It gets the best out of the players and which results in some iconic moments. Who can forget Ian Botham's fiery spell at Edgbaston in 1981, in what was termed as 'Botham's Ashes' or a young Glenn McGrath tormenting England at Lord's in 1997. Jim Laker almost achieving perfection as he recorded figures of 19/90 at Manchester or Shane Warne bowling the ball of the century to Mike Gatting in 1993.
All these iconic moments came before 2000, but Ashes has also seen some riveting performances since the turn of the century.
Cricketnext takes you down the memory lane as we take a look at 5 of the most iconic bowling spells in the Ashes since 2000.
1. Mitchell Johnson, Adelaide, 2013-14
File photo of former Australian Test pacer Mitchell Johnson.
Mitchell Johnson terrorised the English batsmen in the Ashes of 2013-14. The mustachioed pacer ran through the English batting line-up in the series, taking 37 wickets at an incredible average of 13.97. The most memorable performance came in the first Test at Adelaide, where he recorded figures of 7/40. He kicked open the door by rattling Alaistair Cook's off stump by beating him for pure pace. Other opener, Michael Carberry received a barrage of bouncers and pacer James Anderson received a send-off while his middle stump went cartwheeling. This was sweet revenge for Johnson, who was targeted by the Barmy Army during the previous Ashes in England. The spell set the tone for the rest of the series as Johnson continue to stay one step ahead of the English batsmen.
2. Ryan Harris, Perth, 2010
Ryan Harris. (Getty Images)
Although Mitchell Johnson was again the tormentor-in-chief during this match, but Ryan Harris showed his class in the second innings as he registered incredible figures of 6-47, making both the old and the new ball talk. Although 391 was always going to be a stiff target for England, Harris dashed any hopes of a successful chase when he broke the back of England's middle order. What made the spell extra special was the fact that Harris was coming back after a horrific injury. One of the most remarkable dismissals was that of Paul Collingwood, with an out swinger which he edged to third slip. It was off the penultimate ball on day 4 after which he got three more wickets to run through the tail.
3. Stuart Broad, Nottingham, 2015
File image of Stuart Broad celebrating with his teammates during a game. (Getty Images)
England were leading the series 2-1, which made the fourth Test at Nottingham a crucial one if Aussies were to have any hopes of a comeback. Rain delayed the start as England won the toss and chose to bowl first. However, Stuart Broad ran through the Aussie batting line-up recording figures of 8/15 as Australia were dismissed for 60. It took only three balls for Broad to get into the thick of things, as he dismissed Chris Rogers with a brilliant out swinger, to claim his 300th Test wicket. In the same over, he accounted for Steve Smith. Shaun Marsh, who was making a comeback into the team, was sent packing for 0. What was even more remarkable was that 5 of the 8 wickets that Broad took were that of batsmen. England eventually won the match comfortably by an innings and 78 runs, to put the seal on the series.
4. James Anderson, Nottingham, 2013
James Anderson (Getty Images)
James Anderson is always under extra pressure when it comes to facing Australia, as he often leads the pace attack. He started the 2013 Ashes in a terrific manner, with figures of 10/158, helping England start with a close 14-run victory and set the tone for the series. This was the same Test in which Ashton Agar scored 98 on debut as a 19-year-old. Anderson took 5 wickets in both the innings, but it was the second innings where his contribution was became the talk of town. Bowling before lunch, he took figures of 3/29 to set England on what looked like an easy path to victory. However, Brad Haddin and James Pattinson came together and it seemed they would steal victory from the jaws of defeat. Then, Anderson came back to bowl and Haddin under-edged one to the keeper but the umpire didn't give it out, luckily, DRS showed a small nick and England won the Test comfortably.
5. Andrew Flintoff, Edgbaston, 2005
Andrew Flintoff (Image: AFP)
Andrew Flintoff bowled his heart out in one of the most memorable Ashes encounter as England sealed an important 2 run win to bring the series to restore parity after losing the first match comprehensively. England batted well and scored 407, Australia were dismissed for 308 giving England a 99-run lead, but the Aussies started well in the second innings, and were cruising along at 47/0 when Michael Vaughan through the ball to Flintoff. The all-rounder was already on a hat-trick from the first innings, though he couldn't complete the hat-trick, but he got the wickets of Justin Langer and Ricky Ponting in the same over as England fought back. Shane Warne, who had taken 6 wickets in the first innings, stood tall amongst the ruins for Australia. But with Warney on 42, Flintoff had him hit-wicket. Harmison eventually dismissed Kasprowicz and England won the match by 2 runs.
AdelaideAndrew FlintoffashesAshes 2017EdgbastonJames AndersonMitchell JohnsonNottinghamPerthRyan Harrisstuart broad
First Published: November 20, 2017, 4:18 PM IST