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England’s declaration in first Test
In a move that came to be heavily criticised, England captain Ben Stokes declared when his team was at 393/8 in the first innings of the first Test match. Joe Root, riding on a stunning century, and Ollie Robinson had the potential to extend the hosts’ dominance but that was not to be. Australia managed to chase the target and won the Test at Edgbaston.
Nathan Lyon’s injury in second Test
Nathan Lyon, who was a crucial part of Australia’s bowling attack, suffered a calf injury while fielding on Day 2 of the second Ashes Test. He was seen limping off the field and was later ruled out of the series. Despite his injury, he came out to bat in Australia’s second innings. The impact of his absence was clearly visible as Australia failed to win any of the later three matches.
Jonny Bairstow’s stumping in second Test
This moment defined the series in many ways. In one of the most controversial moments of Ashes 2023, Alex Carey threw the ball at the stumps after Jonny Bairstow walked out of his crease after ducking under a Cameron Green bouncer. The dismissal sparked a conversation on spirit of the game. The Australians were also abused by the English fans for this move. Ben Stokes, who expressed his disappointment on the move, went on to score 155 in the innings.
Mark Wood and Chris Woakes’ inclusion in third Test
England bowlers Mark Wood and Chris Woakes were excluded from the Playing XI in the first two Tests – both won by Australia. Their impact was clearly visible when they were brought in the third Test. Wood unleashed his fearsome pace to take 5 wickets in the first innings and 2 in the second innings, while Chris Woakes scored a hat-rick in both innings.
Rain’s arrival in fourth Test
Just when England had the better of the fourth Test in Manchester with a real possibility of winning, rain played spoilsport. Play was abandoned on the final day due to rain and the match was drawn, leading to Australia retaining the Ashes and England’s hope of dominating the series washing away.
Stuart Broad’s fairytale finish in fifth Test
One thing that Ashes 2023 will always be remembered for is the announcement of Stuart Broad’s retirement. Broad shocked everyone when he announced that this would be his last game. The Ashes great took the final two wickets on Day 5 that led to England’s victory, thus ending his career on a glorious note.