The year of the first ever Test match between England and Australia was 1877.
It was hosted at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Australia won by a resounding 45 runs. Not the greatest bit of history for England, but in the 341 meetings since, the Three Lions have had some big wins, and out of those wins came household names we still talk about today.
Sir Jack Hobbs, who at the ripe young age of 46 hit 142 run in a 1929 meeting with our Aussie neighbours, which to this day remains the record for the oldest Test centurion.
What about Ian Botham, old ‘Beefy’, who became a legend of the series in the 1981 when he turned England’s fortunes around to overcome a 2-0 deficit and win the series.
He also has a 79% win ratio in The Ashes.
We all know about ‘Freddie’ Flintoff’s heroics in the 2005 series, and what about Jimmy Anderson, England’s all-time leading wicket-taker?
So many great names.
Another to add to the list is Kevin Pietersen. He may have been born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, but Pietersen played in 27 Tests for England in The Ashes series alone.
In the famous 2005 win, he scored 473 runs, the most by any batsman that series to help England to victory.
But, instead of rallying behind his boys, Pietersen has targeted some of the players for criticism.
In a BT Sport video on Twitter, Pietersen was very vocal by saying: “If you’re coming here thinking we’re going to draw, Australia haven’t lost here since 1988, what the hell are you doing here?”
He also singled out Jimmy Anderson and Jake Ball as individuals that cost England in the first Test at the Gabba. He blamed Anderson for not producing one of his fine bowling displays as he said: “Did he produce in this Test match? No he didn’t.”
He then moved on to Ball and gave a stinging verdict on the bowler’s ability to play in The Ashes.
“Not at this level. Not in Australia, from what I’ve just seen,” he said.
Pietersen feels that if they lose the next Test in Adelaide, it could be a “long trip” back for England.
He may well have a point after that performance.
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