Following on from Ben Stokes’ heroics in the first Test against India, we take a look back at the top five bowling spells in Test history by England bowlers at Edgbaston.
Stokes’ effort was superlative – but was it the best?
Two wickets for 15 runs vs Australia, 2005
In one of the greatest Test matches ever played, Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff’s spell at the start of Australia’s second innings changed the match. Defending 281 runs, Flintoff came to the bowling crease in the 13th over and in one of the finest overs in history dismissed Justin Langer and Ricky Ponting, the Australia captain, for a duck. He returned later to outfox Jason Gillespie and Shane Warne but this was the spell that set the hosts up for a nail-biting victory by just two runs.
Five wickets for one run vs Australia, 1981
Australia were on top after grabbing a 69-run first innings lead, and were set a relatively easy target of 151 after dismissing England for a modest 219 in their second dig. As the tourists were coasting towards a comfortable win, Botham unleashed a “spell from hell”: sending five Australian batsmen back to the sheds while conceding just one run, helping England seal a scarcely believable victory by 29 runs.
Three wickets for 15 runs vs India, 2018
India started the fourth day requiring just 84 runs to win with five wickets in hand and captain Virat Kohli at the crease. But the all-rounder changed everything in his first over of the day, removing Kohli and Mohammed Shami to put England on the brink of victory. For good measure he then removed the last man out, Hardik Pandya, when his Indian counterpart threatened a miracle of his own, to give the hosts a famous 31-run victory.
6 wickets for 65 runs vs Pakistan, 2010
The reliable off-spinner recorded his Test best figures in a marathon 37-over spell (20 maidens) in the second innings to set up a comfortable nine-wicket win for the hosts. The pick of his scalps was Imran Farhat, with the ball drifting in before sharply spinning in the opposite direction, deceiving the batsman and England wicket-keeper Matt Prior before knocking off a bail. Many newspapers called it ‘the ball of the 21st century’.
7 wickets for 17 runs vs Australia, 1902
In the first-ever Test match at Edgbaston, England batted and declared at nine down when on 376. In reply Australia were bowled out for just 36. The pick of the bowlers was Rhodes, who bowled 11 overs, including three maidens, and took the wickets of one opener and every batsman from No5 to No11. The left-arm spinner’s effort remains the best bowling performance in a Test innings at Birmingham, even 116 years later – though rain forced a draw.
Morning, Alex Broun here with everything you need to know this Sunday.
It was a test for the ages as England completed a thrilling 31-run victory over India in the test series opener at Edgbaston.
It evoked memories of Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff’s heroics at the same ground in 2005.
To read more on Stokes’ heroics click HERE.
To read more on this stunning Test click HERE.
The £65million Brazil goalkeeper played the full 90 minutes with no mishaps, as James Milner, Georginio Wijnaldum, Mohamed Salah, Daniel Sturridge and Alberto Moreno were all on target for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
For more on this match and other pre-season friendlies click HERE.
Indian captain Virat Kohli may have been deeply disappointed by the result of the First Test against England but he may have taken some consolation in the fact he has overtaken Steve Smith to be the No1 test batsmen in the world on the ICC rankings.
FEATURE OF THE DAY
In our fascinating feature read for the day Stuart Appleby looks at how sports science has made age just a number and given longevity to ageing superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo.
During his medical testing in Turin ahead of his official unveiling at Juventus, the Serie A side’s doctors revealed the Portuguese icon had the physical capacity of a 20-year-old.
But how does he and many other modern athletes do it? Read more HERE.
SOCIAL MEDIA ROUND-UP
Ben Stokes' first over of day four:— bet365 (@bet365) August 4, 2018
Takes wicket of Virat Kohli
Takes wicket of Mohammed Shami
🔴 Alisson is a mountain of a man— Liverpool FC News (@LivEchoLFC) August 5, 2018
🔴 Milner is a leader of men
🔴 The front three have clicked straight into gear
🔴 Reds are getting better and better
The #LFC analysis on a memorable evening in Dublin...https://t.co/FI16xTNc27
WHAT’S ON TODAY
Charity Shield: Manchester City v Chelsea (18:00)
The likelihood is that Ben Stokes will miss England’s second Test against India, starting this coming Thursday at Lord’s.
The all-rounder, who was pivotal during the Three Lions’ 31-run first Test victory at Edgbaston, is due to appear at Bristol Crown Court on Monday having being charged with affray following a late-night brawl in the city’s streets in September 2017.
Stokes pleaded not guilty.
Should, as expected, the 27-year-old not feature, captain Joe Root and the England selectors have a huge void to fill in the side.
Batting at No6 and a key part of England’s four-pronged seam attack featuring James Anderson, Stuart Broad and lately Sam Curran, Stokes’ role is unrivalled and it is no mean task replacing him.
The man likely to come in though is Chris Woakes.
The bowling all-rounder has endured an injury-hit summer, recovering from what has been described as a chronic knee injury, but has this month been getting overs under his belt with the Birmingham Bears in the Vitality T20 Blast, and before that, with England A.
Reportedly, Woakes has been under close surveillance by the England selectors and been working with England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) staff to be ready when called upon.
Stokes’ likely absence has of course been known about for a long while now, and as such, it has given the ECB time to prepare.
Woakes featured in the Test match against Pakistan in June, taking four wickets, and would be a replacement as close to like-for-like as you can get.
While no-one is really capable of filling Stones’ role, he at least occupies the third or fourth seamer slot and is handy with the bat to keep the lower-middle order strong.
Moeen Ali was potentially another option but is likely to be overlooked.
Woakes’ expected inclusion will be the only enforced change England have to make although the hosts could consider making an alteration in the batting ranks, with the out-of-nick Dawid Malan missing out.
The Middlesex batsman scored just 28 runs in two innings at Birmingham, and also shelled crucial chances in the slip cordon – dropping Virat Kohli twice in the first innings (and we all know how that ended).
Low scores at Edgbaston have followed an indifferent series against Pakistan and a quiet one against New Zealand before that.
England tend to stick with players and give them a chance to perform, but given Malan’s next Test could be his 16th, is this the time to change?
Another reason to drop Malan would be to alter the make-up of the batting card, which currently consists of seven left-handers (out of 11 batsmen).
Ravi Ashwin’s stranglehold on lefties is well-documented and he continued his ruthless streak in getting them out in the first Test, with opener Alastair Cook notably being on the wrong-end of two beautiful deliveries and clean bowled in the process.
While Lord’s isn’t traditionally a haven for spinners, a hot week to come in the UK means the pitch in north London will be dry and likely to suit spin and some turn more than it usually does.
England will be worried that Ashwin will pose the same threat to their left-handers again and bringing in a right-hander to even-up the balance, making it a 6-5 split, would make sense.
In that respect, Ollie Pope, the 20-year-old Surrey prodigy could be the next cab off selector Ed Smith’s rank to fill the gap as a rightie in the middle-order, with the other batsmen set to be parachuted up a position.
He would be a pick for the future as well as now while Worcestershire’s Joe Clarke is another on the radar and has England Lions experience.
Either way, it looks like they could make a change for Malan.
Adil Rashid will though retain his place after justifying his selection at Edgbaston. The leg-spinner was a beneficiary of some shrewd captaincy by Root to bowl him at the right time in the second innings.