10 greatest Ashes Tests of all time
The most historic series in cricket, barely a few weeks away, will see England seek redemption Down Under. The last time the sides met on these shores, in 2013-14, the visitors were blanked 5-0 with a 3-2 reverse at home in 2015 settling matters for England. This time, under austral skies, with both teams’ captains leading their sides in an Ashes Test for the first time, the fire has already been lit as David Warner’s teasing banter followed Ben Stokes’ forced withdrawal from the series.
Before the first ball is bowled on the fast, bouncy Gabba track in Brisbane, it is worth visiting the history books for the ten most breathtaking Ashes Tests ever.
#10 The Oval, 2013
Australia 492/9 declared & 111/6 declared drew with England 377 & 206/5
Centuries from Shane Watson and Steven Smith led Australia to 492 before James Faulkner, one of three debutants in the Test, took 4/51. Eight England batsmen reached double figures, yet none could cross young Joe Root’s patient 68. Following a dull third day – Faulkner criticized England’s slow approach and even demanded that the crowd’s money be refunded – and the washout on the fourth, Clarke audaciously declared the second innings with Australia having 44 overs to pick ten wickets and defend 227.
No Australian captain had ever lost the Ashes 4-0. Clarke cared little, given the visitors were already 0-3 down, but England made their intentions clear from the outset. Kevin Pietersen batted aggressively in raking up 62 off 55 balls – on the way, he became the fastest Englishman to an Ashes half-century – with ten fours and Chris Woakes, another debutant, tried to puncture Australia with an unbeaten 17 off 13.
With four overs remaining and England 21 away from victory, bad light prompted the umpires to end play prematurely. ECB Chairman Giles Clarke later went on to say that “the rules are clearly unacceptable” and that he expected “the ICC to change it at their next meeting”.