SO after two years and over two months, the biggest and the greatest rivalry of Test cricket, The Ashes is back.
Two of the fiercest rivals, Australia and England will face each other this time in the series down under. After all the drama of the 2019 series, when Ben Stokes became the superstar to win the Headingley Test, when David Warner became Stuart Broad’s bunny, the first match of this series takes place on December 8 at the Gabba, Brisbane where the England side haven’t been able to win since the year 1986.
Notably, the British side has lost nine of their last ten Tests on Australian soil. They managed to draw one match in the last series back in 2017/18.
Australia, who haven’t played a Test since their defeat against India in January this year, will be having a new captain in Pat Cummins after Tim Paine decided to step down from the leadership role due to a ‘sexting’ scandal. England too played their last series against India in August-September where the last game was called off with India leading the series 2-1.
England, who last won a series in Australia back in 2010/11, would like to end that drought as Joe Root and his men will be looking to dominate the Kangaroos the same way like they do in their home conditions. On the other hand, Australia will begin a new era in Test cricket with Pat Cummins donning the captaincy hat. The pacer would hope to start his new role with a bang in the massive series.
Meanwhile, here are the important stats and numbers ahead of the first Ashes Test between Australia and England:
Head-to-head: The two rivals have played each other 335 times in Test history. Australia has the edge over England as they have beaten them 136 times while England has won 108 times. 91 clashes between the two teams have been drawn. Both have played 167 Tests down under, with the hosts managing to win 86 times and losing 56. 25 encounters ended up in a draw. At the Gabba, England last won a Test 35 years back with Aussies winning 12 out of total 21 games played at Brisbane.
1 – Nathan Lyon (399) needs one wicket to become the third Australian bowler to reach 400 Test wickets. Shane Warne (708) and Glenn McGrath (563) are the other two holding the feat.
1 – Stuart Broad (149) needs one match to complete 150 Tests.
1 – Stuart Broad (49) needs one grab to reach 50 catches in Tests.
35 – Ollie Pope (965) requires 35 runs to reach 1000 runs in Tests.
56 – Ben Stokes (7944) needs 56 runs to complete 8000 runs across formats.
72 – Marcus Harris (428) needs 72 runs to reach 500 runs in Tests.
115 – Marnus Labuschagne (1885) requires 115 runs to complete 2000 in Tests.
6 – Stuart Broad (118) needs six wickets to surpass Bob Willis (123) and become second highest wicket-taker for England in The Ashes.
79 – Ben Stokes (921) requires 79 runs to complete 1000 runs in The Ashes
45 – Joe Root (1455) needs 45 runs to reach 1500 runs in Tests in 2021. He’ll become the first player to do so.
1 – Joe Root (7) equaled with Dimuth Karunaratne (7) needs one 50 plus score to become batter with most 50 plus scores this year.
26 – Joe Root (1455) requires 26 runs to become the England batter with most runs in a calendar year. Michael Vaughan scored 1481 runs in the year 2002.