3. The Ashes
Australia vs England – Test Cricket
The rivalry between these two for the Ashes Urn results in some of the most competitive and physical test cricket matches. Australia along with England were the first two test playing nations. The rivalry started in 1882, when Australia beat the English at the Oval. This led to Ivo Bligh leading a cricket team from England “to recover those ashes”. The publicity around the match was intense and England were able to recover the Ashes. The late 19th Century was a period of English Dominance as they won all the 7 series.
From then on, The Australians recovered, with the Ashes changing hands several times till the first World War. After the war, the Australians and English began to play in a more aggressive, ruthless manner. The debut of Don Bradman in 1926, came when England decimated an inexperienced Australian Side.
However, Bradman led them to recapture the 1930 series and this now experienced side, which had the finest batting line up at the time, forced the English to use the “bodyline” bowling, which was widely condemned. The use of this bowling even promoted diplomatic action between the countries before Anglo-Australian relations could be damaged beyond repair as the Aussie public were not pleased with this bowling.
After WW2, while both teams played their hearts outs, The Ashes mostly stayed with Australia. Only during the 1980s, the Ashes stayed mostly with the English. However, from 1989 till the mid 2000s, Australia established itself as the number one team in the Ashes and World Cricket. Since then, the series have been fairly evenly shared. Australia which have not won a series in England in quite some time, have managed to White Wash England, while England tend to retain the Ashes on English soil.
The most recent Ashes saw England win the Ashes for the 32nd Time
Overall, Both have 32 wins each with 5 series Drawn.
The next series of the physical but thrilling test match series between the two will happen during 2017-18 in Australia.