Press Association Sport looks at the key questions after the stunning reversal in fortunes.
DOESN’T THIS ALWAYS HAPPEN AFTER THE ASHES?
Not always, but often. England won a memorable tri-series against Australia and New Zealand after being on the wrong end of the 2006/07 whitewash, but succumbed 6-1 to the hosts after winning the urn in 2010/11. Australia claimed the ODI series in England by the same crushing scoreline after losing the 2009 Test series and also took the 50-over trophy four years later having surrendered the Ashes 3-0.
The most notable recent outlier is the miserable 2013/14 tour where England lost all five Tests, four of five ODIs and all three T20s.
ARE THE TEAMS THAT DIFFERENT?
Australia have used seven of their Ashes-winning side in these three matches, while England have fielded only four of their Test team. Steve Smith captains in both formats for Australia but Joe Root has been able to slip back into the ranks, handing the reins to Eoin Morgan for some fresh thinking.
SHOULD MORE OF THE ONE-DAY TEAM BE ON TEST DUTY?
It can be a common call to reward success in any format with selection in another but England are increasingly keen to separate the two squads. That is partially due to workload management but also specialisation. Few could argue anyone in the limited-overs side could match Alastair Cook’s 12,000 Test runs or James Anderson’s 500 wickets.
Furthermore, the likes of Morgan, Alex Hales and Jos Buttler have all performed modestly when they have donned the whites. Opener Jason Roy attracted attention with his record-breaking 180 in Melbourne but bats in the middle order for Surrey in four-day cricket.
HOW BIG A SCALP ARE AUSTRALIA?
Good Evening Australia …….
As reigning world champions they are theoretically a market leader in the format. In that 2015 tournament they were light years ahead of England but the tables have turned dramatically. England are now ranked ahead of them by the ICC and Smith has overseen just one win in the last 11 matches.
HOW BIG WOULD A 5-0 WHITEWASH BE?
Pretty big, considering it has never happened before. England won 4-0 on home soil in 2012, missing their chance of a clean sweep when the Edgbaston fixture was washed out without a ball bowled. There is only one 5-0 success in English history, against the lesser lights of Zimbabwe in 2001/02.
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