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Five rivalries that can match the Ashes

S Samaddar
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 19 Dec 2019, 11:17 IST

South Africa v Australia - 3rd Test: Day 5
Ryan Harris takes a wicket against South Africa

The Ashes is the oldest rivalry in world cricket and no other rivalry can match it when it comes to age, legacy, longevity and the sheer weight of history involved. However, over the years, plenty of new rivalries have developed that might not have the same historical pedigree, but are just as rich in plot points, legacy, competitive edge and the possibility of throwing up engrossing encounters.

As a matter of fact, in the 1990s and early noughties, when the Ashes was hopelessly one-sided, these series ensured that cricket was not bereft of classic rivalries. Here is a look at five rivalries that have often challenged and sometimes even surpassed the Ashes.

#5 Australia-South Africa

Australia and South Africa have been at each other's throats since 1902 when they played the first ever Test series between each other, in South Africa, and ever since then, it has been one of cricket's biggest rivalries.

Before South Africa were banned from cricket, they played against the Australians and beat them 4-0 in 1969-70. The rivalry has always been intense and in fact, Allan Donald once said that the Australian Baggy Green inspired him to bowl a bit faster than normal.

Since South Africa's readmission to cricket, the rivalry has been dominated by Australia (14 series played, 8 won by Australia, 3 by South Africa and 3 drawn), but the quality of cricket has been quite outstanding. In the 1990s and early noughties, it had a far greater appeal than the Ashes since England simply failed to put up a fight against the all-conquering Australians.

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Published 28 Oct 2017, 20:30 IST
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