After the fourth Test of the current series at Old Trafford, Manchester finished in a draw due to nonstop rain on the final two days of play, Australia won the Ashes. Australia was 214/5 in the second innings, trailing by 61 runs despite being 2-1 ahead, but the constant rain prevented England from forcing a conclusion.
As a result, the Pat Cummins-led team, who had previously won the trophy in the 2021–22 season, kept the ‘urn’ with just one game remaining. Former Australian cricketer Brad Hogg expressed dissatisfaction with the results and suggested that a reserve day should have been implemented to compel a decision in the game because of the prediction.
Brad Hogg said
“You can have a reserve day. I think they should have said ‘There’s a chance of rain here at Old Trafford. A huge chance [of rain], so we may put a rest day here and push the next Test match just another day later,” Hogg told talkSPORT.
Furthermore, according to Brad Hogg, the series would have been poised for a dramatic conclusion if both teams were tied at 2-2 going into the fifth game.
“’We want to make sure we’re going into the final Test match with an opportunity of both teams being 2-2 and we want that highlight going into the last Test match’. And now we have just missed that opportunity,” he added.
It’s interesting to note that England was at the opposite end of the spectrum, as they were able to keep the trophy after the third Test of the series at Old Trafford finished in a draw due to rain in 2013. Before the fourth innings’ target of 332 was defeated by rain, the hosts were in trouble at 37/3.
The fifth and final Test of the series will now take place between the two sides, and it will start on Thursday, July 27, at the Kennington Oval in London. The Ben Stokes-led team will still have a lot to play for as they attempt to defend their 22-game winning streak at home against Australia despite having missed their chance to win back the Ashes.