Analysis – Callow England can build on Ashes success

Captain Alastair Cook paid tribute to the game-changing players in his side after lifting the Ashes urn on Sunday despite losing the final test at The Oval heavily.

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“Are we near the peak? No, we’re not,” Cook told reporters.

“We’re nowhere near the finished article but we’ve got a very exciting team and I genuinely believe there will be some really good times,” he said.

“At certain moments we’ve had outstanding performances by a member of our side and the talent in our squad means we are going to win games quite quickly.

“We have some game-changers in that squad and in the tests we’ve won we’ve really rammed home our advantage quickly.”

England relied heavily on the batting of Joe Root who scored 460 runs and two centuries in the series to lead the team to wins in Cardiff and Nottingham.

They were also lifted by inspired spells of pace bowling by James Anderson and Steven Finn at Edgbaston and Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes at Trent Bridge.

Broad took 8-15 on an extraordinary first morning in the fourth test in Nottingham as Australia were bowled out for 60.

FUNNY SERIES

“It’s been a funny series,” Broad said.

“As soon as a team has taken the initiative in a series, the other team hasn’t been able to grab it back and I think that’s probably because the teams are quite similar.”

Root has been the mainstay of the batting, though Cook contributed 330 runs despite failing to make a first Ashes hundred on home soil.

“It would have been nice to get the century but it wasn’t to be,” Cook said.

The other England batsmen struggled, opener Adam Lyth failing to pass fifty in the series.

“On the batting front I have concerns over the way the batsmen are setting out to play at the beginning of an innings,” former England captain Michael Vaughan wrote in the Daily Telegraph.

“Test cricket is about tempo. I always talk about gears and knowing when to move up in test cricket. You set the game up by playing low-risk cricket shots for high reward.”

England understand their limitations. If they can rectify the weaknesses, they will be a team to be reckoned with.

(Editing by Ken Ferris)