The World Cup champions England will host the first match of the inaugural World Test Championship. They will face Australia, the Ashes holders in the first of the 5-match Test series beginning on Thursday. Birmingham will host the first game which has been a horror of a venue for the Aussies where they recently lost the World Cup semi-final against the hosts.
This series will be marked as the comeback of Australia’s banned trio as they feature in Test cricket for the first time since serving the suspension. Their inclusion will boost their line-up that lost series against Pakistan and India recently. At the same time, England hasn’t been a dominant force even in this format even at home which is quite opposite when it comes to the limited-overs.
All the key stats and numbers that matter ahead of the Ashes series:
11 – England won each of their last 11 International matches they played at the Edgbaston including four Tests. They won six out of the eight Tests at this venue since the start of 2009 with the other two finishing in draws.
34.55 – James Anderson has a bowling average of 34.55 in Test cricket against Australia; his worst against any team. His average is the worst among the bowlers who have taken at least 100 wickets in the Ashes.
Anderson’s average at home against the Aussies comes down to 33.36; the only team against which he averages over 30 with the ball in England.
47 – Joe Root’s batting average against Australia in home Tests is his lowest against any team at home. (Min: 2 Tests) Root scored 799 runs from 19 innings against the Aussies with three tons and three half-centuries at home.
94 – Pat Cummins has taken 94 wickets in his 20-match Test career. Cummins needs six more wickets in the next Test he plays for becoming the joint 4th fastest bowler and the 2nd quickest pacer to take 100 Test wickets for Australia. He will also be the joint quickest to this mark among Australians in the last 86 years as Stuart McGill also claimed his 100th Test wicket in his 21st Test match.
125 – The century in the last year’s dead rubber Test against India at The Oval was the only fifty-plus score by Joe Root in his last ten Test innings at home. Root scored 272 runs across those ten innings at an average of 27.2.
In the last 12 months, Root amassed 875 runs at a mediocre average of 33.65 from 26 innings. The England skipper struck three tons and two fifties in this span. All three centuries came in England’s second innings of those Tests including two in dead rubbers.
138.33 – Steve Smith has scored four centuries in his last eight Test innings in the Ashes. He aggregated 830 runs across those 8 innings at an average of 138.33 and also scored two fifties.
2001 – The last instance of Australia winning an International match at the Edgbaston was in the 2001 Ashes. Interestingly, it was the last time Australia won an Ashes series in England. Aussies featured in 14 International games since that victory but failed to win even one. [9 lost, 1 draw, 4 N/R]
2001 – England has won nine out of their previous 11 Test matches they played at the Old Trafford in Manchester which will be hosting the 4th Test of this series. Their last Test defeat at this venue came against Pakistan in 2001.
2014 – Last time England lost a Test series at home was back in 2014 during a 2-match Test series against Sri Lanka by a 0-1 margin. England played ten Test series in England since then and won seven of them while three ended in a draw.
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