Reasons why Ashes 2013 will be remembered for long


Ashes 2013 series will be remembered for long, although not for the right reasons. Controversies have been the highlight of this series, casting a shadow on an otherwise brilliant performance by England players. Stuart Broad’s refusal to walk, controversial dismissals through DRS and now the ‘urinating episode’ have certainly been the bane of this series.
DC Online takes a look at some of these highlights:
Warner’s punching episode: Even before Australia and England could begin their fierce battle for the urn, Australian David Warner’s tryst with controversies continued to chase him. His ‘punching’ of England batsman Joe Root in a bar brawl put the series and especially the Australians, who were looking to reclaim the urn,  into unwarranted limelight that definitely distracted the Oz from moving into the top gear from the word go. And by the time the Aussies found some form (at the end of the third Test), they were already looking down the barrel.
DRS controversies: This series was meant to prove all doubters wrong about the efficacy of the DRS system. But unfortunately, the system backfired, giving critics more reasons to protest the technology vehemently. Should it (DRS) be there or not at all? Well, the question remains unanswered even after the conclusion of the series. And the problem compounded when all the reviews expired and a howler getting passed much to the pain of the victimised team. Better luck next time, DRS.
Broad’s refusal to walk and England’s go slow tactics: England pacer Stuart Broad's refusal to walk after clearly nicking it behind irked the Aussies during the first Test. The fact they have used up all the reviews and couldn’t challenge the not-out decision added salt to the wounds. The incident made the cricketing world question Broad’s lack of sportsmanship and the worth of DRS.On the other hand, some critics commented that it suits the Aussies as they themselves have been against the policy of walking during their reign at the top of Test cricket.Besides, whenever England were cornered, they became defensive and adopted the approach of go-slow, much to the dismay of the Australians who struggled to deliver the killer blow to knock out the Englishmen.No doubt, Australians weren't amused by these tactics.
Bad light controversy: During the fourth Test when Australia were pushing hard to get some quick runs and set a target for England, the change in policy during bad light spoiled all plans of the Kangaroos to force a win. The change in policy states that in the event of bad light, the final decision to call off play rests on umpires, while the earlier stand gave the power to batsman to decide whether to continue play or not.  
Australian captain Michael Clarke argued with the on-field umpires but couldn’t do much to change the proceedings. England captain Alaistair Cook was all too happy to lead the team into the dressing room.
Cricket just like life is a great leveller and the same policy came back to haunt the Englishmen when with just a handful of runs left to win the fifth Test, play was called off due to bad light. However, England had nothing to lose as they had already won the series 3-0.
Urinating episode: After drunk England spinner Monty Panesar was caught and fined for urinating on bouncers at a bar, it was the turn of other England to repeat the act, but on the sacred Oval pitch. The allegations involved England players Stuart Broad, Kevin Pietersen and Jimmy Anderson. The players are alleged to have taken turns to urinate on the pitch to the cheers of teammates as the England players celebrated the victory. For a cricketer or a fan, the pitch is considered to be sacred. Some players even go down on their knees to kiss the pitch after a milestone, but the alleged act of England seems to have surpassed the heights of decency and sportsmanship in cricket. This incident will certainly hurt Test cricket for long.
However, there have been some bright spots for both the teams, despite England being the dominant force throughout the series.
Ian Bell’s performance: Ian Bell silenced all his critics by coming up with the goods when the going was tough. His three centuries in the series were worth in gold as it time and again rescued England from precarious positions and put them on the path to victory. He was the most consistent player for England who batted with lower-order batsman to put an end to any hopes Australia might have of roaring back into the series.
England's bowling firepowers: If it was James Anderson's exploits in the first Test that paved the way for England's win, it was the turn of Broad to deliver in the fourth Test. With Australia putting up a century run opening partnership while chasing 250-odd runs for victory, the onus was on Australia to cross the finishing line. But Broad's six-wicket haul put a halt to any hopes Australia might have harboured for a win. And not to forget, Graeme Swann's significant contributions throughout the series with his crafty off-spinners.
Ashton Agar's 98 in the first Test: If there's one thing that this series would be remembered from the Australian point of view, it will be of young debutant Ashton Agar's 98 runs in the first innings of the first Ashes Test. Agar scored the highest runs by any batsman batting at No 11 spot. However, Agar's failure to shine with the ball, for which he was  included in the XI, proved to be his bane as he soon lost his place. But his 98 runs remains one of the highlights of this series.
Shane Waton’s return to form: One may wonder what would have been the results of the series if Australian Shane Watson has returned to form much earlier in the series than in the last Test, where everything was lost for Australia. However, the naturally talented player's return to form will end some worries for Australia who are struggling with their batting currently. His century in the last Test has definitely saved him from getting the axe, albeit momentarily.

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