Ashes 2017/2018 came down to WACA in Perth for the third Test of the series. With England are trailing the series by a 2-0 margin they require to make a turnaround at WACA. With three matches left until England win the Perth Test, the intensity of the Ashes series will come down. WACA has the reputation of being past, bouncy and the ball is going to be flying around your ears. Every experienced batsman knew the fact that bowlers want to pitch the ball short with a wish to get an edge and nick. The touring party also didn’t have a good record at Perth. They have won here only once in 1978. Rest of the time England finished at the receiving end. Either a ferocious fast bowler ran through the England batting line-up or a gutsy batsman rattled English bowling attack. On many occasions, Australian speedsters ended up injuring English batsmen.
So, here are five moments when England were at the receiving end at WACA.
Matt Nichols left David Lloyd’s forehead split open in 1998
Before the 1998 Perth Ashes Test, a young David Llyod walked on to bat brimming with confidence during a warm-up match. But after two balls he was back at the pavilion with a split forehead. Matt Nichols was a very quick fast bowler and left Llyod stranded on the ground. As Lyod was wounded he failed to play the Perth Test.
Brett Lee’s sheering pace broke Alex Tudor’s jaw in 2002
In 2002 Perth Test speedster Brett Lee was very fast and getting a good bounce. The right-arm fast bowler’s one of the deliveries struck England bowler Alex Tudor’s jaw. Tudor was lying on the ground with his legs twitching. After a couple of years, Tudor recounted the memory and said that Lee hit him at 90 mph and he still has the scares of the moment. Whenever a cricketer gets hit by a bowler it leaves a scare in the mind and it haunts the players who were at the receiving end. The same has happened to Tudor.
Adam Gilchrist toyed with English bowler in 2006
In 2005/2006 Ashes at WACA former Australian wicketkeeper-batsman, Adam Gilchrist smashed 57 balls hundred, which is the fourth fastest in the history of Test cricket. Gilchrist smashed 12 boundaries and four sixes during Australia’s second innings. His innings made spectators at the famous WACA stadium glue to their seats. Gilchrist’s innings tore apart the English bowling attack comprised of Matt Hoggard, Andrew Flintoff, Steve Harmison and Moni Panesar. In the same innings, Michael Hussy and Michael Clarke notched their respective hundred.
Jeff Thomson ran through England batting line up in 1974
Jeff Thomson was one of the fastest pace bowlers of his time. In 1974 Ashes Test at WACA he ran through the English defence in the second innings with a fifer. In the first innings, England were bowled out for paltry 208 as Dennis Lillee, Thomoson, Max Walker and Doug Walters picked up two wickets each. In reply to England’s first innings total Australia got a 273 runs first innings lead. When England came to bat they found themselves at the receiving end as Thompson was very quick and unplayable. Half of the England batsmen were dismissed by Thomoson as the fast bowler pick up five wickets.
Craig McDermott’s unplayable spells in 1991
In 1990/1991 Ashes, Australia were leading the Ashes series 2-0. Graham Gooch’s England were struggling as usual. At WACA, they were bowled out for 244 in the first innings as Craig McDermott rattled English bating line up by picking up 8 wickets for 97 runs. It was one of the fascinating display of fast bowling. Only two batsmen crossed the 50 marks. Allan Lamb (91) and Robin Smith (58) were the two batsmen who managed to resist the challenge posed by McDermott. England were bowled out for 182 in the second innings with McDermott and Terry Alderman shared six wickets between them while Merv Hughes scalped four wickets. Australia won the match by nine wickets.
This time as well Australia have a quality frontline pace attack comprised of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon. This bowling attack has the ability to give England a scare at the bouncy WACA, Australia’s one of the fortresses in Test cricket. Hence, England should get ready to feel the heat.