What about this land?
Headingley may have cornered the market in England in all respects saving the Ashes lost grounds, but for slow building drama, electrifying atmosphere and loud finishes, Edgbaston is the place to be.
To Ian Botham in 1981 (continued his Leeds masterpiece with another showrunner here) and Steve Harmison in 2005, prepare for the addition of 2023.
While Birmingham slept, England would need another seven wickets, and Australia another 174 to reach their target of 281 – hardly a cigarette paper between them, a promising fifth day for another classic.
If it comes close, it would be a fitting end to the first test that not only exceeded the high expectations of the series, but also provided a nostalgic soundtrack to the greatest Ashes hit – Now This Is What I Call the Ashes.
Zack Crowley’s agonizing drive from Pat Cummins will go down the list of first-ball memories in the Ashes. Ollie Robinson played the instigator in the Australian media’s knickers misrepresentation. The Hollies winger, in turn, converted Edgbaston as England answered Gabba. Stuart Broad was Stuart Broad.
Perhaps no other cricketer in England connects with the crowd quite like Broad. If this was the 36-year-old’s last series in an Ashes career that included match-winning runs at The Oval in 2009, Chester-le-Street in 2013 and Trent Bridge in 2015, he began as a man determined to play one. final sausage.
On a bright Monday evening, England had an opening and Broad had the ball. When he turned to Hollis, he was probably wearing an overcoat and wielding a club. The crowd, sunburned, responded like the St. Paul’s Choir.
If Marnus Labuschagne’s edge possession was inevitable for Broad to barely celebrate, doing the same for Steve Smith got Broad up and running. Wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow danced a jig. Rumor has it that people felt tremors in Small Heath.
There is already a Broadway in Birmingham. If he were to sit like that again on Tuesday, the Hollies would carry it to Broad Street and drink it dry.
Edgbaston is selling out for a fifth day, just as it was on Sunday in 2005 when there was a possibility that only two balls could be bowled.
As it turned out, Australia’s last two runs brought them within three runs of breaking English hearts before umpire Billy Bowden’s twisted finger caused him to rave.
The two matches are separated by 18, but there is only one difference between Australia’s goals. At that time the number was 282, now it is 281.
The victors and vanquished who were playing back then are here now. Michael Vaughan, Kevin Pietersen, Ricky Ponting and Jason Gillespie in the commentary boxes and Marcus Trescothick in the England dressing room as assistant coach.
The 407 that England have made on the first day then and 393-8 declared from this match are only twice against Australia that they have made a total of over 350 in quicker than five runs.
“It feels the same energy as 2005, and if we had a series like this, we’d inspire a lot of kids to play the game, right?” wide said.
“I was at my mom’s and watching him almost hidden behind the couch. Not sure we want to go for two rounds tomorrow from our point of view, right? Please.”
If England triumph on Tuesday, there is an argument that it will be their biggest victory over the Australian since Vaughan hopped into the arms of Andrew Flintoff on this ground in 2005.
Yes, it was improbable, but Ben Stokes at Headingley four years ago was a once-in-a-lifetime obsession in a match England should have lost.
There was some to come in more hostile circumstances, but the three innings victories in 2010-11, including the Boxing Day massacre at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, were against a poor Australia team.
That would be the collective edge over the best team in the world – Australia took home the trophy to prove it last week. Not only that, but England would have done so by imposing their radical style on an Australian side that was used to making decisions.
Whatever the outcome, the consequences will be significant, for more reasons than the historic trend of a team winning their first Ashes Test to win the series.
Australia revealed itself as simultaneously fascinated, amazed and horrified by the English ways of Bazballing. Their cautious approach was similar to my 20-year-old daughter’s relationship with our washing machines. She loves to push buttons and even wave them around when she leaves the house, but she wants no part when he starts spinning.
Australia has hung on the tails of England. They used rope and sit tactics in the hope that Stokes would make mistakes. It might be because they paused long enough to creep forward in the final round, but if they don’t, where do they go from here? Once withdrawal is called, it is difficult to undo the attack.
If England lose, they will have questions to answer about their overbearing first innings declaration, the fitness of Moein Ali and Bristow’s fingers.
Whatever happens, The Ashes has already delivered, enthralling the audience with an opening ding-dong battle between the best of foes.
“Ashes cricket is a magical game,” said Broad.
There is often more magic to Edgbaston. Now for the end.