Mitchell Starc struggled for control in the first three tests before claiming six wickets at Trent Bridge and with Josh Hazlewood proving steady but none too penetrating the Australian attack was toothless.
The Durham seamer took the all important final wicket, scattering Nathan Lyon’s stumps before wheeling away in celebration.
NOTTINGHAM, England Australia railed at suggestions their team resembled a “Dad’s Army” but the evidence supplied by the first four Ashes tests against England suggests it was not an unfair moniker.
“I didn’t think we were quite ready to win The Ashes at the beginning because I really thought you needed a group of players who were match- hardened”.
Victory gave Cook’s men an unbeatable 3-1 lead in the five-match series as, for the second match in a row, they defeated arch-rivals Australia inside three days following their eight-wicket win in the third test at Edgbaston last week.
If he plays the fifth and final test at The Oval as planned, Clarke will end his test career with 115 appearances. “(But) My performances over the past 12 months have not been acceptable to me”, said the right-handed batsman who broke down at the presentation ceremony.
“One-day cricket is about the World Cup, Test cricket is about the Ashes. We tried but not good enough”.
It was later announced that Root had taken over as the leading batsman in Test cricket.
“I pride myself on leading from the front. You should be remembered as a great captain”, he said.
“Ben Stokes was fantastic with the skill and swing he produced in the second innings, Joe Root has gone from strength to strength, alongside (Jos) Buttler, (Moeen) Ali, (Mark) Wood and others”, said the England captain. “I didn’t expect that as a young boy”, he said.
Prior to Saturday’s play, Clarke – in the middle of a prolonged batting slump – announced his intention to retire from global duty after the Ashes finale at The Oval later this month.
In 2013-14, he led Australia to a 5-0 clean sweep at home to regain the Ashes, but the first signs that things were starting to fall apart came last summer, when he hurt his hamstring playing against India.
Cook said he was proud of his team and the feat they have achieved.
Meanwhile, out-of-form Australian captain Michael Clarke, who only managed 104 runs in seven innings, credited Broad’s impressive showing. “We saw that a few years ago when a lot of the greats walked away from the Australian team – it’s going to take some time”.
Heir apparent Steven Smith, seen talking to selection chief Rodney Marsh before the start of Saturday’s play, is now set to become Australia’s captain for their next Test series in Bangladesh in October.