Michael Vaughan labels Ashes as ‘greatest sporting test’
As England and Australia get ready to battle it out in the Ashes, former England skipper Michael Vaughan labelled the series as ‘the greatest sporting test’, saying the series questions every facet of a cricketer’s personality. “Good luck to the 22 Lucky players who will stroll out at Edgbaston today. The Ashes is the greatest sporting Test for any sportsperson... Questions every facet of your personality over 7 weeks. But the most rewarding .. Enjoy it everyone #Ashes,” Vaughan tweeted.
The term Ashes gained currency after Australia’s first Test match win in England. The team from down under had defeated England for the first time in England at the Oval in London on August 21, 1882.
Then, England was at the peak of cricket and this loss was not taken very well by people in the country.
After this loss in 1882, England’s ‘Sunday Times’ carried a mock obituary of cricket in the country, stating that the body of England cricket will be cremated and the ashes would be taken to Australia.
Another significant moment in the cricketing rivalry between these two sides came in the 1932-33 tour as the series got termed as “Bodyline Series”.
To curb the natural gameplay of Australian great Don Bradman, England had developed a strategy of bowling quickly at the body of the batsmen with most of the fielders placed at close positions on the leg-side.
England enjoyed the fruit of the tactic, as they managed to win the series but the strategy then prompted changes to the laws of cricket.
The two sides have played 346 Tests against each other in which England has managed to win 108 matches whereas Australia has won 144 matches. 94 matches between these two sides have ended in a draw.
England and Australia last faced off in the 2017/18 season in which Australia came out triumphant and they are the current holders of Ashes. England and Australia will now take on each other in the five-match Test series, beginning today.
England have already named their playing XI for the match whereas Australia have remained tight-lipped over their final team.
England managed to win their first 50-over World Cup title in July and they would look to keep the winning momentum going.
Following is England’s squad for first Ashes Test: Rory Burns, Jason Roy, Joe Root (c), Joe Denly, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.
Tim Pained led-Australia have not named their final XI but coach Justin Langer confirmed that Usman Khawaja and James Pattinson would be playing the first Test match.
England and Australia take on each other in the first Test match in the Ashes at Edgbaston today.