Tag Ashes 2010-11
For 14 year, 8 consecutive series, England couldn't get their hands onto Ashes urn as Australia dominated world cricket. 2005 came as surprise when Michael Vaughan's team claimed the trophy at home through a freak win of 2 runs at Edgbaston only to lose it again in Australia couple of years later. this time, the margin was 0-5..
Andrew Strauss' was given the captaincy in 2007 and talismanic allrounder Andrew Flintoff put his cricketing career on line as he went through pain but won back the Ashes once again at home, thanks to last wicket draw at Cardiff. now, in 2010-11, the challenge was to defend the prestigious urn once again in foreign land, something that England hadn't done in last 24 years but Strauss' boys did it, and how. here's how Andrew Strauss become only the second captain since Mike Brearley who win back to back Ashes :-
1st test, Brisbane = draw.
Electing to bat, England were bowled out for 260 as Peter Siddle took a hattrick on his birthday and then home team ran away to 221 run lead as under pressure Michael Hussey scored solid 195. England were in a hole and on brink of another defeat but Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott srood like a rock as each one of them scored a century and avoided conceding lead early into the series.
2nd test, Adelaide = England won by inn + 71 runs.
Aussie made the mistake of electing to bat first and were bowled out for only 245, that too thanks to 93 from Michael Hussey, before the close of play on first day. England came out determined on day 2 to make merry and Alastair Cook scored consecutive century while Kevin Pietersen raised a double ton to extract 375 run lead. Aussies couldn't cope up the pressure and lost the match by huge margin.
3rd test, Perth = Australia won by 268 runs.
Under pressure home team were invited in to bat on another over cast day and fast bowlers James Anderson and Chris Tremlett ran through top order to dismiss Aussie first innings in just 76 overs but match turned on it's head on day 2 as Mitchell Johnson found banana swing and ate up 6 wickets for just 38 runs. Michael Hussey played yet another impressive innings to set imposing 391 target for visitors and Ryan Harris' 6 for 47 sealed series leveling win for home team.
4th test, Melbourne = England won by inn + 157 runs.
England bowlers had found form by now and their captain has understood the fact that bowling first is the trick to take quick wickets in OZ conditions. invited home team to bat first, James Anderson and Chris Tremlett shared 8 wickets between them to bowl out Australia for just 98 in little over a session and England finished in lead by the close of play on first day. Jonathan Trott held one end firm with an unbeaten 168 to give his team 415 run lead which ultimately proved way too big for home team. Since they had won the last series, England played did the sprinkler dance in joy that they'll retain the Ashes no matter what happen in last test.
5th test, Sydney = England won by inn + 83 runs.
Aussies didn't learn their lesson and once again elected to bat first arrogantly and were bowled out for unimpressive 280 early on day 2. Alastair Cook made 3rd century of the series but real nail in the coffen came through tons from Ian Bell and wicket keeper Matt Prior. 364 run lead proved too big a mountain to climb for home team and England registered their first outright test series victory in Australia after 24 years.
Alastair Cook was adjudged man of the series for his 766 runs, 5th most by any batsman in an Ashes series ever, and second most by an Englishmen in Australia.