England assumed a commanding 2-0 lead after just two Tests, retained the Ashes after three and won them outright after four. For one of the great sporting contests, it all seems a little, well, underwhelming.
There have been some enthralling sessions and intriguing passages of play, but a 3-0 scoreline looks horribly one-sided. Besides, there is still another Test to come at The Oval.
Yes, an Ashes Test should never need added spice, but it's hard to convince many about that, considering that Australia cannot salvage any kind of a result from the series and England have already achieved all of their goals.
With the final Test at The Oval long since a sell-out, there will be some disappointed supporters bemoaning the fact that the series has been decided prior to what was anticipated to be a potential decider.
So, how can the fifth Test be made more interesting? We've come up with 11 ideas...
1) Gunge the umpires every time the DRS overturns a decision
It's fair to say that the white coats have not had the best of series. There are only four non-English or Australian umpires from which to choose from, and they are all in pretty wretched form. But with the threat of being gunged after any decision when DRS overrules the initial call, surely they will be able to up their game. If the umpires take the players off for bad light when it is patently okay to continue they will be gunged, and a tank will be fitted in the third umpire's tea room.
2) Bring back Bodyline
One thing this series has lacked is a period of sustained hostility from angry fast bowlers. There was a notable and entertaining flurry of bouncers from Ryan Harris to Ian Bell during the fourth Test which left the England batsman well and truly floored, and the crowd absolutely loved it. Frankly, it could be just the thing required to add an extra element of excitement at The Oval if the captains were encouraged to employ the controversial strategy.
3) Let Beefy upscale one of his famous BBQs
Anyone who sat through Sky Sports' coverage of the fourth Test on Sunday would have just heard a group of ex-pros talking incessantly about a BBQ that the viewers were not invited to. Ignoring the cricket, Botham, Holding, Gower et al shared nauseating private jokes and half-memorised stories for most of the day. Why not just scrap the fifth Test and just have a huge BBQ on the outfield? Then we can all feel involved in the gags.
4) Reverse the batting orders
We have heard throughout the Ashes series how Australia may as well reverse their batting line-up, such have been the inauspicious displays from some of the tourists' batsmen, and the improbable successes of the lower order. Well, why keep just talking about it? Tailenders facing the new cherry has always been wonderfully entertaining, after all. There would also be less pressure on Joe Root coming in at number 11.
5) Let the crowd vote on DRS decisions
We're all well and truly fed up with DRS controversies and third umpire cock-ups, so why not allow just allow the spectators in the ground to vote on whether a batsman is out or not? Sure, the decisions may get progressively worse as the day wears on, but it would ensure that David Warner does not get a reprieve at any stage. Who knows, it may even distract some sections of the crowd from tiresome Mexican waves and building beer snakes.
6) Encourage tantrums from the bowlers
Cricketers are always expected, rather ridiculously, to behave impeccably on the field and to not display their annoyance. We can all surely agree that tantrums are, well, funny so they should be encouraged. Sit-down protests, tears over reviews and placard-waving - it's all part of helping to create an entertaining final match of the series. Cricketers can enjoy being a bit less serious and mature in the middle.
7) Bring back the legends
It's tiresome hearing that it was 'better in my day' or that 'cricket is not what it used to be' - therefore it is high time that the legends of the two sides are dragged back into the field of play to give the spectators at The Oval an entertaining, if slow, blast from the past. The former pros continue to pop up everywhere around the grounds, on the radio, on the TV, so why not give them something useful to do instead of just criticising from a safe distance?
8) Introduce walk-out music for the batsmen
The success of Twenty20 has a lot to do with the music that keeps the entertainment going during breaks in play, so let's give each batsman a song to walk out to the middle to. David Warner can stride out to the Rocky theme tune; Joe Root can listen to 'Tubthumping - I get knocked down' on his way out; and Jonathan Trott can make his entrance to 'Let me entertain you'. It makes complete sense.
9) Whatever happened to that famous aluminium bat?
The modern-day bats are incredible dull. Effective, strong and with ugly sponsored stickers covering every inch, they need replacing with something far more interesting. Australia legend Dennis Lillee famously used an aluminium bat until it was swiftly banned, but it certainly made things more interesting for a while. Maybe it's time for a range of different bats: from novelty offerings to more serious ball-wreckers.
10) Award bonus prizes for 'best appeal of the match'
Most cricketers appear entirely apathetic towards the man-of-the-match and even man-of-the-series awards, so maybe it's time for a new accolade to be brought in. Many appeals consist of simply yelling 'How-iiiiizzzzz-aaaattttt?' or just celebrating and ignoring the umpire altogether, so let's bring in a 'best appeal of the match' award for the bowlers to strive towards.
11) Swap the opera singer performing Jerusalem to Giles Clarke doing karaoke
The chairman of the ECB is a man everyone loves to hate, but he sure knows how to draw attention to himself in a beige, cream or off-white suit and a mic in his hand. Let Clarke make a fool of himself with a karaoke number just as the players trot out for the start of play each morning. It would be much less agonising than hearing a 21st rendition of Jerusalem from an opera singer who can't be stopped from reappearing during lunch.
Are you still excited about the fifth Test, or do you have any ideas as to how to make it more interesting for everyone involved? Post your thoughts below...