Cricket

Ashes 2023: Justin Langer draws parallels between the ongoing Ashes and the iconic 2005 series

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Justin Langer compares the ongoing Ashes with 2005 series

The ongoing Ashes series between England and Australia has provided fans with thrilling encounters so far. While the visitors emerged victorious in the first two Tests in Edgbaston and Lord’s respectively, England fought back and secured a crucial three-wicket win in the third Test at Headingley in Leeds. The teams now have a nine-days break before the fourth Test, scheduled to commence in Manchester on July 19.

Meanwhile, former Australian opener Justin Langer has drawn comparisons between the current Ashes series and the ones played in 2005 and 2019. According to the 52-year-old, the intensity of the Ashes 2023 has resembled that of the previous two iconic series.

Langer himself played a pivotal role in the 2005 Ashes, emerging as Australia’s leading run-scorer with 394 runs. However, the series is widely remembered for the outstanding performances of England’s Andrew Flintoff, who amassed 402 runs and took 24 wickets, inspiring England to a memorable victory.

Reflecting on the ongoing battle, Langer shared his thoughts in a column for The Telegraph, reminiscing about the intense rivalry of the 2005 Ashes.

“This 2023 series has been equivalent in intensity to 2005 and 2019. As a player, and coach in the latter, the pressure is enormous. In 2005, after winning the first Test at Lord’s, momentum shifted, and was hard to claw back,” the former Aussie coach wrote.

In the midst of reminiscing about the intense rivalry of the 2005 Ashes series, Langer also recalled a significant moment that served as an early sign of the challenges that lay ahead for Australia. The Perth-born highlighted the freak injury suffered by legendary pacer Glenn McGrath during that series.

“We tried, but England triumphed. Glenn McGrath standing on the ball in the warm-up before the second Test at Edgbaston was the starting point in the swing. England seized the opportunity after Marcus Trescothick and Andrew Strauss played their own version of Bazball,” the cricketer-turned commentator added.

Remembering the outcome of the Edgbaston Test, Langer candidly admitted that the Australian team were prepared for a challenging battle. The loss in that particular Test was a wake-up call for the team, making them fully comprehend the intensity and competitiveness of the Ashes series.

“Who could ever forget the result of that Test match? Michael Kasprowicz caught down the legside by Geraint Jones. A thriller. The series was alive. We knew we were in for a fight,”Langer concluded.

The 2005 Ashes series will forever be etched in cricketing history as a momentous occasion when England reclaimed the coveted urn from Australia. After a drought spanning nearly two decades since their last Ashes triumph in the 1986-87 season, England emerged victorious with a thrilling 2-1 series win.

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