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Ashes 2023: Defining Moments Of The Test

Defining moments of the Test Ashes 2023: Australia held their nerves brilliantly on the final day to win the first Test. They managed to eke out a 2-wicket win over arch-rivals England. Australia had been doing the running for the large parts of the Test but turned it on when it mattered the most. England in all fairness was the most dominant side for the majority of this Test. It was Test cricket that won at the end of the day as Australia got to the shores in the final moments of the Test. 

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We look back at the defining moments of the Ashes 2023:

#1 Joe Root’s splendid century 

England as promised stuck to their style of aggressive cricket. Winning the toss, and opting to bat, their batters were keen on imposing themselves. But it was eventually Joe Root who played a massive part in them dominating day 1. Without his contribution, England could have well shot themselves in the arm. Root as he so often does these days batted like a dream without breaking a sweat to take England to a strong position of 393-8. 

#2 England’s interesting declaration

Joe Root had started to take on Nathan Lyon. He was well past his hundred and looked in a mood to make it a real big one. Ollie Robinson batting in at number 10 gave him decent company. It appeared as if England would coast past the 400-420 runs mark. But Ben Stokes out of nowhere declared the England innings on 393-8. Stokes mentioned that he wanted to pick two Australian wickets before the close of play on day 1 hence he had no hesitation to declare. This aspect had a say in the final outcome of the game.

#3 Usman Khawaja holds one end for Australia

The Australian opener had a forgettable 2023 WTC Final against India. His old troubles against the moving ball were spoken loudly. Usman Khawaja put all those doubts to rest with a scintillating century in the first innings. He held onto one end firmly as the Aussie middle order batted around him. Khawaja at one stage looked to take Australia’s first innings total beyond England. But a captaincy masterstroke from Stokes forced a false shot and Australia conceded a lead of 7 runs to England.

#4 England bat aggressively but don’t bat Australia out 

In a brief session of play on day 3, Pat Cummins and Scott Boland wreaked havoc as the Aussies picked up both the openers. England was precariously placed at 28-2 at the end of day 3. Joe Root reverse-ramped the first ball on day 4 against Pat Cummins. It signalled the way England would bat in the second innings. Most of the batters got off to starts but just when it appeared England would boss the game they lost a wicket. They eventually finished on 273 leaving Australia 281 runs to win. 

#5 Australia kept soaking it in

At different stages of the run chase, Australia was behind in the game. They lost 3 crucial wickets before the close of day 4. Australia needed another 174 runs to win on the final day. They kept losing wickets mostly against the run of play. Australia didn’t choose to attack the part-time spin of Joe Root for the longest time. At 209-7, it appeared that England would take the game and with Carey’s dismissal the writing was on the wall.

#6 Australia show why they are the number one team in the world 

Pat Cummins took the onus on himself to see Australia through. He smashed Joe Root for two sixes in one over. This counterpunch turned the game. Nathan Lyon walking in at number 10 showed remarkable poise. Australia’s two standout bowlers now were doing it with the bat. It was only apt that Cummins hit the winning runs. He showed what a great leader he is lifting Lyon in an embrace. 

Australia right through the Test kept taking whatever England threw at them. But not for once did they surrender to England’s relentless onslaught. It was this single major factor that saw them prevail in what will forever be spoken about as one of the greatest-ever Ashes Tests!

Vignesh Rajagopal
Vignesh Rajagopalhttps://stumpsandbails.com/
I am a passionate cricket lover, who likes to express his views on the beautiful game and share insights and analysis about the finer aspects of the sport.

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