The self-esteem of the average Australian male is dangerously connected to the success of Australian sporting teams. This may seem stupid but I think there are very valid evolutionary reasons why we personally take so much from spanking the Poms in the Ashes.
I think we can trace it right back to the apes. In ape society, the ape who wins the fights becomes head of the pack and gets to have sex with all the lady apes. It is a pretty simple system. As we have evolved and civilised things have become a tad more complex.
For the modern man fighting is frowned upon and generally lands you in gaol. Hence we have had to develop sport. Unfortunately becoming the best in the world at sport generally takes a lot of time and effort, so instead of us actually doing it ourselves we outsource this task to others who represent us.
Critical reasoning would suggest this is stupid. It is however remarkable that whenever I'm overseas and tell people I'm an Aussie they instantly assume I'm an awesome surfer. All I can say is good work Mick Fanning.
The fact that my cricket representatives are better than some English bloke's cricket representatives allows me to feel that on an ape level I would be the powerful ape who is happily rooting all the lady apes while the English bloke is somewhere far away masturbating in a tree.
Needless to say I am really enjoying seeing us humiliate the Poms.