Home Cricket Ashes 2023: England’s Potential 2-2 Draw Signals Remarkable Comeback – Agnew

Ashes 2023: England’s Potential 2-2 Draw Signals Remarkable Comeback – Agnew

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Ashes 2023

Ashes 2023: Mark Wood Interjects in Ben Stokes’ Press Conference Featuring Barbie and Star Wars
Fifth LV Insurance Ashes Test: England vs Australia
Venue: The Kia Oval Date: Thursday, 27 July Time: 11:00 BST
Coverage: Tune in to live commentary and on-the-spot video clips on the Sport News Center website & app, alongside BBC Test Match Special on BBC Sounds and BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra. Catch daily highlights on Today at the Test, available on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer from 19:00 BST.

With nearly 400 Tests under my belt, I can confidently say every match counts.

Even though Australia secured the Ashes in Manchester last week, the fifth Test at The Oval, set for Thursday, is far from inconsequential.

For Australia, the stakes are clear.

They haven’t claimed a full series victory in England since 2001, and still ruminate over the final Test loss here four years ago – a result that led to a 2-2 draw in the 2019 series.

Australia’s motivation is evident.

Stokes Commends Anderson as the ‘Greatest of All Time’

England should be driven to halt Australia’s momentum but primarily, it’s about maintaining the successful run of the Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum era.

This series could, and should, be leveled at 2-2, if not for England’s errors in the initial two Tests.

Nevertheless, amidst the disappointment and vexation from last week’s Manchester washout, it’s vital to appreciate England’s progress under the guidance of Stokes and McCullum.

Anyone present during England’s crushing 4-0 Ashes defeat in Hobart 18 months ago wouldn’t have anticipated this level of competitiveness.

England appeared devastated then, weighed down by a gloomy mentality.

A 2-2 draw would be a spectacular recovery, solidifying the transformative efforts made by Stokes and McCullum in uplifting the team’s spirits.

On the contrary, a 3-1 loss would be disheartening.

England faces a challenging winter with Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, and Mark Wood geared up to defend the 50-over World Cup in autumn, before embarking on a five-Test series in India after Christmas.

This will be a daunting journey.

The line-up of lesser-known venues announced Tuesday – Hyderabad, Vizag, Rajkot, Ranchi, and Dharamsala – indicates extensive travel.

From my own experience touring India, I understand the crucial role team spirit plays.

However, if England performs well in London this week, they will eagerly anticipate the upcoming series, reside in a positive headspace, and most urgently, end this series with a score more reflective of the competition than a 3-1 defeat.

While England has indeed been a match for Australia, the historical records in Wisden won’t recall England’s missed opportunities in the first Test, the 188-1 stand at Lord’s or the rain in Manchester.

The record will simply indicate another win for Australia. But England still holds the power to dent Australia’s pride and walk away with something.

Stuart Broad and James Anderson have retained their spots in England’s bowling line-up for The Oval.

This may very well be the last Ashes Test where we witness Broad and Anderson playing together.

That Broad, aged 37, will conclude the series having participated in all five matches over seven weeks speaks volumes about his stamina.

Despite doubting his ability to last the previous home Ashes series four years ago, Broad has bagged an additional 133 wickets since then, including 18 in this series. His persistent performance reflects his insatiable hunger, fitness, and determination.

Broad’s future with the team seems secure, but Anderson’s role, who turns 41 on Saturday, is more uncertain.

England’s unchanged team selection for The Oval indicates faith in Anderson, yet his four wickets in the series raise concerns about his confidence.

Even a player of his calibre, boasting 689 Test wickets and 182 Tests, may struggle for form after a challenging period.

His recent performance hasn’t been poor, but he has lacked his typical vigour, impeded by unyielding pitches and absent swing or seam movement.

Many might have speculated this Test to be Anderson’s swan song. A retirement announcement would have earned him a tremendous farewell, reminiscent of Alastair Cook’s in 2018.

But Anderson has expressed his intention to continue, despite a lack of promising English pace bowlers waiting in the wings.

He’s making the most of his opportunity, keeping himself in the running like any other player.

Renowned Australian cricketer, Don Bradman, ended his career at The Oval in 1948 with a second-ball duck.

A farewell for Anderson here would have been fitting, but he’s aware that his career could end either in Rajkot or through non-selection against Sri Lanka next summer.

That’s the risk professional athletes undertake. Here’s to hoping he regains his form this week.

Australia has a significant challenge ahead, needing to recover from their severe setback in Manchester.

They may have scraped through with a draw, but their demoralized demeanor during the initial three days was evident.

Their ability to regroup will greatly shape our memory of this series.

Jonathan Agnew shared these thoughts with Sport News Center’s Matthew Henry.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ashes 2023

When and where is the Fifth LV Insurance Ashes Test taking place?

The Fifth LV Insurance Ashes Test between England and Australia is scheduled for Thursday, 27th July at The Kia Oval.

How can viewers follow the coverage of the Ashes 2023?

The coverage for Ashes 2023 is available on the Sport News Center website & app with live text commentary and on-the-spot video clips. Additionally, BBC Test Match Special is providing coverage on BBC Sounds and BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra. Daily highlights can be viewed on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer from 19:00 BST.

Who are the key players for England in this series?

Key players for England in this series include Ben Stokes, Brendon McCullum, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, and Mark Wood.

What would a 2-2 draw signify for England in Ashes 2023?

A 2-2 draw in Ashes 2023 would represent a significant recovery for England. It would demonstrate the transformative efforts made by Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum in improving the team’s performance and morale.

What is the significance of the fifth Test for Australia?

For Australia, winning the fifth Test has a great deal of significance. Australia hasn’t claimed a complete series victory in England since 2001 and the result of this Test could prevent a repeat of the 2019 series, which ended in a 2-2 draw.

Who is potentially playing their last Ashes Test together for England?

Stuart Broad and James Anderson, the veteran pace bowlers, are potentially playing their last Ashes Test together.

What lies ahead for England after the Ashes 2023?

England has a challenging winter season ahead. They will be defending the 50-over World Cup in autumn, followed by a five-Test series in India after Christmas.

More about Ashes 2023

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BillyBlueCaps July 26, 2023 - 10:10 pm

not looking forward to the long winter ahead. Defending the World Cup and then a tough India tour. Lads will need all the rest they can get.

SaraIntheStands July 27, 2023 - 1:45 am

Anderson deserves a grand sendoff, even if it’s not his last match. He’s a legend!

MikeJCricketFan July 27, 2023 - 6:03 am

Wow, really hoping England can pull this one off. Stokes and McCullum have done a sterling job. I believe we’ve got a chance!

AussiePride July 27, 2023 - 12:51 pm

Still a lot riding on this test for us Aussies too. haven’t won outright in England since 2001. it’s high time we change that!!!

CricketGuru77 July 27, 2023 - 5:20 pm

the series just proved how cricket is all about ups and downs… let’s hope England keeps the momentum and finish on a high note.


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