As the England-Australia rivalry is set to heat up next year, we look back at the greatest Ashes Test matches in history.

Last Updated: 09/01/23 at 11:25

As the Ashes Test rolls into town next year, we look back at the greatest Ashes Tests of all time.

Our picks include two thrilling tests from the unforgettable 2005 Ashes Series, as well as some golden oldies which will live long in the memory of cricket fans.

Headingley 1981 Ashes Test

Australia 401/9 declared & 111 lost to England 174 & 356 by 18 runs

After Australia declared on 401/9 in their first innings - thanks to a century from John Dyson - England had it all to do. They were forced to follow on after a disappointing batting performance, reaching only 174.

In stepped Ian Botham, who ruthlessly attacked the Aussie bowlers to hit 149* as England reached 356, giving themselves a very slim chance. Australia required 130 and were looking comfortable on 56/1. Then came a spell of a lifetime from Bob Willis, as his incredible figures of 8/43 took England home as Australia fell to 111 all out.

Melbourne Cricket Ground 1982 - 83 Ashes Tests

England 284 & 294 beat Australia 287 & 288 by 3 runs

England batted first and made a great start before a middle order collapse left them with just 284 on the board.

Australia batted in a similar vein, making just three more runs than England managed. This left the game poised nicely before the second innings.

England again produced a lacklustre performance with the bat, reaching 294 with half-centuries from Fowler and Botham. Australia required 292 to win and were on the brink on 218 for 9.

Border and Thomson put on 70 to leave them 4 runs short before Botham bowled Thomson, leaving Australia agonisingly close.

Edgbaston 2005 Ashes Test

England 407 & 182 beat Australia 308 & 279 by 2 runs

Following a heavy defeat to Australia in the first Test, England needed to bounce back to get their Ashes series back on track.

England batted first and made a solid start getting to 407 all out with contributions from Trescothick, Flintoff and Pietersen.

Justin Langer secured a top score with 82 as Australia posted 308. In England’s second innings, another Flintoff-led innings meant Australia needed 282 to win.

Australia found themselves 175/8 before Warne, Lee and Kasprowicz added runs. Australia were only three runs short before Kasprowicz gloved a Harmison delivery to the keeper as Edgbaston went wild.

Old Trafford 2005 Ashes Test

England 444 & 280/6 declared drew with Australia 302 & 371/9

In the remarkable Ashes series of 2005, the third Test at Old Trafford took the series to new heights. Michael Vaughan played a captain’s innings, hitting 166 as England made a strong 444. Australia were reduced to 201/7 before Shane Warne made 90 to take Australia to 302. England had an advantage of 142 which soon increased as Strauss made 106 and set Australia 413 to win.

In a match for the captains, it was Ponting’s turn to show his skills as he hit 156, but was the 9th wicket to fall with just four overs left. Lee and McGrath blocked out the last four nerve-racking overs, walking away with an exhilarating draw.

Cardiff 2009 Ashes Test

England 435 & 252/9 drew with Australia 674/6 declared

Cardiff’s debut test could not have been more thrilling; England batted first and accrued 435 runs with half-centuries from Pietersen, Collingwood and Prior. Australia then produced a batting masterclass as Ponting (150), Katich (122), North (125*) and Haddin (121) all added centuries as Australia declared on 674.

Trailing by 239 runs, England began badly losing their openers cheaply. A stubborn 74 from Collingwood kept England alive but he was dismissed with England 6 short of Australia’s total.

The last-man partnership of Anderson and Panesar managed to bat England into the lead and until 18:40 meaning England had secured a dramatic draw.

How can I get Ashes 2023 tickets?

As the premium ticketing marketplace, Seat Unique is delighted to open up fan access to live cricket experiences.

With hospitality and premium tickets for The Ashes, you are guaranteed to experience the best views of the action, plus you will enjoy luxury perks that are sure to take your day to the next level.

Official premium tickets and hospitality packages for The Ashes in 2023 are on sale now at Seat Unique! Secure your place below.

Buy Ashes premium tickets & hospitality

What’s your favourite Ashes Test of all time? Let us know by posting a comment on our Facebook or Instagram page, or tweet us @seatunique.