The Ashes is always a major occasion on the British and Australian sporting calendars, and there is a lot of excitement ahead of the upcoming series, which gets underway this month in Brisbane. It’s been over two years since the last edition, where a draw was the final result in England, meaning that Australia retained the Ashes.
For cricket fans in the two respective countries, there is no better feeling than claiming the bagging rights in the Ashes, and that will be the aim for both teams over the festive period as the action gets underway.
Recent editions of the Ashes have provided plenty of drama, so as we count down the days to the 2021-22 series and place a cricket bet, let’s take a look back at the last five to get us in the mood.
Casting our minds back eight years ago, England approached the Ashes series on home soil with a lot of confidence. After all, they had won the previous two editions of the competitions, and were looking to back up their sensational win Down Under two and a half years previously.
England got off to the best possible start in the first Test at Trent Bridge, earning a close-fought 14-run victory and taking an early lead. That advantage was doubled after the second Test at Lord’s, with the hosts winning by a commanding 347 runs.
A draw at Old Trafford was followed by another England win at the Riverside Ground, which ensured the Ashes were retained. The final Test was simply a formality, with Australia salvaging some pride with a draw.
Australia had a point to prove as the series returned Down Under that winter. They had lost the previous three editions of the Ashes, and it’s no surprise that they were fired up.
The Aussies produced five seismic performances to win the series 5-0 and regain the Ashes. It was incredible to see the contrast between Australia’s displays compared to the previous three series, and there were plenty of celebrations in Sydney after the clean sweep was completed.
England were under pressure to restore some pride in the next series, and they managed to regain the Ashes in dramatic fashion.
It was tit-for-tat in the first two Tests, with England taking the first in Cardiff and Australia hitting back at Lord’s. From there, England made their superiority count, winning the third Test at Edgbaston before sealing the series win with a fine victory at Trent Bridge. Australia won the fifth Test at The Oval, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Ashes returning to England.
The pattern of the hosts winning the Ashes continued in 2017-18, as Australia delivered a commanding series victory with four wins and a draw.
They were in impressive form to keep England at bay in the first three tests and seal the series win in the quickest possible way. The draw was followed by a sensational win in Test Five at Sydney Cricket Ground, and once again the Aussies were able to celebrate on home soil.
The pressure was on England for the 2019 series, as many believed the home side had the quality to regain the Ashes, particularly after winning the Cricket World Cup earlier in the summer.
But they didn’t get off to the best of starts, with Australia winning the first test at Edgbaston, before the second Test ended in a draw at Lord’s. England got back on level terms after winning the third Test at Headingley, but Australia set up a chance to win the series by emerging victorious from the fourth Test at Old Trafford.
England could only earn a series draw, meaning the Ashes were destined to stay in Australia whatever happened, but nonetheless they put on a fine display to salvage something from the competition.