New Delhi: One of the most awaited cricket events, the Ashes series, will begin from Thursday. Following the World Cup title triumph, hosts England would be looking to continue their momentum. The 2019 Ashes series also marks the start of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC). Australia are the defending champions but England have not lost a Test series at home since 2001.
The Ashes considered as one of the biggest cricket rivalries and first series was played in 1822-83 at Melbourne, Sports Lounge looks at some memorable Ashes series between England and Australia.
2005: England wins Ashes unexpectedly
The 2005 Ashes was one of the most memorable series, where England made a surprise comeback. The English boys started the series on a poor note and were defeated by 239 runs in the first Test.
However fortunes turned for hosts, when Australia fast bowler Glenn McGrath was ruled out of the second Test at Edgbaston due to injury.
England’s Andrew Flintoff displayed his all-round skills as Australia, chasing 282 for victory,fell short by two runs.
The third Test was drawn and in the next match, England managed to sneak a win at Trent Bridge depsite the heroics of Australia’s spin wizard Shane Warne.
Kevin Pietersen’s spectacular 158 and a fifty from Ashley Giles rescued England from the jaws of defeat at the final day of Oval Test, helping England win the series 3-1. sports update
1981: Ashes at its best
In 1981, Ian Botham started the series as England captain but after a defeat in the first Test at Nottingham and following the a draw in the second Test at Lord’s, Botham resigned as skipper.
But in the third Test at Headingley, Botham’s amazing innings of 149 not out and fast bowler Bob Willis’ 8-43 guided England to an-18 run win. sports update
In the fourth match, Botham continued his supreme form. At Edgbaston, England won the fourth match by 29 runs. At the Old Trafford, Botham’s 118 set up a 103-run victory for England and hosts sealed the series 3-1.
1974/75: The Lillee and Thomson show
Australian pacers Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson made a huge impact during the whole Ashes and slaughtered the England side. cricket news
In the series, Thomson took 33 wickets at an average of 17.93. After he fourth Test, he damaged his shoulder playing tennis.
A report in Wisden stated, never in the 98 years of Test cricket have batsmen been so grievously bruised and battered by ferocious, hostile, short-pitched balls. sports update
Australia triumphed 4-1. England’s only win came in the final Test when Thomson and Lillee both were unavailable.
1948: Australia’s dominance and Bradman’s duck
The Aussies, led by Don Bradman in his final Test series, whitewashed England and Kangaroos won the Ashes 4-0. But the series is always remembered for Bradman’s final Test innings at the Oval when he needed four for an average of hundred, he was bowled for a duck by leg-spinner Eric Hollies and had to make do with a mark of 99.94.
1932/33: Bodyline series cricket news
The most controversial Ashes series occurred during 1932 -1933, which made a big impact on the diplomatic relations between the two nations. cricket news sports update
England captain Douglas Jardine’s made a plan to bowl short with a packed legside field and a highly-charged Harold Larwood was leading their bowling attack. cricket news sports update
It totally did the job for England and they won the Ashes 4-1, also Bradman’s average was reduced to 56.57.
But the term ‘Bodyline’ became so popular after the series, where batsmen were defending themselves rather than their stumps. However, it was criticised and was condemned as “unsporting” by Australian officials.