I have been watching a lot, probably too much, of the Ashes cricket and hence been subjected to lots of "expert" analysis and comment from lots of ex-England captains, Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne. These guys obviousl know very much more about cricket than I will ever do but I do think they missed the tipping point. That came on day one, England were 43 for 3 before lunch, Bell was just out and Root had just come in.and was dropped by Oz wicket keeper Brad Haddin before he scored. He went on to get 134 runs and England won by 169 runs. All wicket keepers drop catches but my point is the reaction it produced in the England side and the Oz selectors.
It gave Root who previously had been edgy against Australia the confidence boost he needed. He then went on to make a nice 60 in the second innings and England went on to win the Test by 169 runs with Root named man of the match. That's cricket as they say. But it also gave England the confidence to know they could beat the Australians and Root the confidence to play his excellent shots
Haddin could not play the second test because his child was ill and his deputy Phil Nevill did well and Haddin who had scored 22 and 7 did not get his place back. It was wrong not to reinstate Haddin for the 3rd Test on Oz policy grounds ie family comes first, as pointed out by Warne and Ponting but in my view also on cricketing grounds, Haddin was very experienced in playing on green English pitches that Cook and Bayliss had requested. Many of the other Oz batters like Smith lacked this experience. I saw Haddin in Australia during the last England tour hold the tail together and dig the Aussies out of some big holes with the real grit the Aussie batters seemed to lack in Tests 3 & 4.
I do not criticise Phil Nevill but I do criticise the Oz selectors. When you are short on experience pick experienced players. The Oz selectors then compounded their mistake by dropping their no 6 Shane Watson for getting out lbw too often, 30, 19, 0w in the frirst Test. Watson is an experienced batter and bowler in English conditions. Again his replacement M Marsh did well in the second Test but not so well in Test 3 and was replaced disastrously by the non bowling S Marsh for Test 4. This left Clarke a bowler short something he was rightly unhappy about!
So Haddin's drop was the first crack in the Aussies but the Oz selectors turned it into the tipping point by a series of bad selections.. Clarke has resigned and the Oz selectors should do likewise. If he agrees they should let Clarke pick the team he wants for his final Test at the Oval. They owe him that at least. My inclination would be to reinstate Haddin and Watson but like I said I know nothing about cricket but I do know people and the importance of confidence..