The Ashes Series! History and Analysis of the Ashes

The Ashes Series Leveled 2-2

The History of Ashes

There are several rivalries in world cricket and however, the England Australia rivalry is perhaps the oldest one there is. Rivalries are like a bottle of wine, The older it is, the better it tastes. Ashes series has a very rich and remarkable history starting way back in 1882 when Australia defeated the English side for the very first time in the test.

Why is this series called the Ashes?

One of the mainstream media published the story of England losing to Australia as “England has died and the body will be cremated and taken to Australia” this story created a rage amongst the fans and the captain of England before leaving for Australia tour vowed to bring back the pride and Ashes was born. Many say that the ashes trophy contain the “the ashes of a cricket Bail” inside.

The First Ashes Series Ever (1882):

The first test match between England and Australia was played at Melbourne cricket ground in 1877 but after their 9th test in 1882 when Australia tour to England for a single test at the oval, the demolish the England side and won the test match by 8 runs. After that loss, Ivo Bligh the England captain promised to “Recover Those Ashes” when they tour Australia in 1882-83. And that’s how rivalry starts between them.

Period of English dominance:

From 1884-1896, this was the period of English dominance. England lost only 4 Ashes tests in the 1880s out of 23, while they won all the 7 series played against each other. In 1896, England won the series 2-1, and this victory marked the end of England’s longest period of Ashes dominance.

The Begining of Australian dominance:

From 1897-1902, this period was marked as Australian dominance in the Ashes history. They won 1897-98 series 4-1 under the captaincy of Harry Trott. Under the captaincy of Joe Darling, they won 1899, 1901-02 and the classic series of 1902, which is one of the most famous series of test history.

The Golden Years of 1903-04:

During this period, MCC decided to take all the controls of organizing tours. England under the captaincy of Plum Warner won the series and he wrote about the tour in his book with the title “How We Recovered the Ashes”. After that, the series between Australia and England was customarily referred to as “THE ASHES”.

FROM 1905 TO 1912:

There were 5 series played during this period and the results were:

  • In 1905, under the captaincy on Stanley Jackson England won the 5 match series 2-0.
  • In 1907-08 and 1909, Monty Noble led Australia to victory in both series.
  • In 1911-12, England won the series 4-1.
  • In 1912, England retained the Ashes after winning the triangular tournament, features South Africa too.

FROM 1920 TO 1933:

  • After World War I, Australia took control of both the ashes and the world cricket.
  • In 1920-21, Warwick Armstrong led the Australian team to a 5-0 whitewash over England.
  • In 1921, Armstrong led their Australian team to England where they won the series on the England soil.
  • From war until 1925, England won only a single test out of 15 test matches played.
  • In 1926, England managed to win the series 1-0 after winning the final Test at the Oval.
  • In 1928-29, the Australian team led by Jack Ryder was heavily defeated by England, losing series 4-1.
  • In 1930, Australia won the series 2-1. Sir Bradman was the hero of that series with the bat.
  • In 1932-33, England won the Ashes 4-1. Famous incidence during the series was “Leg Theory”.

FROM 1934 TO 1953:

  • In 1934, Australia won the series 2-1.
  • In 1936-37, Australia won the series 3-2.
  • In 1938, the series tied with 1-1 and Australia retaining the Ashes.
  • In 1946-47, Australia won the series 3-0.
  • In 1948, Australia won the series 4-0 with one draw.
  • In 1950-51, Australia won the series 4-1.
  • In 1953, Finally, England won the series 1-0.

FROM 1954 TO 1971:

  • In 1954-55, England won the series 3-1
  • In 1956, England won the series 2-1. Jim Larker took 19 wickets in a test match.
  • In 195-59, Australia won the series 4-0.
  • In 1962-63, 1964, 1965-66, 1968, a period dominated by draws. During that period, 20 tests off the 4 series, Australia won 4 while England won only 3 test matches.
  • In 1970-71, Ray Illingworth led England to a 2-0 win over Australia.

FROM 1972 TO 1987:

  • In 1972, the series finished 2-2 and England retained the Ashes.
  • In 1974-75, Australia won the series 4-0.
  • In 1975, Australia won the series 1-0.
  • In 1977, England won the series 3-0.
  • In 1978-79, England won the series 5-1.
  • In 1981, England won the series 3-1.
  • In 1982-83, Australia won the series 2-1.
  • In 1985, England won the series 3-1.
  • In 1986-87, England won the series 2-1.

FROM 1989 TO 2003:

  • In 1989, Australia won the series 4-0.
  • In 1990-91, 1993, 1994-95, 1997, 1998-99, 2001, and 2002-03 series, Australia maintained their superiority in the Ashes during this period. Before this period, the Ashes win ratio was about the same as both sides, with 87 wins for Australia and 86 wins for England and 74 tests ended as draws. But after this period before the start of the 2005 series, Australia’s win had increased to 115 while England’s win had increased to only 93 and 82 draws.

FROM 2005 TO 2015:

  • In 2005, England won the series 2-1.
  • In 2006-07, Australia won the series 5-0.
  • In 2009, England won the series 2-1.
  • In 2010-11, England won the series 3-1.
  • In 2013, England won the series 3-0.
  • In 2013-14, Australia won the series 5-0.
  • In 2015, England won the series 3-2.


  • In 2017-18, Australia won the series 4-0.


Ashes 2019 is to be played in England this season. England cricket team as just became the ICC champions of ODI world cup and are filled with confidence. Ashes series will be the first encounter right after the WC2019 for both the teams and both the teams have a lot to prove. England team want to keep the winning momentum going and double up their glory run. England team played Australia and qualified to the final of the ODI world cup 2019 by beating the Aussie side and hence eliminating them from the tournament.

On the other hand, Australia wants to prove their mettle in the Test format after losing to England in the ODIs. Australia will enter this series as the underdogs and will have to play their A-game in order to bring back the trophy from in-form English side in English conditions.

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