With the Ashes Tour 2015 in England almost upon us, we at Motive Travel just can’t wait for that maiden ball to be bowled. The Aussies and the English have delivered some titanic tussles in the past, with recent Test series too close to call as that famous urn is fought over. If you plan to travel to the Ashes in 2015, we’ll bet that you’re pretty excited too, and to whet your appetite, we’ve taken a tour through history to bring you our favourite Baggy Green bowlers in the history of the world’s most legendary Test series.
‘Bowlin’, Shane-o!’ The well-known cry from many an Australian wicket-keeper as the bails fell from yet another Shane Warne delivery was regularly heard during the 1990s and Noughties, cementing Warne’s place in Ashes history. Taking a staggering 708 Test wickets, 195 of which came against England, Shane Warne first announced himself on the Ashes scene as a precocious 24-year old, releasing what would become known as the ‘Ball Of The Century’ to the ferocious, yet unsuspecting English batsman, Mike Gatting.
That monumental ball, which arced sharply to off-stump, dislodging the bails to the surprise of everyone but Warne, would spark a revival in the art of leg-spin bowling. Warne went on to torment world-class batsmen on cricket pitches across the planet, claiming no less than seven Ashes triumphs over the old enemy.
To the English batsmen of the 1970s, there was nothing more intimidating than the sight of moustachioed, wild-eyed, headband-wearing Dennis Lillee steaming in to launch another rocket towards the stumps. Indeed, Lillee had dynamite in his hands during those heady days, which saw him take an impressive 355 Test wickets, 167 of which came against England.
The aggressive nature of Lillee’s bowling accounted for 31 wickets during the drawn 1972 series, but when the nations met in 1974-75, Lillee really made a name for himself. He and fellow fast bowler Jeff Thomson tore England apart to record a 4-1 winning margin. Dennis Lillee retired from Test cricket in 1985, then the world’s leading wicket taker.
Shane Warne may have taken more wickets during that golden era of Australian cricket, but he was ably partnered by the devilishly fast Glenn McGrath. The man from Dubbo was not only full of pace, but he boasted an unerring eye that made him impeccably accurate.
During his Ashes career, English batsmen fell some 157 times when McGrath piled in, and it was his injury-forced absence during the memorable 2005 series that many Aussies lay the blame of the Baggy Greens loss. No matter – during the return series in Australia, McGrath was fighting fit, aiding his country to a 5-0 whitewash and restoring pride to the nation.
Who’ll be the top bowler during the Ashes Tour 2015?