This game has meaning, for history shows the ‘dead’ rubber in a series can have lasting significance – not least on the captaincy
The Ashes may be gone but the notion of a dead rubber seldom applies when England meet Australia. A Test match between these two nations has a life of its own. There is now the added incentive of points in the Test Championship (no irony intended here, let’s give it a go) and a drawn series would be a welcome rarity in Ashes cricket.
Moreover the supposedly “dead” game can often have lasting significance – there are several precedents for that. In 1987 England arrived in Sydney for the final Test 2-0 up, which was a bit of a surprise even if the team were deemed to have only three weaknesses: their batting, bowling and fielding. A tight contest ensued and was narrowly won by Australia, who were then led by Allan Border, an ego-free man who had no great ambition to be the Test captain.