After Australia lost to New Zealand in the second Ashes Test in Brisbane, the series got off to a bad start.
The Ashes was a one-off series, and the Australian team struggled to find the back of the net.
With Australia trailing 2-1 in the first Test, Mitchell Johnson struck the first century in his maiden innings of the series, to give the Australian side a four-wicket win.
But it was the second innings of that Test where the Australians began to shine.
Mitchell Johnson scored a century in the series opener against New Zealand (AFP)After the first Ashes Test, Australia were struggling to score runs against the New Zealand side.
Johnson was the main reason.
Australia had scored four in the last seven overs of the first innings and they hadn’t scored an ODI century since the second Test.
So when Australia had a lead of just three runs, Johnson decided to take off.
He hit a six in the third over and made a huge catch on the final over, but he had to retire the next ball to avoid a catch that gave New Zealand a four for a four.
In the fourth over, Australia took a two-run lead and had a clear opportunity to score a run.
They bowled for a strike and had to bowl Johnson out of the team.
Then Johnson hit a two to put the visitors ahead.
That was the kind of batting performance the Australians needed to win the series.
When the next Test was played, the Australians were back in it and again they were able to score lots of runs.
On day three of the second series, Johnson again had an excellent game, but the batting didn’t go as well.
His fourth century of the season came against South Africa in Durban, where he hit the second century of his Test career, hitting a six, which was his maiden hundred of the game.
“He was the one who scored the last run of the innings, and I thought that was brilliant,” New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said after the game, after the match.
“He has been fantastic.”
It was a perfect way for Johnson to go out and celebrate the first hundred of his career.
For his 100th Test, Johnson is the only batsman in Test history to reach 100 Test runs, and it was his first hundred since 2009.
If Johnson had scored a hundred against Australia, he would have been the fourth Australian to achieve that feat.
Athletics Australia team to face England in the Ashes (ABC News)The Australians were already looking to make history when they reached the second ODI series, as the team was playing England.
England had won the series series in the previous Ashes Test.
“It was the perfect way to finish out the series,” New York Mets captain Zack Wheeler said.
“[Johnson] just put the whole team on their backs, took them to that next level and we took the series.”
New Zealand were still without a player in their squad, as Johnson’s move was in line with a policy at the time to keep a squad in the country, so the squad had to be composed.
It wasn’t just the squad, either.
Australian team to go up against England in England (ABC)”It’s been a tough time, but hopefully we’ll have a good start to the series this time,” Wheeler said of the squad.
New South Wales captain Nathan Lyon was a key figure in the team’s success in Australia.
Lyon has been in England the past two seasons and said he has not been impressed with the Australian batting.
“(Johnson) is a great player and a great person, but I think his batting has just been inconsistent over the years,” Lyon said.
“There’s been times where he’s looked really good, but other times, he’s just looked terrible.”
Johnson has played his cricket at an impressive level and has scored an average of 34.47 in the Test series.
“It shows how much I’ve improved over the last few years and how much work I’ve put in,” Johnson said.
Johnson’s 200 against South African in Durbar was his second century in as many Tests, with the previous record being 30.29 in the 2009-10 series.
The Australian team’s form in England has been a constant theme.
Since 2010, the team has scored 4,966 runs in 5,835 ODIs.
During that time, the Australian players have not lost a Test match.
After Johnson’s 200, New Zealand had won just one Test series in that time.
New Zealand won their last Test match against Australia in Brisbane in 2021.
That match was the last Test in the franchise’s history.
Despite being one of the most successful teams in Test cricket, New England was unable to win a series against Australia.