England and Australia will once again do battle in the Welsh capital of Cardiff for the opening Test match of the 2015 Ashes series.
The newly crowned top Test nation have been resurgent in recent months, following defeat in the 2013 Ashes, which was Engand’s fourth consecutive series win on home soil against the Aussies.
The announcement means that we will see a return to the SWALEC Stadium, which hosted such a nail-biting conclusion to the first Test of Australia’s 2009 visit.
It was down to the final pairing of Jimmy Anderson and Monty Panesar to bat out the dying overs of that match, to secure a draw for England – who went on to eventually win the series 2-1.
Cardiff then hosted a second batch of Test match cricket in 2011 when Sri Lanka were the touring party. After drawing their maiden match at the SWALEC, England were resounding victors in South Wales three years ago.
After declaring on 496-5 in their first innings, Andrew Strauss’ batting line-up were able to pack away their pads as they wouldn’t be needing them again.
Jonathan Trott scored a double century, before England’s bowlers went to work on cheaply dismissing Sri Lanka for just 82 second time around – Graeme Swann and Chris Tremlett led the way with four wickets each.
Beginning on July 8th 2015, the home side will be looking for retribution, following their 5-0 whitewashing at the hands of the Aussies down under. A poor winter culminated in the fragmenting of the dressing room.
A period of rebuilding has already begun with the return of Peter Moores as Head Coach – who will now finally get to experience Ashes cricket – and with the schedule being released, the side can plan out their future more clearly.
Back-to-back Tests will start the series, with Lord’s hosting the second game on July 16th.
Edgbaston, the venue of England’s exhilarating two-run victory in 2005, will again be a place to see the touring Australians in action during the third Test, before Trent Bridge takes centre stage on August 6th.
Finally, the series will traditionally wrap up at the Oval on August 20th. By that stage, home fans will be hoping that they are emulating their opponents, and pressing for a clean sweep of their own.
Post-Ashes, there will be a five-match one-day series, and a solitary T20 International, which will also take place at the SWALEC Stadium on August 31st.
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