Indian cricket greats on their favourite Ashes moment
As another edition of cricket's oldest rivalry kicks off at Trent Bridge today, Clayton Murzello gets India's cricketing fraternity to pick their favourite moment from the tournament
A few moments stand out for me – Shane Warne’s hat-trick at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1994, Darren Gough’s showing at the same ground in 1998 and Steve Harmison helping England win by two runs on the last day of the 2005 Test at Edgbaston. However, one performance tops my list: Steve Waugh’s hundred achieved with a calf injury. I can never forget the image of him diving to making his ground to get to his century. Apart from me being a great admirer of Steve Waugh, this is what I think characterises Ashes series.
My favourite Ashes moment would be Shane Warne’s ball to dismiss Mike Gatting (also known as the ball of the century). That moment revolutionised leg spin bowling and that series in 1993 was awesome to watch.
My Ashes moment has to be when Fred Flintoff consoled Brett Lee after England’s two-run win in the 2005 series (Edgbaston). That showed true sporting spirit of the victor with the vanquished, not gloating but sharing the glory of the fight.”
That final day of the Edgbaston Test match in the 2005 edition is my favourite Ashes moment. I remember Brett Lee and Michael Kasprowicz batting together, but Steve Harmison claimed Kasprowicz for England to win by two runs. It was a high intensity, enjoyable game, but there was also some sportsmanship shown when Andrew Flintoff was seen consoling Brett Lee. It was a wonderful, memorable gesture.
Beefy Botham&'s show at Headingley in the 1981 Ashes as well as what he did later (England won in Birmingham and Manchester while the sixth Test at the Oval ended in a draw) are my most memorable Ashes moments.
My most memorable Ashes moment is the 1981 series in England. I remember Bob Willis destroying Australia (8 for 43) after Botham scored a hundred, following on. It was Botham’s series and I always enjoyed watching him take on the Aussies!
Ian Botham's performance at Headlingley in 1981 and the rest of that series have to be memorable moments for me. In fact, I was playing club cricket in England at that time. I would also like to include the Ashes in 2005 which England won after 18 years.
Bishan Singh Bedi
“I’d like to mention Richie Benaud clean bowling Peter May behind his legs, also getting Ted Dexter caught behind by Wally Grout in a brave, inspirational spell at Old Trafford in 1961. Mike Brearley’s Botham’s Ashes is also my favourite memory of the wretched urn,” said Bedi. It was the retired Ray Lindwall (who was in England at the time) whose advice Benaud sought on his plan to go round the wicket to the classy English batsmen. Lindwall’s final words to Benaud were, “if you do it, do it well else they will murder you.” On Day Five, Benaud pitched into the marks left by England pace Fred Trueman and ended up taking 6 for 70 to cause Australia’s 54-run win. Bedi said: “Benaud was a great one to keep his eyes and ears open for help from any quarter. Richie was a great observer of cricket, so was Sir Frank Worrell, and Mike Brearley made the most of his learned-self! We in India were blessed with Tiger Pataudi’s selfless and instinctive patriotism!
Edgbaston 2005 where England won by two runs has to be my pick. The last pair of Brett Lee and Michael Kasprowicz threatened to take the game away from England, but Steve Harmison got Kasprowicz caught behind and the game was over. I also remember Michael Clarke being bowled by Harmison for 30 at the end of the penultimate day. It was a dramatic game that had everything a cricket lover would hope for.
“I would single out Don Bradman’s 334 at Leeds in 1930 as my most memorable Ashes moment. However, I followed Indian cricket far closely than England vs Australia,” said the veteran statistician, who will turn 97 in September. Bradman scored 309 on Day One of the Leeds Test.
“I would pick the 1930 Ashes series in England where Don Bradman scored all those runs,” said Raiji, who at 93, is Mumbai’s oldest living first-class cricketer. For the record, Bradman amassed 974 in five Tests. He plundered four hundreds at an average of 139.14.