The Ashes 2015 – Third Test Preview: Edgbaston is…(Analysis, Banter, Memoir)

It’s Edgbaston, Birmingham, England.

It’s England 1 – 1 Australia.

Check out the Third test betting HERE.

England: JM Bairstow comes in, chock-a-block full of Yorkshire runs, for GS Ballance. IR Bell to perhaps bat at #3, JE Root at #4, JM Bairstow at #5.

Australia: No change; with PN Nevill retaining his spot, favoured, over BJ Haddin.

From cricinfo:

  • Only 11 players have the Test double of 2000 runs and 300 wickets, but SCJ Broad and MG Johnson may both join the club this Test. Broad has 296 wickets and 2353 runs; Johnson has 299 wickets and 1999 runs
  • Nevill becomes just the fifth man in the past 27 years to be Australia’s first-choice Test wicketkeeper, after IA Healy, AC Gilchrist, BJ Haddin and MS Wade.


I’ve been to England. Spent about 5 weeks of my life there.

But I’ve not been to Birmingham. Not that I mind.

It means, though, that all connection I have to this place is mythical, fantastic, or created from TV, radio, newspaper.


Edgbaston to me means the 1999 World Cup semi final v South Africa. Australia all out 213. South Africa on 9/213 with three balls left. SK Warne 4 fa. The DW Fleming underarm roll for the run out.


Edgbaston to me means 1997 and MA Taylor winning the toss under leaden skies, faced with a green top, and choosing to bat. All out 118 in 32 overs. Top score SK Warne 47; next best MS Kasprowicz 12. AR Caddick 5/50 from 12, D Gough 3/43 from 10 and DE Malcolm 2/25 from 10. Stumps Day 1, England 3/200. Thank you very much. Poms making 478 in reply when the sun came out; including a fourth wicket stand of 288 between N Hussain (207) and GP Thorpe (138). Whack.


Edgbaston to me means 2005 and MS Kasprowicz (did his hand leave the bat handle before being glanced with the ball?) and B Lee putting on plenty for the last wicket and falling 2 runs short. It’s A Flintoff on bended knee shaking hands.


Edgbaston to today’s England may mean last month when England made 408 batting first the first 50 over game of the series against New Zealand (JC Buttler 129 (77 balls), JE Root 104 (78 balls)).


To other players: no Test match was played at Edgbaston in the 2013 Ashes series. The last time Australia played a Test there was in 2009. It was the Third Test, drawn after losing the third day to rain. Players from that match still playing today are: MJ Clarke (29 and 103*), MG Johnson (0 and 2/92), AN Cook (0), IR Bell (53), SCJ Broad (55 and 0/58, 2/38) and JM Anderson (1 and 5/80, 1/47).


What are your thoughts of Edgbaston, Birmingham, England?


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About David Wilson

David Wilson is a writer, editor, flood forecaster and former school teacher. He writes under the name “E.regnans” at The Footy Almanac and has stories in several books. One of his stories was judged as a finalist in the Tasmanian Writers’ Prize 2021. He shares the care of two daughters and a dog, Pip. He finds playing the guitar a little tricky, but seems to have found a kindred instrument with the ukulele. Favourite tree: Eucalyptus regnans.


  1. Mickey Randall says

    Great cricket ground. I watched the closing stages of the 2005 Ashes Test from Hertfordshire and it was spellbinding. The Flintoff gesture is one of cricket’s great images.

    We lived in England for thirty months but didn’t go to Birmingham. I know I’m wrong but the major attraction seemed to be Ozzy and Black Sabbath.

    Let’s hope for good weather and an absorbing match. Clarke due for a score.

    Thanks David.

  2. E.regnans says

    Good one Mickey.
    A friend of mine worked in Birmingham on the gap year circuit.
    Strongest memory = being one on a sandwich-making production line.
    Dressed in overcoat and shower cap.
    Add the cheese. Add the cheese. Add the cheese. Add the cheese. Add the cheese.

    With BJ Haddin gone, MJ Clarke wobbly, eyes are on the next generation.

  3. for cricket lovers – sad news this week of the passing of the great Clive Rice. Perhaps someone can eulogise next week before the Trent Bridge Test…Rice was a Notts legend.

  4. Peter Flynn says

    Hollies Stand.

    More Rick Parfitt lookalikes than a Status Quo convention.

    Great craic.

  5. My dad was born in Birmingham, 1947.
    My Irish grandparents were on a brief stopover on their way to emigrating downunder.
    This quirk of Dawson family history allowed me to procure a British passport.
    Visited Birmingham in 1990.

  6. Smoke – was it a 9 month stop over or 9 minute?

  7. Dips, knowing my ratbag grandfather – God rest his soul – it could well have been 9 seconds!

  8. This is on the brink.

  9. But, then, every cricket match is on the brink. Tis the essence of cricket.

  10. E.regnans says

    curly swing is always a pleasure to watch.
    Prefer it not to be from JM Anderson.
    But still.

  11. Mickey Randall says

    As the old chestnut suggests that was a good toss to lose.

  12. E.regnans says

    Not unusual for this batting line up to rely on one man.
    Usually Smith. In was AC Voges once.

    Lazy batting.
    Grand bowling.
    Game on 3/34

  13. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Declare now

  14. worst Australian defeat ever – Edgbaston 81. pure mental collapse. i blame it on the underminers.

    Clarke surely is either too old or too slow to keep going? his average is back down to 50.

    if you take away the strange ton in SA where they tried to smash him, and the punchy knock in Adelaide, he doesn’t have a 50 in the other 26 digs, time to go…

  15. Declare now? Clarke or Australia?

  16. Very soft dismissal from Voges. Terrible.

  17. Re Clarke: my instinct tells me that he is gone (gorn!)

    He may make a score or two as he rails against the dying of the light,
    but he is done, I reckon

  18. Terrible shot from M Marsh

  19. P Nevill under a little pressure here. Great test for him…..Oh, hang on…

  20. E.regnans says

    Sooner have him there than BJ Haddin.

    And he’s got CJL Rogers with him. Could bat the rest of the day.

  21. E.regnans says

    It’s great bowling.
    Hats off.

  22. Good bowling, but Voges and Marsh both played poor shots away from their bodies.

  23. Come back, Haddin.
    All is forgiven

  24. E.regnans says

    Just brilliant bowling.
    The three card trick.

  25. Luke Reynolds says

    Our weakness against the moving ball, whether it spins, swings or seams, is shown up yet again.

  26. No patience

  27. E.regnans says

    It’s following the 1997 form line (above) pretty closely.

  28. Can Johnson bowl from both ends?

  29. Can Starc and Hazelwood bowl from neither end?

  30. Smoke, Neville keeps so much cleaner…surely?

  31. Rooty toot toot! Is that the worst wicket taking ball in history? So many questions.

  32. E.regnans says

    Australia doesn’t bowl well to SCJ Broad.
    Or to lower order generally.
    Well batted MM Ali.
    Too many runs slipped through?

  33. A Voges – catching for his place in the side? It worked for Watto for 10 years.

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