Coming out on top Down Under

Only seven England sides have won the urn in Australia in the last 100 years. Here's how

* 1986/87
Australia 1-2 England
Captain: Mike Gatting

For 23 years Gatting has been dining out on being the last England captain to secure the Ashes Down Under. So popular is Gatting that he will not go un-dined if England win this time. It was a peculiar, unexpected victory driven by a confluence of circumstances. There was Botham's last hurrah, Chris Broad's three hundreds, Graham Dilley's early series pace followed by Gladstone Small's deserved moment in the sun, Gower's occasional genius, two spinners in Phil Edmonds and John Emburey. And that was the last time. Until now.

* 1978-79
Australia 1-5 England
Captain: Mike Brearley

The least celebrated by far of English victories. World Series Cricket, a breakaway tournament offering hitherto untold money, had decimated Australia's team. England, marshalled by Mike Brearley, were perhaps fortunate to win so well. But it heralded Ian Botham's Ashes career. Derek Randall played one of the sturdiest of all Ashes innings (150 in 10 hours). Botham took 23 series wickets but not many people know that so did the present chairman of selectors Geoff Miller.

* 1970-71
Australia 0-2 England
Captain: Raymond Illingworth

Perhaps the single greatest example (including Jardine) of a captain running a tour. Illingworth was tough, shrewd, determined and knew how to win. It was, like the 2010 vintage, well-balanced. Three opening batsmen were deliberately chosen to fill the first three places and it worked. Geoff Boycott was in his pomp, John Edrich and Brian Luckhurst not far behind. The crucial component was John Snow, whose pace was significant throughout and gave them a lead.

* 1954-55
Australia 1-3 England
Captain: Len Hutton

For the first time England were led by a hard-nosed professional captain in Hutton. He was already an Ashes hero, having scored 364 in his sixth Test back in 1938. Like Jardine before him he built a side to beat Australia. After the first match at Brisbane, when England lost badly after putting Australia in, he made the heart-breaking decision to drop stalwart Alec Bedser. And then came "Typhoon" Tyson. Frank Tyson played only 17 Tests but in these five he took 28 wickets at electrifying pace supported by the magnificent Brian Statham.

* 1932-33
Australia 1-4 England
Captain: Douglas Jardine

The most famous Test series, one of the most famous sporting events of all. Bodyline, conceived by Jardine, executed by Larwood, swept all before it and almost broke diplomatic links between the countries. Designed to stop Bradman the leg theory worked, keeping his average to a mere 56. It is too often forgotten what a jolly decent side England were. Hammond was back with two centuries, Bill Voce and Gubby Allen supported Larwood. But it left a sour flavour which persists still and poor Larwood never played another Test.

* 1928-29
Australia 1-4 England
Captain: Percy Chapman

England went as holders of the Ashes, having regained them with a nerve-tingling 1-0 win in 1926. Starting with the 675-run win in Brisbane they took all before them in timeless Tests, winning the first four. It was Wally Hammond's series as no series has been for an England batsman in Australia. He scored four hundreds including two doubles. A certain Harold Larwood, who was to achieve enduring fame four years later, led England's attack with Maurice Tate, though left-arm spinner Jack White took most wickets. The first Test saw the debut of a batsman who was dropped for the second but went on to reasonable success. His name? Don Bradman.

* 1911-12
Australia 1-4 England
Captain: Johnny Douglas

The series is littered with names who reside forever in the pantheon. Jack Hobbs, Wilfred Rhodes, Frank Woolley, Sidney Barnes for England, Clem Hill, Warwick Armstrong, Victor Trumper for Australia. Australia had won in England in 1909 and looked like winning again when they took the first Test by 146 runs. But then Hobbs and Rhodes took over with the bat, Hobbs scoring hundreds in the next three matches, the pair putting on a record first-wicket 323 in the fourth. Barnes and the unheralded Frank Foster were a lethal pairing. Douglas, an old-fashioned amateur, has never been accorded due approbation.

Suggested Topics
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
News
Boris Johnson may be manoeuvring to succeed David Cameron
i100
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Life and Style
fashionPart of 'best-selling' Demeter scent range
News
i100
Sport
Tom Cleverley
footballLoan move comes 17 hours after close of transfer window
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering