Top 3 Ashes spells of the 21st century
One of cricket's oldest rivalries has reignited as Australia and England locked horns against each other at Edgbaston. Over the years, this fierce competition has produced memoirs that will be cherished forever.
From the bodyline tactics employed by the English skipper of 1937 to 'Botham's Ashes' of 1981 to Don's unprecedented assault at Headingley in 1930, Ashes folklore is rich with dramatic achievements and fascinating tales. In this piece, we take a deeper dive into three of the most iconic spells in Ashes Cricket since the turn of the century.
Stuart Broad, 8/15 at Trent Bridge, 2015
Stuart Broad's freakish spell at Trent Bridge in the Ashes of 2015 has forever been scribbled down into the books of cricketing folklore. England were leading the Test series 2-1 with Nottingham's bitter battle deemed to be the ultimate decider of whether Australia were to take home the remnants of the Ashes or England were to avenge the 2013 drubbing. England chose to bowl on a murky morning and that was that for the poor visitors from Down Under.
With Anderson ruled out due to an injury, much of the weight of the bowling battery had to be shouldered by Broad who was a scalp away from his 300th wicket. All the local boy needed were three deliveries to open his account as he nipped it across Chris Rogers, made the new ball kiss his hanging bat's outside edge and get it gobbled up in the slips cordon. In the same over, he dismissed Steve Smith with an absolute peach and send jitters down the Australian batting line up. The nightmare had only just begun, though.
He had Shaun Marsh, the man making his nth comeback, nicking to the slips like Rogers'. By the time Broad was bowling his 3rd over of the morning, he had already picked up his 4th prey with Ben Stokes pulling off an absolute screamer in the slips to send Adam Voges packing. Broad wasn't done just yet, though as he ran through Australia's lower-middle order and bundled them on 60 runs.
His figures were a remarkable 8 for 15 and, astonishingly, all of his preys were out caught behind the stumps. As Nasser Hussain in the comm box for the broadcasters rightly put,
"While he is streaky, he is putting those streaks closer together. They are like London buses now and he is like an unstoppable train at times."