In the international arena, Wilfred Rhodes loved nothing more than taking on the Australians. The slow left armer, who made his debut in WG Grace's last Test, took an astounding 7 wickets for 17 off 11 overs at Lords in 1902, as the Australians were skittled for 36.
For better or worse, few names stand out in Ashes history like Harold Larwood's. The bowling performance by the miner's son in the 1932 series, put two Australian batsmen in hospital, soured diplomatic relations between the countries and almost caused a riot. He also put the series on a plate for England.
The infamous "Bodyline" series saw Larwood (left), in tandem with fellow fast bowler Bill Voce (right), bounce the terrified Aussies out of four Tests. He took 33 at an average of 19.51, including Don Bradman four times, as the horrified batsmen could do little but fend off the fearsome deliveries to the legside field.
He was met with bile and opprobrium for the performance, and never again played for England, a scapegoat to salvage relations between the two nations.
One of England's finest individual bowling performances came from Hedley Verity, who inspired the only victory at headquarters in the 20th Century.
Verity, another Yorkshireman with a slow left arm action, is the only cricketer to wrack up 14 wickets in one day of a Test match. He starred in the Ashes series that followed the Bodyline tour, and it was in the second Test at Lords in 1934 that he made his mark.
He totalled 15 wickets at 104 runs, snaring Bradman twice and winning the match for England. The individual performance was not enough to save the series, however, as Australia grabbed the urn with a dominating performance at the Oval two months later.
Jim Laker's bowling performance in 1956 ranks as possibly the best ever in cricketing, let alone Ashes, history.
He took an extraordinary, and unlikely to be matched, 19 for 90 in the fourth Test at Old Trafford. It proved to be the crucial Test in the series, and is the one that now bears his name. An admittedly weak Australian batting line-up was ripped apart by Laker's right arm off breaks, a style he had perfected on coconut matting in the army, which saw England win by an innings.
The Aussies had been warned. Playing for Surrey that year, Laker had taken 10 for 88 and he went on to take 63 Australian wickets that summer. It was the last time England would hold the urn for seven series.
The curious case of Bob Massie. His debut at Lords produced the best ever figures for an Australian bowler in the Ashes. Less than two years later he wasn't even playing for his state side.
Massie's fast swing bowling tore England apart in 1972, as he took eight wickets in each innings, ending up with 16 for 137 a performance that levelled the series. He bowled Geoffrey Boycott in the first innings, and bagged Mike Smith, Basil D'Oliveira, Alan Knott, Ray Illingworth and John Snow in both.
Just as Massie, who was to play a further five Tests for Australia, fizzled out, so did Australia in the series. They drew the next match before succumbing to England at Headingley, a country where Massie was not seen again. Massie is pictured being clapped off at Lords following his extraordinary Ashes debut.
Dennis Lillee terrified English batsmen throughout his career and none more so than in the Melbourne Centenary Test of 1977 when he took 11 wickets, although it was not an official Ashes match.
It was in the tour to England two years earlier that he had made a real impact, writing himself into urn folklore. The crucial Test proved to be the first at Edgbaston, where a five wicket haul was instrumental in forcing England to follow on. In the second innings he only took one further wicket, but in tandem with Jeff Thomson, the bowlers drove England to defeat. It proved the winning Test as it was followed by three draws.
The devastating Lillee and Thomson combination had already destroyed England the previous year at home, driving them to a 4-1 series victory. Lillee took a total of 167 wickets against England between 1971 and 1982.
Headingley 1981 is firmly set in the nation's mind as "Botham's Test". England were down and out. They were one nil down by the third Test when Australia declared on 401 for 9 in the first innings. England's reply was dismal and they were forced to follow on after totalling a meagre 174 runs.
The second innings started badly with Lillee, who ended up taking seven wickets in the match, snaring Gooch for a duck. Boycott made a creditable 46 but it wasn't until Botham made his way to the crease, that history was in the offing. He smashed 149 runs in a whirlwind innings until the tail ran out. It still left the Australians with 129 to win.
Willis (centre) stepped up and with a devastating spell took 8 for 43 in 15 overs sending England to an 18 run victory. Botham was man of the match, but without Willis, England would never have secured victory. They became only the second team to follow on and win a match which gave them enough momentum to win the next two Tests and seal the series.
The most successful ever wicket taker in the Ashes made an explosive entry into Ashes and cricketing history. In total, Shane Warne took 195 English wickets at an average of 23.25 runs each. Yet the whole genius, guile, style and, well, chutzpah of Warney can be summed up in one ball.
It was June 1993 in Old Trafford and the 23 year old floated his first Ashes delivery into the rough outside Mike Gatting's legs. Much to the bewilderment of the batsman, it spun sharply to take the top of his off stump, and went down in cricketing history as the "ball of the century," one that revolutionised spin bowling.
Warne took 8 for 137 in the match and a star was born. He took 34 wickets in the series, in which Australia smashed England 4-1. Incidentally, the following series, Warne took an Ashes hat-trick as the Australians firmly kept their grip on the urn.
Glenn McGrath haunted English batsmen in his 15 year Ashes career, and the best performance came at Lords in the second Test of the 1997 series.
England had won the first Test by nine wickets and the country was ready to welcome the Ashes home. McGrath's pinpoint line and length were to devastate those hopes. The pick of his bowling was taking 8 for 38 in the first innings as England totalled 77 runs, but the match ended in a draw as rain saved the home side.
The mental damage had been done. Australia won the next three games comfortably with McGrath the pick, taking a further 25 wickets.
It is hard to pick one outstanding bowling performance for the 2005 Ashes, a series brimming with excellence with the ball from both sides. So it comes down to a single over from England's poster boy.
Andrew Flintoff was rightly held up as one of the best fast bowlers in the world at the time, as well as one of the most sporting as his conduct in the series showed. The over in question came in the second innings of the second Test at Edgbaston. Australia had made a great start to their 282 run chase posting 47 for no wicket. Flintoff was handed the ball on a hat-trick from the previous innings.
Justin Langer survived the first but played on with the second, bringing Ricky Ponting to the crease.
Flintoff (centre) roughed the captain up, smashing a searing delivery into his pads, before forcing him to nervously play and miss. Overstepping gave Flintoff an extra ball to the shell shocked Ponting, who could do nothing but fence it to wicketkeeper Geraint Jones. England should have walked it after that but contrived to nearly throw the game away, eventually winning by two runs in a Test that will go down as one of the most exciting of all time.
England came into the fourth Test of the 2010-11 series, with proceedings all square at 1-1. After a drawn first game, they had cruised to victory in Adelaide only to then be comfortably beaten in their next game in Perth. After winning the toss in Melbourne, a good start was crucial for England if they wanted to keep their hopes of a series win alive.
A good start is exactly what they got thanks to their fast bowlers and in particular Chris Tremlett, as Australia were skittled out for a paltry 98 in just over 40 overs. The giant Surrey paceman finished with figures of 4/26 and England went on to win the game by the enormous margin of an innings and 157 runs to take a 2-1 lead in the series before sealing it 3-1 a week later in Sydney with another innings victory.