win the game by 9 wickets.

England’s pitiful batting proved their downfall yet again in the second test as well, after being bowled out for just 236, England entered the second innings 237 runs behind, Australia declared on 230 at tea on day 4, and England were left with 4 sessions to save the match, but come the end of the day, England were 4 down, and with captain Root out in the final over, the game was as good as lost. A spirited fight from Jos Buttler was in vain, as England lost the second test by 275 runs on the final day.

The worst humiliation was yet to come however, in a must win game England were again bowled out cheaply in the first innings. However, a great bowling effort left England just 82 runs behind. The odds were still against England, but a strong batting performance could’ve made the game very interesting. However, just like the previous test, England lost 4 quick wickets in the final session of the day. Going into day 3, all hopes rested on Root and Stokes, but after Stokes fell early on, England collapsed, bowled out for an embarrassing 68, a total so low Australia didn’t even need to bat again, winning by an innings of 14 runs. If you could sum up England’s series on one session, then the morning session on Day 3 at the MCG was it.