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So ends an absorbing and enjoyable Ashes series. If it won’t be remembered as one of the greatest or most gripping, this is because the margin of victory in three of the Tests was comfortable. Only Headingley gave us a nail-gripping finish, thanks to Ben Stokes’s extraordinary innings and Jack Leach’s defiance. That the series was played in the true spirit of cricket owes much to the good sense and good humour of the captains, Tim Paine and Joe Root. Paine’s task since taking over has been to restore Australia’s reputation for good sportsmanship; he has succeeded beyond expectation.
Steve Smith dominated the series. No one can now deny that he is a very great batsman.