A different sort of “up from the ashes” story about the Ashes Fifth Test this day in history 72 years ago (1948). The superb “Numberphile” channel on YouTube covered the sheer exceptionality of the defeat in his brilliantly analytical style:

  • · “Near misses are one of the biggest regrets in life. It amplifies the ‘if only…’ torture. You think that all you had to do was this little thing and a big success would be yours. Unfortunately, life is a never-ending sequence of little things and they all don’t go your way. We often ignore and take for granted all the little things that did go our way. Like how many little flukes compounded to get him to the 100 run average in the first place. If he had hit 0 on any of those days, there wouldn’t be a YouTube video about the event.”

A perverse sort of failure where Don Bradman failed to succeed beyond the unimaginable. While Bradman suffered a exceptionally failed Fifth Test at bat, he still succeeded in making his mark in history. He had achieved so much to that point that he had at least guaranteed notoriety for his achievement – either fame for 100 run batting average or fame for missing such an achievement with so little remaining do.