Ashes rank to be among the fiercely fought rivalries in the game of cricket. Both England and Australia lock horns in this game, and the honour associated with taking the Ashes has been the highlight of the game for decades. The exciting rivalry is all set to stream into the next Ashes in the coming year. This is all taking into consideration that some of the outstanding individual performances have come up during the course of the series. Let us cast our minds back to some of the noteworthy performances that have come up in the Ashes.
Hedley Verity in the year 1934
He was an orthodox left-hand spinner and a talented bowler for his country. In the Ashes test at lords in 1934 Australia overnight were 192 for 2. Rain fell, and things turned in awe towards Verity. Then he went on to dish an outstanding performance, taking 7 for 61 and 8 for 43 in the first and second innings, respectively. As part of the spell, he took the wicket of Don Bradman a couple of times. On the third day’s play, 14 wickets fell. Still, Australia went on to claim the series, but the performance of Verity was a talking point.
Kevin Pietersen in 2005
When the ashes of 2005 came along, it was assumed that Kevin would be playing for England. Though he was eligible to play for South Africa too, he chose the former. He went on to grab the attention of the masses with his unique stance, style of batting, and ability to score plenty of boundaries. It was due to his efforts that England went on to claim the Ashes in 2005. Many were of the opinion that it was the presence of the man that helped England win the Ashes.
Once he was selected for the series, he did go on to enjoy a fine series with the bat. The final test at the Oval was a turning point in his career. In the first innings, he was bowled by Shane Warne, and in the second outing, there was pressure on how to score big. Boy, he went on to deliver that. There were a few who would say that luck was in awe of him as there were a few dropped catches. But you need to admit the fact that luck goes with the brave.
He went on to reach his century with a majestically driven 4, and his score went on to stretch well past 150. On the route of his innings, he eclipsed the previous record of 6 sixes that Sir Botham had as he slammed 7 sixes. The innings provided a series-winning victory for the English team, and he was adjudged the man of the match.
Stuart Broad during the period of 2014 to 2015
Stuart Broad is one of the most successful English cricketers of all time. He is one of the best fast bowlers that England has ever produced and has gone on to provide some outstanding performances in English cricket. But hardly a few of us can forget his performance in the Ashes series of 2014–2015.
It was at the Trent Bridge that he really turned the tables on Australia. With his accuracy and blend in nine overs, he went on to claim eight wickets at a mere 15 runs. His sheer brilliance saw England dismantle the opposition for 60 runs in a mere 18.3 overs.
A look at the statistics will shed further light on things. In his first 13 balls, he took four wickets and broke the back of the Australian batting. By this point in time, the team had scored 21 runs for 5 wickets, which turned out to be the quickest time a team has lost 5 wickets in an Ashes series. The bowling figure that he has gone on to achieve is the third-best by an English bowler at all times. This calls for a super start performance and went on to derive home the fact of what a great bowler he is.
Andrew Flintoff during the 2003 series
Having already gone on to taste victory in the Ashes series of 2005, the great man was destined to achieve a lot more in 2009. This was bound to be the case after the immense disappointment of the English fans after the Ashes loss in the 2006re2007 series. Not only was he a destructive bowler, but his explosive batting and being a versatile fielder tilted the balance towards him.
Lord has never been a happy hunting ground for Australia and it was the same way The confidence of the Australian team was high, and chasing 522 for victory, they went on to reach 313 for 5 and fell short on the 5th day. His 10 overs from the pavilion end were a fair reflection of his aggression, which to this point in time is admired in the cricketing world. It would be right to say that this is the ground of the great man as he scored his maiden century here.
Bob Wills in the year 1981
Together with Ian Botham, they formed a potent combination. But it was his third spell in the Headingly test of 1981 that grabbed all the attention as England had an unlikely win. His run-up and his height made him difficult to encounter for most Australian batsmen.
England was in trouble during the course of the test, and the innings of 149 by Ian Botham gave them a glimmer of hope. At this point of time, the odds were in favour of Australia as they only had 169 to make for victory. But Bob Wills had other ideas, and he went on to showcase one of the best bowling spells of all time. In an inspired spell, he went on to take 8 wickets for a mere 43 runs. Australia could only score a mere 111 runs during the course of the innings.
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