"From the moment Ben Stokes cast a giant cloud over the series by becoming embroiled in an incident outside a Bristol bar to off-field drinking controversies, a "head-butt", allegations of unacceptable sledging and even suggestions of match-fixing and ball-tampering, this Ashes had just about every "scandal" going".
If England do find themselves three down for spit skipper Eoin Morgan has shown the ability to pull them from the fire and has the confidence to carry his side home. "I'm just looking forward to getting in amongst it", he concluded. "So I'm open to it".
BBC Sport looks at why England can be considered favourites to win the series less than two years on from their miserable World Cup showing.
However, time spent with the England Lions squad has given Livingstone the opportunity to impress the selectors and now he claims to be ready to take the plunge in the longer format of the game.
"That tournament had quite a significant role for us, really", he said. "After that, a line was drawn in the sand and we were given clear directives that the goal was the 2019 World Cup". But to bridge the gap between where we were at in that World Cup and, say, being in the semi-final or the final was the first port of the call. It gives clarity to everybody in the team.
"I was comparing myself to him and thinking would I have gone about it the same as him? It's not often you get free rein and ambition to be as adventurous as you like".
"England have got the right individuals in the side - they've got the right ethos and coaches behind it to allow the players to play with freedom", said Taylor, who played under Bayliss before he was forced to retire with a heart condition in 2016. As Jos Buttler put it to the BBC: "Trevor's been fantastic for us".
"They are a seriously talented bunch and he lets them go out and play".
Nigeria's friendly'll toughen England - Southgate
Certainly, it is going to be a big match, between two countries of remarkable historical affinity and similarities. Meanwhile, the Super Eagles already have a confirmed date for a friendly against Poland in Warsaw on March 23.
"It is great to see Woody back (from injury)".
"I think he's okay", Smith said.
"He is obviously a key part".
"I'd rather be honest now than play and not do myself justice". Ballance did not feature in the Test series and only played in two of the practice games so can count himself unlucky to miss out. They're good one-day bowlers and a good one-day outfit so it's a good challenge.
One thing that limited overs teams need less time to worry about is the prospect of conditions overly favouring the hosts.
Morgan is confident that England can adapt.
"What it did not have was much hard-fought nor memorable cricket as Australia's superiority in their own conditions proved every bit as decisive as those of us who feared the worst from the start imagined". "Par for the course for this series will be bringing out the positive aggressive style with the bat with adapting to the wicket".