Test cricket is the finest form of the game, and it is still the best way to decide a player’s skills. No player can be considered truly outstanding until he has certainly done well in Test matches. An international Test series between two countries, unsurprisingly, provides the most amusement for a true cricket fan. Let’s take a glance at five of the best Test series ever played.
England vs New Zealand, Trent bridge 2022:
The new age of Ben Stokes In their series against New Zealand, England has shown up with a new approach. England mowed down the target of 299 from a minimum of 72 overs to win the second Test and take a 2-0 series lead courtesy to an amazing assault from Jonny Bairstow after the tea break on the last day at Trent Bridge. As the hosts found themselves in danger at 93/4, the Kiwi pacers were all on them. Bairstow then went on a rampage, tearing up the Blackcaps bowling team, especially after the tea break. Bairstow and Stokes achieved the goal in just 16 overs after the break, with 160 runs remaining in the final session.
Jonny Bairstow‘s century took 77 balls, making it the second-fastest fourth-innings century in Test cricket history. Bairstow’s century is also England’s second-fastest in terms of balls in Tests, trailing only Jessop’s 76-ball performance. Skipper Ben Stokes joined the party to remain unbeaten on 75 off 70.
India vs Australia, Kolkata 2001:
The series between Australia and India in 2001 included some of the best Test cricket ever played, with the second test in Kolkata being one of the greatest test matches ever played. Australia batted first and scored 445 runs, owing to a magnificent 110 by Steve Waugh, who took them from 256 for 8 to 445.Harbhajan Singh grabbed 7 for 123 in 37.5 overs for India, becoming the first bowler to take a hat-trick in Indian Test cricket’s 69-year history.
In the first innings, they dismissed India for a low total of 171. After that, India was reduced to 115 for 3 when Laxman entered the fray. With a stunning 281-run knock, he became one of the greatest batsmen of all time, and he had a fantastic 376-run partnership with Rahul Dravid. India’s innings ended with a score of 657 for 7. Australia was bowled for 212 while chasing a total of 384 runs, with off-spinner Harbhajan Singh claiming six wickets for 73 runs.
Pakistan vs Sri Lanka, Sharjah 2014:
On the last day of the Test, Azhar Ali’s and Misbah-ul-brilliant Haq’s innings of 103 from 137 balls and 68 from 72 balls, respectively, guided Pakistan to a miraculous 5-wicket win against the visitors, chasing a total of 302 in only 57.3 overs at a run-rate of 5.25 per over.
Pakistan appeared to have little chance of tying the series earlier in the match as they only achieved 341 in response to Sri Lanka’s 428 in the first innings. However, the Pakistan bowling attack’s combined efforts in the second innings saw the Lankans knocked out for 214, bringing them back into the contest. Pakistan’s ability to chase 302 from the 59 overs remaining in the Test match was still in doubt, but the top order’s contributions at a breakneck pace meant they accomplished it with only 1.3 overs to spare on the day.
England vs Australia, Edgbaston 2005:
Despite dominating the opening day at Lords, England had already been thrashed. They only needed to win the second Test to keep the series alive, at least metaphorically. In the first innings, they scored 407 runs and bowled Australia out for 308.Shane Warne and Brett Lee, on the other hand, ravaged England’s second innings, reducing them to 75-6. Andrew Flintoff, on the other hand, stayed resolute and continued to strike the Australians. On a tiring wicket, his 73 from just 86 balls gave England a highly competitive total of 281 to defend.
They were within two runs of winning the game before Steven Harmison bowled one of the most legendary Ashes deliveries ever witnessed. Michael Kasprowicz fended off his own bouncer to wicketkeeper Geraint Jones. England had regained control of the series, and they went on to earn a 2-1 victory.
England vs Australia, Headingley 1981:
The odds were 500-1 that England will beat Australia and win at Headingley. When Sir Ian Botham appeared to the crease, England needed a miracle to win the test. Following that, England was 7 down.
Ian Botham is the next in line. Both the game and the history of test cricket were forever transformed by the star. There were 221 more runs added, including his 149*. Only 130 runs were required for Australia to win, but England won by 18 runs thanks to Bob Willis.England won the fourth Test by 29 runs because to Botham’s improbable five for one in 28 balls at Edgbaston.In the fifth Test, Botham’s scorching 118 helped England to a 103-run victory at Old Trafford, clinching the series.