The Ashes isn’t like other series. It’s the same game, but batting averages and bowling averages mean so much less.
Runs or wickets against other Test nations give an idea how good a player is, but when it comes to the Ashes, you also need other qualities. The press and public in England and Australia suddenly go mental and the players know about it.
As Simon Jones says about the 2005 series:
“I lost eight kilograms just from nerves.”
That’s what a player’s contending with. The mind controls the body and there are some scrambled minds out on that cricket field.
If we had to go through it, we’d sabotage team mates’ equipment and cheerfully try and maim them with our return throws to help dispel the tension.