The Ashes series 2013/14: 5 moments without which Australia couldn’t have won the urn

Author : Aaditya Narayan

As George Bailey pocketed the catch off Jimmy Anderson’s bat, it set off celebrations for an emotional Australia side, who regained the Ashes after 7 years.

This series has a lot in common with the one in 2006-07, which Australia eventually won 5-0.

Here is a look at five of the most defining moments for Australia in the current series.

1. Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson – Partnership in Brisbane

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Australia were in trouble at 132/6 on the first morning of the series, when Johnson joined Haddin in the middle.

With positive intent, yet not being rash, Johnson and Haddin put on a partnership of 114, to put Australia on their way to a respectable total.

Haddin made a gutsy 94, that ensured Australia beat the demons of the past, and the all too familiar lower order collapse did not happen.

2. Mitchell Johnson – Breathing Fire at The Gabba

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England were moving along serenely at 83/2, when Peter Siddle removed Kevin Pietersen. There, Michael Clarke sensed an opening and brought on his trump-card, Mitchell Johnson.

What followed was absolute mayhem, as England went down to 91/8, losing 6 wickets for 9 runs in half an hour. Once England were bowled out for 136, it was advantage Australia, and they pressed home that advantage, by setting England a target of 561.

England got no where near that score, again Johnson being the destroyer-in-chief.

3. Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin – Partnership in Adelaide

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Australia got off to a great start with Shane Watson and Chris Rogers, before England found some inspiration and picked some quick wickets to reduce Australia to 258/5.

Australia could ill afford a collapse considering that the pitch was a flat one, with the 2nd and 3rd days supposed to be the best days for batting. That is when your need your experienced players to fire, and that is exactly what Clarke and Haddin did.

Each of them got to their individual hundreds en route to a partnership of 200, and that set Australia on their way to a huge 570, which was instrumental in them winning that game.

4. Johnson again

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The first over, you bowl a perfect out-swinger and get the best batsman in the opposition out, that is bound to send waves of panic through the dressing room. That is exactly what Mitchell Johnson did at Adelaide.

With a ferocious spell of swing bowling at pace, Johnson decimated England, as they were bowled out for 172, and conceded a lead of 398, something that they had very little chance of recovering. Johnson finished with astounding figures of 7/40.

5. Steve Smith at Perth

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Steve Smith was under pressure coming into the 3rd Test, with the media questioning his very place in the side. And he responded brilliantly with a Man of the Match performance. Once again, the familiar pattern was in play, Australia had lost 5 wickets for just 143 when Haddin joined Smith.

Once again, Haddin played a good knock under potential crisis, but Smith batted longer, and finished with 111, taking Australia to 385, and to a position from where their fast bowlers could dictate terms, as they had done throughout the series.

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