The 2005 Ashes was one of the greatest test series of all times played between the all conquering Australia and a spirited England driven by the aggressive captaincy of Michael Vaughan. The series saw the rise of two England cricketers who finished their careers as greats.
Before that Ashes, Graham Thorpe was one of most reliable batsman in England middle order. However seeing some impressive performances by Kevin Petersen in South Africa ODIs , and impressed by his aggressive intent ,the English selectors punted on Petersen ahead of Thorpe in the 1st Ashes test with the intention of countering the lethal Australia bowling attack with some batting firepower. On the very first day of the eventful Lords test ,wickets fell in heaps . Australia were bundled out for 190 and McGrath hit back with lethal fast bowling as England looked in shambles but in stepped Kevin Petersen and from the word go he looked in complete control and as if he belonged to test cricket . He started by playing glorious offside shots to counter the crisis . The score moved rapidly and England got back into the game. However after playing a superb debut innings , Petersen got dismissed soon after his 50 and England conceded a lead of 35 on first innings. Australia did play much better in remaining part of the test and set England a target of 420 . England had another batting catastrophe but Petersen stood amongst the ruins and played another superb knock of 64 notout to vindicate the selectors faith in him. Though England badly lost the test, a star was born ,who was to play a big part in that Ashes 2005 as well as in England’s cricket fortunes in next 1 decade.
Watch Petersen’s debut innings of 57 in Ashes 2005 by clicking below tweeter video link:
With the Ashes 2005 locked at 1-1 after 3 tests , England needed a great start in the 4th test at Trent Bridge to put pressure on Australia, who with 1 wicket in hand , just about managed to save the 3rd test with a brilliant 2nd innings Ponting 156. England batted reasonably well but it was Andrew Flintoff who consolidated on the solid batting of the top order to play a most splendid innings laced with breathtaking strokeplay. He was smashing the strong Australian bowling attack and looked in menacing touch playing some gorgeous drives and pull shots to hit 14 fours and 1 six in his brilliant 102. England piled up 477 and put Australia on the mat with their pace quartlet. However the fierce fighters that Aussies were, even after following on they managed to set England a tricky low target of 129 and nearly had them panicking as Warne and Lee looked menacing . However England somehow won the test by 3 wickets to lead the series . Therefore that brilliant 102 by Andrew Fintoff played a big part in England’s 4th test win and finally the series win.
Watch Flintoff’s Ashes hundred in 4th test Ashes 2005 in below tweeter link