Ashes Series 2013: Analysing Impact of Potential England Sweep

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistJuly 29, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 21:  Joe Root of England celebrates the wicket of Usman Khawaja of Australia with team mates during day four of the 2nd Investec Ashes Test match between England and Australia at Lord's Cricket Ground on July 21, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Gareth Copley/Getty Images

With the series currently set at 2-0 in England’s favour, it would be fair to say that this summer’s Ashes has been far from competitive.

The way things are, England head into this week’s third Test meeting with the hopes of tying up a decisive 3-0 lead over their southern hemisphere opponents, something which hasn’t happened since the 1977 edition of the competition.

However, while England will be overjoyed in claiming such a rampant triumph in the first of two Ashes series this year, it’s not quite the reason for jubilation that any neutral might hope for.

In fact, England winning this summer’s series by such a massive margin is potentially bad news for Test cricket, where entertainment is, at the very heart of things, paramount to the sport.

For years it was Australia’s domineering presence on the throne of international cricket that led them to eight consecutive Ashes wins over England, regardless of whether or not they were playing in their own backyard or abroad.

In that sense, one could say that the English are merely getting their retribution; payback for all the years of anguish they were forced to live through under Aussie rule.

At this point, everything’s going in the favour of the hosts. Jimmy Anderson currently reigns as one of the finest bowlers in the international game, while the likes of Joe Root and Ian Bell appear to be taking care of things with the bat.

When one also considers England’s finer mastery of the Decision Review System, it becomes slightly clearer as to why their current lead has been quite so concise in its build-up.

Of course, the real test will be whether or not Andy Flower’s men can hold their nerve when they travel Down Under in November.

With a total of 10 Ashes Tests being played across 2013 and the beginning of 2014, it’s there that Alastair Cook’s men will truly be put under the microscope to see if they’re the worldly power a potential 5-0 scoreline would suggest they are.

Paul Hayward recently told of the public's want for a 10-0 win, however, showing that perhaps not all are as sympathetic to the Australian cause.

More than anything, though, a one-sided Ashes just isn’t that much fun, is it?

Regarded as one of the gems in cricket’s calendar, it’s supposed to pit two of the best teams in the world against one another, all with the aim of producing one outright victor: a side who can truly claim their title as the world’s best.

However, given the current state of affairs, England can’t make such a claim. Australia’s dressing room has faced allegations of a split, and the truth is that the Australians are currently in one of their weaker veins of form for the last 20 years or so.

Even if England do come out on top of this encounter, their victory will seem slightly hollow given the way in which it’s come about.